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How to Run for President of the United States

Updated on March 8, 2016

With the employment market ever shrinking one option for the unemployed is to look to a political career. So many people are throwing their hats[1] into the presidential race these days that I did some research as to why someone in their right mind[2], with little or no chance of winning would run for President. My findings indicate there are great monetary benefits to having run even a failed presidential bid.

Living expenses. While you run, all of your expense are paid for out of the campaign fund. Live in nice hotels, eat in the best restaurants, travel by private jet, shop at the best stores, and even hire a personal trainer to get you in shape. If you just keep running for something, you may never pay living expenses again.

Speaking engagements. Even failed candidates get speaking engagements that can range from graduations to rallies or gatherings of groups like the Sierra Club, NRA, NAACP, and ACLU. Sarah Palin, who never actually ran for President (only hinted at it) may not be considered the brightest bulb in the cookie jar[3], but she demands and gets one hundred thousand dollars for speaking at a rally or some college nobody ever heard of. They pay it because it draws people, and more importantly, media attention to their organization.

TV appearances. Make the talk show rounds, where even minimum payments for guests can run to about $700 for a few minutes on the show, plus they pay for travel costs, and you get a stipend for miscellaneous expenses. If things get really bad, you can always do “Dancing With the Stars”. Celebrities reportedly get well over a hundred thousand dollars just for signing up.

Your own TV show. Several former candidates got their own shows on some of the news networks. Not to pick once again on the ex-governor of Alaska, but according to a Fox News report her show earned her a quarter of a million dollars per episode.

Book Deals. Everyone’s favorite cold weather governor (I know, I am picking on her again but I want to set the bar low to prove my point) reportedly made over seven million dollars on her first book. If you’re thinking, “I can’t write a book”, don’t worry, you don’t have to actually write it; just have a ghostwriter interview you and do the writing.

Okay, now you are interested right. So how do you go about doing this? Read on.

The Travel’n Person Seven-Step method to running for President

1. Form an exploratory committee.

This is basically a group of people (who are later paid by your campaign fund so hire your family members) that determines if you can get funding and enough support to get on a primary ballot somewhere. This group also has the job of getting signatures on a petition or two that says you should run for president. Strategy note: you can get people to sign just about anything if you hand out free stuff. It doesn’t even have to be good stuff!

The committee also decides on which political party you should join. Independents used to have to find some off-the-charts political party[4] to put them on the ballot. No more! Pick one of the major parties and its best if they already have more candidates than you can shake a stick at[5]!

2. Form a Super PAC.

PAC stands for Political Action Committee. They have names like “Citizens for Liberty” or something else that gives no clue as to whose money is behind them. Just make sure you have words like “Freedom” or “Liberty” or “Patriots” in the name. Note: you cannot legally do this yourself – have a friend start that for you – then pretend to stop talking to them for a while.

3. You need a Gimmick.

In the past, candidates who ran but had no chance of winning were doing it to bring attention to a specific cause, like education or civil rights. Today, all you have to do is attack some minority group like left-handed Hungarian Accountants[6], who are “taking away jobs from right-handed accountants”.

Attacking minority groups used to be a real no-no in U.S. politics but now seems to be acceptable … and remember; you don’t really want to win. The more politically incorrect you get, the more you get on the evening news. Other countries are always fair game. I think our government has a standing agreement with China allowing our politicians to trash them in exchange for us buying all of our stuff from them. It’s a win-win.

The thing is, no matter how off-the-wall or radical your comments, some group of people will actually agree with you and give you money.

4. Acquire a Billionaire Sponsor.

You might be saying, “How can I convince some wealthy person to donate money to my campaign or to a PAC that supports me?” This used to be difficult, I’ll admit, but today they don’t even want to control government any more, they just want to fund someone who might win so they can brag to their other wealthy friends and place bets on how soon your candidate drops out of the race or is embroiled in some scandal verses their candidate.

For the super wealthy, it is like owning a football team. They don’t do it to make money; they do it for sport. Instead of having a luxury box, they might get to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom someday.

Another benefit is that putting money into PAC’s counts as Charitable Giving. The donors look like good members of the community, while bribing future government officials, and saving tax money.

5. Write that book.

You have to start out early and publish a book that talks about restoring the American dream and tells the tale of how your immigrant parents or grandparents worked hard, sent you to college, taught you values like hard work and honesty, etc. Note: you must have someone who struggled from the bottom somewhere in your ancestry, although faking it could be good for later in case you need to drop out of the race.

6. Make sure you have had a career outside of politics.

This is a new trend. People now hate career politicians so it is best if you have no experience. It also helps you out when you can’t answer questions about running a government or views on foreign policy (built in excuse for saying dumb things).

7. Finally, you need to shoot a gun and video tape it.

Please do not just fire the gun into the air. What goes up eventually comes down. You want a target that symbolizes something people hate and can get behind … not literally, I hope. Good targets include large legal documents (stack of paper you can label as the “tax code” works) and television sets (preferably old tube types) playing an ad for another politician.

Important note: If you’ve never fired a gun before you might want a to hire someone who has, and have them stand off camera and shot the target for you while you point a gun that has no bullets or shells[7].

Second important note: Get that person who knows how to shoot, to show you how to hold the gun first. One congressional candidate in a mid-western state filmed an ad holding a gun the wrong way and it killed his whole campaign.

There you have it. Career Plan B. It’s still not too late to get in on the 2016 election and remember, the sooner you get in, the sooner you get out and the money starts rolling in faster than an athlete from a losing team gets into the broadcast booth for the playoffs.

A word or two of caution:

It is important to remember that you do not want to actually win. Don’t come crying to me if you mess this up and get elected.

President is a lousy job and pretty much undoable because of so much Washington in fighting (probably by design). In addition to the job difficulties, you have to take constant criticism of both how you do your job and lead your personal life. TV “News” people will make a career out of lambasting you and your family. Late night talk shows will examine every word you say, face you make, gesture and pose – turning them into comedy bits and then cut and paste portions into YouTube videos that will be played repeatedly until every shred of your dignity is gone. I cannot stress enough that you do not want this job.


[1] Sayings with the word “Hat” meant something many years ago when politicians wore hats, now only one of them wears a hat when he is outdoors and that’s only to keep the comb-over in place

[2] Okay, this trait is questionable among some of the candidates

[3] For some reason that’s where she keeps em’

[4] A few actual political party names: Unites States Pirate Party, American Vegetarian Party, Surprise Party (yes this is real), and the Guns and Dope Party (still active by the way).

[5] Shaking a stick at things seems to be a popular past time in some parts of the country so just go with it.

[6] How do they even account? The number pad is always on the right side of the keyboard!

[7] If you don’t know the difference between bullets and shells, then I definitely recommend this approach

© 2016 Travel'n Person


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