Have you ever dreamed of running for president of the United States?
C'mon, you know you've been watching the GOP presidential debates and thinking to yourself: I can do better than that.
You can remember at least three federal departments you'd like to eliminate. You've never needed to settle a sexual-harassment complaint. You know that the HPV vaccine doesn't make people retarded.
And, hey, you're not Mitt Romney, which gives you a reasonable shot of getting at least a temporary bump in the polls at some point.
If you're an outsider with new ideas ...
If you've got the fire in your belly ...
If you've got lots of stuff twirling 'round in your head ...
Then Project White House 2012 is for you!
So what is Project White House 2012?
It's a Reality Journalism competition revolving around the Arizona presidential primary on Feb. 28.
You see, in Arizona, you don't need to gather signatures to get on the presidential-primary ballot. You don't need to pay a filing fee (which is quite a bargain, by the way—in New Hampshire, it costs $1,000 to get a spot on the primary ballot these days). You don't even need to show your birth certificate.
All you have to do is fill out a two-page form, have it notarized, and send it off to the Arizona secretary of state.
Here's how it works: Just download a nominating petition from our website, which will be available just as soon as Secretary of State Ken Bennett finalizes it.
Now you have to make a big decision: Do you want to run as a Democrat or a Republican?
It's your choice, but remember: Barack Obama has already locked up the Democratic nomination with his thuggish, Chicago-style politics, while the Republican field is open to anyone who can say "9-9-9." (BTW, you don't have to be a registered Republican to run on the Republican ticket, or a registered Democrat to run on the Democratic ticket. Crazy, right? We Arizonans are all about freedom!)
Once you have the form filled out, get it notarized, and send it to us by Tuesday, Jan. 3. We'll even send it along to the Arizona secretary of state on your behalf! You can also send it directly to the secretary of state; just make sure it gets there by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9.
Then start emailing your campaign propaganda to us. We'll need your biography, your photo (preferably in front of an American flag) and your plans for fixing the country. It can be as simple as a series of numerals, or as complicated as a 500-page manifesto. (We make no promises that we'll actually read your 500-page manifesto.)
When the presidential field is set in early January, we'll introduce our favorite candidates to the readers of the Tucson Weekly, and launch a website where you can publish your position papers, post your campaign posters or even link to your own campaign ads on YouTube.
During January and February, we'll present various challenges to our candidates. You'll need to find Facebook followers for your campaign. You'll have to make speeches in front of local Rotary clubs. You'll have to make attack ads hitting Mitt Romney or Rick Perry.
Who knows? Maybe we'll even put on the 236th televised debate of the primary season.
In our Thursday, Feb. 23, print edition, we'll announce our endorsements in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.
Then, on Election Day, Tuesday, Feb. 28, you're in the hands of the voters.
So get to it! Fill out your paperwork, and start assembling that manifesto. It's time to get America back to work!
Because, really: Can we do much worse than we have now?
Project White House 2012 Rules
• You must be at least 35 years old as of Jan. 20, 2013.
• You must have been born in the United States.
• You must have lived in the United States for the past 14 years.
• You must deliver your campaign platform to us by midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
• You must include an email address and phone number so we can contact you.
• Important: Do not visit the Tucson Weekly offices to discuss Project White House. If you pester our staff about it, you may be disqualified. The PWH 2012 administration office is off-site, and scheduled office hours will be held at Project White House happy hours, which will occur at a sponsoring tavern. (Have we mentioned that there are multiple sponsoring opportunities available for Project White House?)
• Send your entries to:
Project White House
P.O. Box 27087
Tucson, AZ 85726-7087
Or email ProjectWhiteHouse@tucsonweekly.com