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Opinion Columns

When looking at various paper’s opinion columns, the most popular topic, is of course, the election, and everything related to it. I looked at three different opinion columns dealing with the last presidential debate, each candidate’s policies, and the most popular topic, “Joe the Plumber.?

Jo-Ann Armao of The Washington Post kept making the comparison between her father, who was a butcher, to Joe the plumber, who McCain kept addressing in the last Presidential Debate. She said, “Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama hoped to show their understanding, their support, and their empathy for the working people of America. What they ended up doing, though, was objectifying -- and to my mind, disrespecting -- the very people they claim to admire. Joe Wurzelbacher is not a gimmick or a slogan, and his hopes and fears deserve more than to be campaign fodder.? She stated that “ordinary folks? are given the most attention for presidential candidates, and then they’re forgotten until the next election comes around. She didn’t take a side for McCain or Obama, but rather said that both of them kept overusing the phrase “Joe the Plumber? when neither of them cared, it was just a campaign slogan. She also concluded with the fact that the candidates would never address them as “gentlemen from Ohio.? I had never thought of it like that before, and I thought it was extremely disrespectful to just bluntly label someone “Joe the Plumber? like they’re such lower class, non-important people.

The LA Times’ opinion column discussed more about McCain’s actions during the last presidential debate, and asked the question of whether or not McCain swayed voters or alienated them by harshly attacking Obama. It was McCain’s final debate with Obama, and he needed to do something in for he feared he might lose the election, so he decided to attack. The writer had a definite bias against McCain and the way he handled the debate and took low blows to Obama to make him look bad. McCain’s desperate attempt to win voters didn’t seem to work, instead, it seemed to put McCain in a bad light, and gave Obama higher standing by the way he elegantly handled himself during McCain’s blatant attacks.

Lastly, Paul Krugman of the New York Times also talked about Joe the plumber, but in a different context than The Washington Post. He talked about how McCain believes that the old formula of no social change still works. He believes the old strategy actually hinders the working American, while McCain endorses no change, all while him and Palin are trotting around the United States, or should I say “pro-America? parts of the country, which apparently doesn’t included New Jersey, Krugman sarcastically stated. He argued that the average plumber of America makes around $50,000 and McCain was making outrageous accusations saying that under Obama’s plan that Joe the plumber would have horrible taxes. McCain needed to rethink his tactic and get it facts straight about the average working American, because if he did really know, he’d know that a plumber does not make over $200,000. (the amount that would be needed under Obama’s plan to be taxed)

The LA Times and The New York Times both attacked McCain and his campaign.
I was surprised that the Washington Post did not take sides and bluntly said that both campaigns are disrespecting the average American.

The Washington Post: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2008/10/_my_father_guy_armao.html
The LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-debate16-2008oct16,0,7923080.story
The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/opinion/20krugman.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin