I get calls and emails every day from voters, fans and political junkies asking what it's like to run for Vice President of the United States. We rarely catch a glimpse of the real-life of our national candidates. We rarely see or hear about the hard work and sacrifice that goes into their campaign. We rarely see the human side. That goes triple for a third party V.P. They are rarely heard from again after the nomination. Well I've been the hardest working, most high-profile third party V.P. in recent history. When I do something (anything) I'm passionate about, I give one hundred and eighty percent. So I thought it might be a fun idea to educate voters about a day in my life and the challenges I face on a daily basis.
What a journey it is has been since I was honored with the Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nomination last May. I have traveled the country; sat down for hundreds of media interviews; and I have appeared nonstop on talk radio across the USA- sometimes as many as 6 to 8 radio shows per day. In just a 72 hour period this past week, I was a guest on a dozen radio shows- including UK national radio on â€œThe George Galloway Showâ€� (a former leader of Parliament), and then just 48 hours later Canadian national radio on â€œAdler On-Line with Charles Adler.â€� Tomorrow I'll be a guest on one of the most popular shows on New York radio â€œThe John Gambling Showâ€� on WOR Radio (guest hosted by Rita Cosby, formerly of Fox News and MSNBC). In between there were local radio station interviews across the USA. What a whirlwind! And certainly not your typical media schedule for a third party V.P. But then I don't do anything quietly.
But here's what's truly different about my campaign- unlike Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain or Sarah Palin, this isn't my full-time occupation. You see I am a citizen politician. I run for the 2nd highest office in the land, while I run my small business (35 employees). My business happens to be intense, high-pressure and centered around media (TV, radio, web). So while I run for Vice President off the United States and give hundreds of media interviews, blog interviews, and find the time to travel to events across the country; I'm also running a complex business as CEO; producing and starring on two national sports radio shows (heard on 41 stations across the USA); a web television show; analyzing and predicting the winners of sporting events for thousands of clients; and doing dozens of sports radio interviews a weekend.
Yes, you heard correctly- I'm the first Vice Presidential candidate in history to do media interviews where I'm asked to solve America's biggest problems- war, economy, taxes, illegal immigration, health care and education- then have to switch roles to do a different media interview (sometimes minutes later) to predict who will win the Super Bowl. And as a father of 4 young children, I also help my wife to run a family of six. Now that's a feat that I'd like to see my fellow candidates manage.
What is a typical day like? I sometimes start my day by awakening from a dead-sleep, to answer the phone at 4:45 AM, sit up in bed, and go straight into an important political interview with thousands of Americans listeningâ€¦head to my home gym for a one hour workout (which I never miss)â€¦then head off to manage my business for a full day's workâ€¦then rush to the airportâ€¦fly to a political eventâ€¦get off the plane in a strange city, turn on my cell phone to find that I have 26 phone messages and 75 emails waitingâ€¦take a call within seconds from a radio stationâ€¦do a radio interview in the car on the way to the political eventâ€¦then arrive at the event to deliver a speechâ€¦get back to my hotel and answer 125 emailsâ€¦before finally drifting off to sleep at 2 AM. Then I wake up to do it all again. R&R (rest & relaxation) is not a luxury afforded to either CEO's or national political candidates. And in a brilliant move, I have chosen to do both at once. LOL.
That's a pretty typical day in my life. But wait, it gets better! In the midst of all this, editors and reporters stick microphones in my face and try to catch me saying something stupid, or controversial, or just plain wrong. Occasionally (thank goodness, VERY occasionally) I give an interview I'd like to redo, or simply say a few words I wish I could take back. It has happened perhaps a half dozen times out of hundreds of interviews. That's a pretty darn good track record.
But can you imagine in the midst of that grueling schedule- where many interviews are given at 4 AM or 11 PM (or both on the same day), or after getting off an airplane (after a full day of work)- having to be perfect every time, or face criticism by readers or listeners or opponents or the media? Can you imagine being perfect hundreds of times, then having one sentence or one word taken out of context and used to denigrate everything you've done and everything you stand for? Can you imagine being perfect hundreds of times, then being criticized for one issue or opinion that one critic doesn't like? Can you imagine having each word you choose picked apart, just so a critic or political opponent can score political points? Can you imagine doing 100 great interviews, then getting slammed by critics for the one lousy one? Can you even imagine that kind of tremendous stress, pressure and responsibility? That's my day, every day.
Politics is tough, but now I understand why there haven't been any true â€œcitizen politiciansâ€� since the days of our Founding Fathers (until I came along). Running a business, a large family, national TV and radio shows, and a national political campaign is a tough mix. Am I having second thoughts? Not a one. I'm loving every minute. I can't wait for 2012.
Just try to remember what my days are like the next time you start to criticize the way one interview, one sentence or one word sounded. Just try to consider the hours your candidate puts in; the personal and professional sacrifices he or she makes; the intense stress, pressure and time constraints they are operating under. It's grueling. Most of all, I miss the time I used to spend with my family. I wish I could spend more time with my new baby daughter Contessa. I miss playing football with my boys Hudson and Remington. I miss dinners with my oldest daughter Dakota (who gave my nomination speech for President of the United States on C-SPAN). Yet I do it- and love it- because I love the Libertarian cause.
It's my passion to spread Libertarian ideas for smaller government, lower spending, lower taxes and more freedom. Just be glad it's me out there, instead of you. And then be sure to VOTE! That's the only sacrifice we ask of you.
Wayne Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com.