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Politics

October 25, 2008

Joe the Anecdote

Every election season, certain members of the working class are singled out by politicians for being, well, generic. Indeed, Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher is just the latest in a long line of "ordinary Americans" whose salt-of-the-earth troubles managed to catch the attention of an anecdote-trolling candidate. Here's a small sampling of others who saw 15 seconds of fame during presidential campaigns.

Barack Obama Heads To Ohio To Prepare For Final Debate
Joey Danko
Danko, a guy whom Joe Biden talked to at his local gas station, doesn't know how much it costs to fill his tank, because he never has enough money to do, or so Biden told the nation at the vice-presidential debate. Conservative talk-show host Curtis Sliwa thought Danko, a firefighter in the Wilmington area, was fictional, and learned of his existence after he talked to him on the telephone.

Florence Steen
An 88-year-old South Dakota woman, she voted for Hillary Clinton on her deathbed, as Clinton noted in her I'm-finally-dropping-out speech, but her ballot was thrown out in accordance with state law.

Wanda Blackmore
President Bush met her in Missouri during the 2004 campaign and helped her use a Medicare drug-discount card to get $10 worth of drugs for $1.14, or so said Bush during a town-hall style debate with John Kerry.

Grant Milliron
A guy from Mansfield, Ohio, Milliron owns a job-creating small business mentioned by Bush during the same 2004 debate. He met Bush during an event at the White House and, unsurprisingly, he donated to John McCain's campaign this year.

Lily Harden
Bill Clinton met her 10 years before his 1996 presidential debate with Bob Dole. At the time of her first meeting with Clinton, she was on welfare and wanted to get off. By the time she met Clinton a second time, her four children included a doctor-in-training, an honors student, a technical-school student, and a kid with a "good job." Naturally, Clinton repeated her story at the debate.







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