Daniel Kingery's quest for White House

February 24, 2008|By BOB MAGINNIS

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Daniel Kingery.

If you're saying "Daniel who," you're not alone.

Kingery is running for president. When he came to The Herald-Mail's offices this past week, I asked him: "President of what?"

"Of the United States," he said.

Born in Iowa in 1961, Kingery's Web site - - says he's a high-school graduate who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marines in 1983.

He ran for selectman in Peterborough, N.H., at least three times, he said. But he never got enough votes to win.


He's running for president because he believes the U.S. should become a pure democracy, tossing out the current system as he said is provided for in the Declaration of Independence.

On his Web site, he is as frank about his personal failings as a devout Catholic in the confessional. He divorced after 13 years of marriage, "resulting from my own tactless lack of good judgment."

He goes on to note that "At various other times in my life, I've been a thief, adulterer, verbally insulted others, drank, smoked and lied, among many others that I'm not so proud of."

After living in several states, he arrived in Wilcox, Ariz., where he said he purchased a laundromat and ran a handyman business.

But then, he said, he was "bombarded" by media reports about the campaign.

He came to the conclusion that "It was pretty much another campiagn as usual."

After it is over, he said, "The nation won't be any better than it was when the last three presidents took over."

Asuming that you're right, I asked, why is Daniel Kingery the man to fix things?

Because, he said, "I've actually got a plan to fix problems and finance them."

On the problem of crime, Kingery said that once convicted, prisoners should work while incarcerated.

"In doing that, people will realize that they are going to work harder in jail than they would on the outside, so there's less benefit for being arrested," he said.

On the problems with the economy, Kingery said that if a business is in trouble because it's not providing a quality service or product, the government should let it go under.

"The government shouldn't be bailing out corporation after corporation," he said.

The same goes for the mortgage industry and the people who borrowed knowing that they really couldn't afford to do so, he said.

When I mention this sounds like a "tough love" approach, Kingery agreed that it was.

"More often that not, it works," he said.

On the Iraq war, Kingery said that now that the original justifications for that conflict have been debunked, the Iraqi people need to be asked if they're "willing to risk their lives and fortunes to have what we have (in America.)"

"If they don't want it, we should leave, but we have to find a way to leave without making the situation worse," he said.

At this point, Kingery's war chest consists of $10,000 he received from the sale of the laundromat. With it, he has already traveled through 12 states, talking to journalists at small to mid-sized newspapers.

Asked if he really believes that an unknown with little money can win, Kingery said that he's done all he can do to get his message out.

"Name recognition tends to come from the media. Before the media told me about who the people running now are, I didn't have any idea who they were," he said.

"Having filed in the middle September (with the Federal Election Commission,) I was shocked that the news media hadn't called. The fact that you haven't heard of me isn't my fault," he said.

The coverage he has received has hardly been flattering or even respectful, sometimes highlighting the fact that his campaign vehicle is a rusty 1986 Ford Crown Victoria.

In December, the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal noted that he was living in the car as well as campaigning with it.

Earlier this month, The Shore Line Times in Connecticut covered his visit there with a story that used this headline on its Web site: "He wants to be your president - no joke."

Newspapers cover such candidates - some more respectfully than others - because journalists believe that everyone has a right to be heard.

Whether they have anything valuable to say is another question, but at least in this case he can't say "the media" didn't give him a chance to say what he felt was important

Bob Maginnis is
editorial page editor of
The Herald-Mail newspapers.

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