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construction: the underdog: part i
the invitation
by jeffrey d. walker

2008 will be a year of change. And that's not just because Barack Obama says so. On November fourth, 2008, or at least shortly thereafter, the next president of this country will be elected.

Wait! If politics isn't your thing, I implore you to stick around at least to the end of this article. This is a really short piece by Intrepid Media's standards, so my pitch won't take long.

I get pretty freakin' excited about presidential elections. It's like a hunger I can only satisfy every four years. It starts building during the first round of caucuses and primaries. After the majority of candidates are forced out sometime in February due to a lack of funds, a lack of support, or a lack of hope, I am left to savor a small plateful of candidates, whose morsels I will pick over for months until my stomach is upset by the political rhetoric, my acid reflux keeping me up over what the future may hold. My political hunger will hold me on the verge of nausea by the time November rolls around, and election day finally comes, and I will stay up for hours feasting on percentages and gorging on maps of red and blue states until either a president is announced and my hunger is satisfied, or else I fall asleep in my chair in front of a television much like I will after eating to much on Thanksgiving.

Can you see how much fun this is for me?

Last time a president was elected, I tried to entertain myself and at least a couple of others in a series of four articles collectively entitled "enter the underdog"[FN 1], where I pretended to run a third-party presidential campaign. Of course it was a joke from the outset; I wasn't then, nor am I now old enough to be the president. I'll also admit, the whole thing wasn't all that well thought out. At any rate, the exercise of writing a campaign that can't succeed anyway (due to my youth, of course), is not something I want to repeat.

But I still want to talk about politics. Only this time, I'd like to have a conversation. And I am formally inviting each and every one of you to participate. Whether the hunger for politics is something you already share or not, I'd like you to join me. Over the next nine months, February through October, I'm planning on writing a series of pieces, each concentrating on one of the challenges that our next president will likely face. For each topic, I plan on researching opinions from a variety of sources to present to you in as balanced and informative of format as I can manage. Of course, it would be un-Walker-like to forego any opinion. However, my goal is not to preach, but instead to discuss.

The beauty of the internet, in my opinion, is the ability to talk with people you wouldn't usually be able to discuss things with. Here at Intrepid Media, I've enjoyed sharing ideas with people across time-zones, across different generations, across political boundaries. By virtue of the diversity available by this forum, I am now hoping to get a true discussion on the issues going. I'm hoping to hear opinions from not only those who can't contain them, but also from those who don't usually mention them.

For those who are willing to speak up who aren't already signed into Intrepid, it's free. Your input is desired, and will add to the discussion I'd like to have. Believe it or not, I want to hear from you.

As I begin, if you have a topic or two that you'd really like me to cover, you should let me know. If I'm asking you to participate, I'd sure like to cover your interests.

Here's what I won't do: mock you, try to convert your opinion to mine, or correct your grammar. I am honestly hoping that, if someone who is going to be in charge out there, or someone who speaks to our next president, is looking scanning the internet looking for a forum of opinions, we will have each put ours on record to be heard.

And if nobody is listening, and if things aren't the way we'd like them to be four years from now, well, at least I'd technically have a chance to win.

FN 1: See, if you must, the “enter the underdog” series: i, ii, iii, and iv, but you don’t need to, really.


A practicing attorney and semi-professional musician, Walker writes for his own amusement, for the sake of opinion, to garner a couple of laughs, and to perhaps provoke a question or two, but otherwise, he doesn't think it'll amount to much.

more about jeffrey d. walker


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sandra thompson
1.21.08 @ 3:47p

Great idea, Jeffrey. I'd like someone to discusds the situation of our national debt being owned by various other countries, who may or may not have our best interests at heart, so to speak.

jeffrey walker
1.21.08 @ 3:52p

You're on! I will ensure that our nation's debt situation will officially be a topic in this series.

russ carr
1.21.08 @ 4:32p

By definition of my collegiate career, I am allegedly a journalist first and a political scientist second, so it would be remiss of me to dodge this forum. I'll consider a topic and get back to you.

tracey kelley
1.21.08 @ 9:31p

In reference to my caucus column (SHAMELESS PROMOTION!), I'd like to discuss the benefits of caucus and primary exercises of the two-party system-
-when that same system can penalize its own party by not participating/withdrawing names from the the process;
-whether people really take the process seriously or if its all media hype;
-and why or if people should pay attention to the process.

robert melos
1.21.08 @ 11:01p

This may be along the lines of what Tracey was suggesting, but I'd like to know why I've heard states like Florida and I think it was Michigan aren't being counted by the democrat party in the primaries simply because they moved up their primaries? And why should only a handfull of states get to choose who the rest of us can vote for in November? In other words, what is the purpose of primaries as opposed to just just holding an election with all the candidates running and let the top two be president and VP, even if they are from different parties?

dorothy kyle
1.22.08 @ 1:28p

Hi Jeff, its been awhile since I have been here and the nice thing about this topic is that you and I have discussed this face to face, by the way who says you are not old enough to be or to run for president.

jeffrey walker
1.22.08 @ 1:37p

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution says so - must be 35 to run for US President. Also says you must be a "... Citizen of the United States... and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

jael mchenry
1.22.08 @ 2:50p

Don't forget "native-born", which should keep us safe from dreams of President Schwarzenegger...

dorothy kyle
1.22.08 @ 9:08p

The change has already began for this country, 10 yrs ago the thought of a women and a african-american man running against each other was only something we questioned and discussed. As an attorney, Jeff, there is and always will be exemptions to the rules. We make landmark cases everday, I do believe after the last bad 8 years the American people have decided to reach for what is best for US and not what is sugared coated to be the best. We the Americans need and crave for a whole new make over. Lets start with a Question to make an opinion;tell me one good thing that has happened for us in the past 8 years?


jeffrey walker
1.24.08 @ 2:15a

Fair enough, DK. But consider this: even if I had the time and resources to try to get elected before I turn 35, it will have to be in this upcoming election. I'll never pull such a stunt off by this November, and in trying to do so, stand a good chance at ruining my credibility in the process. Better I wait this one out.

And as to the foreign born item, the Constitution states: "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;"

I read the second section of that sentence as independent, meaning that the forefathers may intend for "... a Citizen...", even one naturalized, could run. But I had never thought about it until reading the sentence just now.

Hmmm. President Schwarzenegger.

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