Maryland to the Carolinas to Louisiana to Nevada
My travels in 2015 confirmed the power of my campaign platform: Fix Government and Build Peace. I see more clearly that adding up all those “fixes” means my White House must do no less than Transform Government and in that way we will Transform America. I remain convinced that Building Peace is Deeply Connected to Transforming Government.
All that driving and talking and listening in 2015 gave me stronger words for my Vision and helped me settle on Bold Goals. I ended the year with only small edits to the 7-Track Plan I had at the beginning of the year – the Plan I will use to lead our nation toward that vision and to reach those goals. My 14 Thousand Mile Presidential Listening Tour filled my heart and mind with so many stories of real Americans that I came to this conclusion: The Spirit of America is Strong the State of Our Union is Weak. I did my own analysis and reached this startling insight: the poverty rate in America is 34%. My 7-Track Plan goes to the heart of that reality with specific actions especially to jumpstart jobs and to close the education gap. By the end of 2015, I realized that more and more I say, “I am 3 parts visionary and 4 parts government mechanic!
I begin 2016 knowing this: our nation is at a turning point and we can create a stronger future for us all if we choose to work together as one nation, as one America.
I left Maryland on January 4, 2016 with the intention to get on the ballot in at least 45 states and win the November 8 Presidential Election. This is most of what happened Week 1:
I stopped first in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to visit with a high school classmate. I was delighted her Christmas tree was still on view and beautifully decorated. We talked about local history, the arts, Southern politics and transportation policy for the 21st century! I thoroughly enjoyed what I believe will be my last home-cooked meal for ten months and yes we developed a plan to encourage all my Ardsley (New York) High School classmates to support my campaign. Thank you Diane and Dave!
The next day I drove to Spartanburg, South Carolina to meet with John Lewis and Mike Fowler, co-hosts of the radio show PoliticalJunki to talk about poverty, unemployment and the 2016 Minority Economic Policy Forum. I am so grateful to Mr. Lewis – he listened so well and asked such pivotal questions in his interview with me that I kept thinking about our conversation and that led directly to my conclusion that the poverty rate in America is 34%. Mr. Lewis, Mr. Fowler and I taped a follow up interview and we will post some clips shortly.
I then drove to Lake Charles Louisiana to meet with Verone Thomas organizer of (and participant in) the January 28 Independent Presidential Forum. We had a great conversation – surprising perhaps since we are both running as independent candidates for President. And yes I tried the local Cajun favorite – the Boudin was a little spicy for me, the smoked Cracklins were fantastic!
The next day I flew to Las Vegas to meet with Steve Sanson, President of Veterans in Politics International and the Chair of my Vice Presidential Search Committee; we also co-wrote Jailed for the Holidays: Vets in Prison. I am committed to choosing a veteran as a running mate. Steve introduced me to the amazing Jason Brooks, facilitator with the Wounded Warrior Project. The three of us discussed campaign strategy — decisions I will post shortly. I squeezed in a meeting with Miranda Jilke, my Communication Director who happened to be in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show – more campaign decisions made.
I dropped Miranda off at the airport and took a quick side trip to a huge hotel/casino to see for myself the indoor waterway, gondolas and the opera-singing gondoliers! My conclusion: if we do not take dramatic action to reverse the damage we are doing to our environment, we will be living out our lives in underground cities with make-believe skylines and singing waiters all geared to help us forget the lost beauty of the real world.
There’s more of course to this first week – I will post exciting announcements soon – stay tuned! Please support independent candidates – we speak the truth our bought and paid for politicians cannot or will not!