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Average Joe for President

December 19, 2013

Average Joe for President.

And, Ed Novick for Vice President.

It could have been.

Following September 11th, 2001, the world became a scarier place. There was much uncertainty. There was a need for good leadership.

George W. Bush was president. And I didn’t agree with the direction he was leading us in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gas prices soared from around $1.50 to $4.00 a gallon in no time as gas demand and taxes rose to power the war machine to send tens of thousands of troops to the middle east. Our national budget deficit grew rapidly, as did our national debt.

When the 2004 U.S. Presidential race was approaching, I was in a moral quandary. In good conscience, I couldn’t support the Republican leadership on many issues, nor as a Catholic could I support the Democratic party on the issue of abortion.

I began to research alternative options for my vote including 3rd party and Independent candidates. Surprisingly, there were more options than I thought.

I came across one candidate that captured my interest…and imagination – Joe Schriner. Joe, or “Average Joe” as he called himself, was a professed Catholic who claimed to base his platform on fundamentals keeping in line with those of the Catholic faith. His web site at www.voteforjoe.com had a lot of information about him, his family, his background, his campaign, and his platform.

And, with all the blue bloods running Washington, who wouldn’t be captivated by the idea of an average Joe for president?

Joe had run in the 2000 U.S. Presidential election…and (obviously) had lost.

When I found it, his web site was out of date, and it wasn’t clear whether he was campaigning in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election.

So I emailed Joe to ask him if he was still running in 2004, and Joe quickly responded that he was.  He advised that his webmaster had vacated the job, and that he needed a new webmaster to update his website.

At the time, I was an amateur web developer, mostly working on personal projects, but understanding the basics enough to be constructive, so I volunteered to help Joe update his web site to be ready for the 2004 U.S. Presidential election and another run at the office. I worked diligently for months, updating the web site for Joe with new images, photos, information, campaign materials, position papers that Joe wrote on all his positions of his platform, and stories of his travels around the U.S. – Joe had a van that he and his family would travel in from town to town across the country campaigning for president.

Joe didn’t win the 2004 election either.

But that didn’t stop Joe.

Joe ran again in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. He continued to campaign across the country in his van.

I met Joe on a couple of occasions, once when he came through Illinois in his van with his family, and once when I was in Ohio. I found him to be a down to earth and intelligent man. His faith was evident through what he said and did. His wife (and campaign manager) and kids were very personable too and it was nice to meet them. I went to Sunday mass and prayed with Joe and his family.

IMG_6273.JPG

The “Average Joe” Schriner van, and me (far left) with Joe Schriner (far right) with our families

 

In 2007 when Joe was gearing up for the 2008 U.S. Presidential race, he found himself without a Vice Presidential running mate. Joe surprised me by asking me if I would be his Vice Presidential candidate running mate. He appreciated my faith, values, education, intelligence and abilities. I was educated in business and had leadership experience. I had good campaign ideas and applied them practically in my work as the webmaster for his web site. Joe believed in me.

I was honored by Joe’s invitation, but I declined to be his Vice Presidential running mate.  I had other priorities at the time and didn’t want to subject my family to the stresses and scrutiny involved in such a campaign.

But how many people can say they were asked to run for Vice President of the United States of America?

Joe lost again in the 2008 election race.

I then stepped back from my involvement in Joe’s campaign and web site. I was dealing with some personal matters that were my priority.

Joe ran and lost again in 2012.

But that still hasn’t stopped Joe.

Joe’s website has recently been updated suggesting that he will once again be campaigning for U.S. President in the 2016 race.

You can learn more about Joe Schriner and follow his campaign at his web site at www.voteforjoe.com. Not much remains of the work I did on Joe’s original web site, as another webmaster has since overhauled the design and updated the content in recent years.  There is both a regular web site and a mobile version of the site.  The regular web site is better so if you check it out on your mobile phone, I suggest you later check it out from your computer too for richer depth of content.

Check it out and let others know about U.S. Presidential candidate Joe Schriner too.  And maybe even “vote for Joe” next year yourself.

 

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