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               Voting for the “First Family,” too


When you vote for a president, you are also voting – in a very real way – for his family too.  That is, because with that kind of potentially high profile for each, every family member, not just the president, has a tremendous opportunity to impact various aspects of our society, and of the world.


And in this family section, I have created extensive pages for each of our family members, so you know who you might be ‘voting’ for in these other areas.  And the following is just somewhat of a cliff note on each of the Schriners…


My wife Liz and I have been married 21, or has it been 22, years now.  Uh, hopefully she won’t listen to this audio.  Anyway… Liz would be a lot like Eleanor Roosevelt, who used her First Lady status to push all sorts of agendas.  Like Eleanor, Liz is a real dynamo.  She’s a quite active mom, homeschooled our kids on the road, has an agricultural science degree and has a keen sense about ‘all things farming.’ She has started a successful business publishing local magazines, and is quite studied on all sorts of “women’s issues.”


Oh, and she gardens, runs and usually beats me soundly in Scrabble.


Some of the agendas Liz would push in D.C. would include: more gender equality; ramped up help to our inner cities; more small farm, sustainable agriculture; more creative, child-centered (vs. standardized tests) approaches to our education system, much more intervention on the growing phenomenon of human trafficking… and Liz would push much more as well.


And like mother, like daughter, for our oldest child Sarah.


Sarah, who is a freshman at Franciscan University as I record this, has regularly volunteered at outreaches in the city; has regularly protested abortion on the streets and tried to inspire the same among her peers in talks, and by her example on abortion protest front lines.  Sarah won a writing contest for all of Northeast Ohio several years ago, for an essay she did on helping stop global warming.  She placed third in a regional Oratorical Contest for the American Legion.  She was involved with a new Peer Mediation Team at Bluffton High School.  And she is currently majoring in social work at college.


Oh, and Sarah is quite an artist and photographer.  She also plays college soccer.  And she has just started to come close to occasionally beating me on the basketball court.  Uh… Hopefully Sarah won’t hear this audio either.  Sarah was actually just named “Newcomer of the Year” in the Alleghany Mountain Conference for basketball.  Okay, she has actually beat me one-on-one in basketball of late, but only when she got lucky, of course.


Some of the agendas Sarah would push in D.C. would include: mobilizing way more young people to help those on the margins of society; inspire more young people to dynamically “stand up for life,” while working exhaustively to provide more safety nets for women in crisis pregnancy.  Sarah would also get behind more creative trust and community building initiatives in schools as a counter to the ever increasing ostracizing, bullying and overt violence now in our schools.

Sarah, indeed, would be a great First kid, as would our son Joseph.


Joseph is 17 as I record this.  He plays soccer, basketball and baseball in high school – and will probably come in from the bullpen, so to speak, for those “…throwing out the first pitch occasions,” since his old man has lost, oh, a bit of velocity on his fast balls.  (Actually, Joseph was the winning pitcher on record against McComb High School the other night.)


In the summers, Joseph works on a small farm on the outskirts of Bluffton.  And given the small-farm, perma-culture kind of thing we’re going to do with the rather expansive, and currently wasted land, of the White House lawn, Joseph will be perfect in helping with the transformation of that.  Joseph also loves to cook and has volunteered at various Soup Kitchens around the country as we’ve traveled.  This will serve him, and others, well – because the White House kitchen staff is probably going to need some help – after we move some homeless people into the wasted space in the West Wing.


I mean, as just one example:  Lincoln’s bedroom is free.  He’s dead.  And instead of continuing to just use his big bedroom as an occasional Bed & Breakfast for so called dignitaries, why not turn it into a full time bedroom for several homeless vets currently on the streets of D.C.?  Guys who put their lives on the line for us.


And Joseph would be right there in the thick of all these changes, helping in whatever way he could.  He’s like that. 


And our 12-year-old Jonathan… He, too, is involved with multiple sports (soccer, basketball…), which will come in handy once the ambassador’s kids start getting bored at the State House dinners.  


What’s more, Jonathan is young, vivacious, loves to learn… and has been a tremendous consultant to me in helping formulate many of my positions.  


For instance, when I look at Jonathan’s youth, his innocence…  I am, time and again, inspired to come up with everything possible to make sure he has a wholesome, safe, environmentally sound… world to inherit.


In the middle of a talk at the University of Notre Dame, I had a then seven-year-old Jonathan walk up to the stage.  He stood in the foreground, with a slide of heavy, factory smoke-stack emissions billowing into the sky in the background.


Jonathan, in this tremendously cute voice, recited a short poem he’d just learned.


The sky is blue,

The grass is green.

With lots of fresh air,

Sandwiched in between.


And thus my stance on stopping global warming was solidified that night.  For Jonathan’s sake, and for all the little Jonathan’s out there, who deserve to have a world free of climate chaos.  What sane parent wouldn’t want that?


Yeah Jonathan, standing by my side at the White House, will be a tremendous asset.  Not only to me, but to all the kids of the country – and all the kids of the world.


Oh, and I’m Joe Schriner.  And not only do I approve of this message, I can assure you that with the Schriner family – things are going to be a lot different, and a lot better, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  As long as no windows get broken by an errant soccer ball, or something.

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