While I was strolling along the campus of Drake University on the morning of the Democratic presidential debate, I couldn’t help but notice a massive campaign bus for an outsider running for president. No, it was not Donald Trump’s bus. Rather, it belonged to Robby Wells, a candidate who is running on the platform of being a “New Breed Democrat.” I wanted to ask for some literature of his as a souvenir, and I knocked on the bus for the campaign (all the while, I was accompanied by Maggie, the Institute of Politics staffer who had the good fortune to be following me along). Wells’s security guard said to wait a few minutes because he was getting dressed, and about five minutes later, out stepped Robby Wells himself. I decided to do a quick interview (it ended up lasting more like 30 minutes), and we touched on most of the aspects about his campaign. I wasn’t able to record it, because my phone never has enough space for these things, so here are some of the things I learned about Wells and his campaign (this is to the best of my ability, but I am confident it is all accurate):
His campaign is based in Atlanta, and he has logged almost 40,000 miles on his bus driving from coast to coast, and he has made stops in 38 states so far.
He first decided that he will run for president when he was 8 years old. His dad worked for Jimmy Carter, and a few days before Election Day in 1976 (or a few days immediately after), he was with Jimmy Carter at Carter’s house, and he had told Carter that Carter was going to be president. Carter said, yes I am, and you will be too! He took these words to heart and never gave up.
He ran as an independent in 2012, participated in 10 debates, all of which he won. This was to get training for debates this time around. It would have been bad if he had won with any of the nominations of the smaller parties whose nominations he had sought because that would have made it difficult to run for president as a Democrat. I asked him if these forums had Vermin Supreme at them, and he told me that these ten forums (I don’t know which ones they were) did not have him, but he did meet him once. Vermin walked up and asked him if he wanted a pony, and his response was “yes, but I also want a saddle.”
He believes in Eaglenomics, which unites the best of the left wing and the right wing, so he wants to do things like bring back manufacturing jobs, get us on the track to energy independence, and make community college free.
He wasn’t invited to participate in either of the debates yet, but he thinks that there will be a lot of people at the debate in South Carolina because he lived there for 25 years and was a football coach there.
He thinks the outsider mood shows that people want a change, and that he views his lack of experience as an asset.
He has a short list of 10 or so people on the VP shortlist that will be similar to what Obama did by picking Biden for experience. He won’t name them because they might do something crazy in the next few months.
There you have it folks! My first interview with a presidential candidate! This isn’t an everyday occurrence, but stay tuned, you never know who I’ll come across next.