Here's one good job to have in a recession: conservative economic populist. I don't know how many people remember the strange phenomenon of "Joe the Plumber" from a year ago, but I can never forget him. A post I wrote partially defending Joe Wurzelbacher (but not agreeing with his political opinions) garnered me lots of angry comments on my old blog.
But among conservative activists, Wurzelbacher's 15 minutes are far from up. Dave Weigel, reporting from the RightOnline conference in Pittsburgh, has a tidbit about just how lucrative it still is to be Joe the Plumber.
But the activists found some unity listening to Joe Wurzelbacher, still a sought-after conservative speaker who can charge as much as $10,000 for eight-minute speeches, 11 months after he argued about tax rates with then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) during a campaign stop in Ohio. He was welcomed, and mobbed for photos, as the first American to get the kind of full-bore smear campaign that was now directed at “Tea Party” activists and Flip camera-wielding conservatives going to town halls to tell congressmen that they were shredding the Constitution. “Let’s try to make this an American movement,” said Wurzelbacher, “not a Republican movement, not a Democrat movement. You guys are empowering Americans again. Don’t forget that.”