Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


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Move Over Joe the Plumber: Meet "Julio the Fry-Guy"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

From the 'Eyes of Obama' Blog

President Barack Obama seems to have a way of turning people who ask him questions into overnight internet sensations.

First was Samuel Wurzlebacher - A.K.A. Joe the Plumber - who became a fixture of conservative politics after he asked then-Senator Obama how his tax plan would effect people like Joe, who said he was contemplating buying a business. Since then, Joe appeared on the campaign trail with John McCain, traveled to Israel as a war correspondent for a right-wing news outlet, wrote a book, addressed Congressional Republicans and their staffs, and now, is considering a bid for Congress himself. He additionally took the opportunity to repeatedly slam not only Obama (whom he labeled a “socialist”), but also John McCain, the media, liberals, and just about everybody in the world except Sarah Palin and anyone who falls to her right on the political spectrum. Of his pending Congressional campaign, Joe made this gem of a statement: “I don’t know if the American public deserves me.”
Julio Osegueda, it’s your turn.
Osegueda, a part-time student and McDonald’s employee, attended a town hall meeting with the President in Florida on Tuesday about the economic stimulus plan, and was called on to ask the final question of the day. I’ll let the video tell you the rest:

You have to admire Osegueda, if for no other reason than his incredible enthusiasm and graciousness.
The primary reason Joe (Sam) the (unlicensed) Plumber become the media sensation that he did was because of the perception that Wurzlebacher represented mainstream America. And to be fair, there are some elements of old Samuel that are shared by many across this country. Namely, he was worried about how much money is going to be taken out of his paycheck every month.
But here’s the big difference: Joe the Plumber is a pompous, obnoxious, know-it-all. He’s an expert on nothing who nonetheless pontificates his opinions on everything. He’s an opportunist, a hypocrite who thinks that although he deserves a bailout for tax liens assessed against him for his failure to pay (a radio station raised money to not only pay his taxes for him, but also pay for the plumbing license he didn’t have), he doesn’t think you deserve a dime of government assistance, no matter how bad your situation may be.
Contrast that to Julio the Fry-Guy. Julio is working to make himself- and by extension, the American workforce- stronger, more competitive, and more able to contribute to the economy of this country. He’s working hard in a job that pays little, and spending time bettering his education at a local state university. He was there at the forum to educate himself on the issues facing this country, and let’s be honest: I’d estimate that by attending that town hall, he’s done more to educate himself about the stimulus bill than 50% of the voting public. To top it off, he was incredibly positive and gracious. He didn’t slam Republicans, and I hope he doesn’t.
Of course, that didn’t stop the right from slamming him. Rush Limbaugh mocked him: “I don’t know how the guy got in college.” Keep in mind, Limbaugh failed out of Southeast Missouri State and never went back.
Already, Julio has gotten a call from a minor league baseball team asking him to help do color commentary on their opening day program. The communications major jumped at the opportunity, again, to jeers from the right. They seem to forget everything that Joe (Sam) the (unlicensed) Plumber is doing now that he otherwise wouldn’t be.
All in all, while Joe the Plumber might have represented what America once was, Julio represents what it should be. He represents the American dream, that anyone- if they work hard enough- can advance by doing their job, going to school, and reaching for the stars. But all along the way, he should never have to worry about being sidetracked en route to his goals because he can’t afford health insurance or because banks offer him sneaky loan packages and foreclose on his home.
Do your thing, Julio. Work hard, and inspire other people along the way. And when you have a minute, maybe you could give old Joe (Sam) the (unlicensed) Plumber a few tips on humility.


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