Project White House

Presenting the 1st ever 'Tucson Weekly' Presidential Campaign Contest

So you want to run for president.

C'mon, it's crossed your mind before. You've said to yourself: It's just about time I had a seat at the table, a voice in the debate, a chance to show 'em how it's done.

You know you can obfuscate your positions and sidestep questions as well as Hillary.1 You've got humble roots just like John Edwards.2 You can transcend the current broken system and create a new politics of hope just like Obama.3 You've seen just as many UFOs as Dennis Kucinich.4 You can stare into a camera as well as Mike Gravel.5

You can talk tough about Sept. 11 as well as Rudy Giuliani.6 You're just as eager to cage the enemy at Guantanamo as Mitt Romney.7 You can spout folksy wisdom as well as Fred Thompson.8 And anyone could raise as much money as John McCain has.

You know how to solve our great nation's problems. You can win the war in Iraq, secure the borders and pay off the national debt. You can protect the American people from unfair taxes and beat back the special interests. You're all about sustainability, accountability and a dozen other campaign buzz words. You know how to make sure there's a Prius in every garage and a free-range chicken in every pot. You'll make the trains run on time.

Project White House is your chance to step up to the mike and prove it.9

It turns out that all you have to do to get on the Feb. 5 presidential primary ballot in Arizona is fill out a nomination form. You don't have to pay any fee; you don't have to gather any signatures.

Yes, that's right: The state of Arizona will take anybody.10 There's no political party with veto power to cock-block our fun this political season.

So here's how Project White House works: Download the nomination form from our Web site, and fill it out.

Then let us know why you want to run for president of the United States in the Arizona primary on either the Democratic or Republican ticket. (Sorry, but the Libertarians and Greens don't get a state-sponsored primary in February.)

Mail us your campaign platform, or e-mail it to us at It can be anything from an essay explaining why you want to run in 250 words or less to a 500-page anti-government manifesto.11 Include whatever supporting documents you want: a résumé, your homemade TV campaign ad, a PowerPoint presentation. We recommend that you toss in a photo.12

Get the whole package to us by midnight on Friday, Dec. 7, for consideration as part of Project White House.

If we conclude that you're newsworthy, we'll give your campaign some ink. And if you're a candidate we really like, you'll have a shot at the coveted Tucson Weekly endorsement, which means we'll cover your campaign every week in January.13

What if we decide you're not newsworthy enough for our pages? We'll still help you out by notarizing your campaign form for free and mailing it to Arizona Secretary of State's Office.14 All you have to do to secure your place on the ballot15 is show up at our office (at 3280 E. Hemisphere Loop, Suite 180) and sign it in our presence.

If you don't live in Tucson but still want to be part of Project White House, you can still join in the fun, but you'll be responsible for mailing your own notarized form.

Suppose you want to run for president without participating in Project White House.16 You're in luck! Simply download the nomination form, fill out it, find your own notary and mail it to the Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer by 5 p.m. on Dec. 17.

It's fun, it's easy, and dammit, it's American!17

Project White House Rules

  1. You must be at least 35 years old as of Jan. 21, 2009.
  2. You must have been born in the United States.
  3. You have lived in the United States for the last 14 years.
  4. You must deliver your campaign platform to us by midnight on Friday, Dec. 7.
  5. You must include an e-mail address and phone number so we can contact you.

Send entries to:

Project White House
P.O. Box 27087
Tucson, AZ 85726


The Enabling Legislation

ARS 16-242
Qualifications for ballot; nomination paper

A. A person seeking nomination as a candidate for the office of president of the United States shall sign and cause to be filed with the secretary of state a nomination paper that contains the following information:

1. The name, residence address and mailing address of the candidate.

2. The name of the recognized political party from which the person seeks nomination.

3. The name and address of the chairman of the candidate's state committee.

4. The exact manner for printing the candidate's name on the presidential preference ballot pursuant to section 16-311.

B. The nomination paper shall be filed not less than fifty days nor more than seventy days before the presidential preference election and not later than 5:00 p.m. on the last day for filing.

C. Section 16-351 does not apply to a nomination paper filed pursuant to this section.

D. Within seventy-two hours after the close of filing the secretary of state shall certify to the officer in charge of elections the names of the candidates who are qualified for the presidential preference election ballot.

1 OK, maybe nobody can obfuscate positions and sidestep questions as well as Hillary.

2 Although even with a $400 haircut, you'll never be as good-looking.

3 For cryin' out loud, that guy was in the Illinois Senate just five years ago. You've practically got as much experience as he does!

4 We're betting, however, that you've never partied at Shirley MacLaine's house.

5 Who's Mike Gravel?

6 Here's the great thing about that: If you can talk tough enough about Sept. 11, you don't have to stake out any other positions, and your personal life can be as messy as you want!

7 Odds are you haven't changed your mind about as many issues as frequently as Romney has.

8 And you probably have twice his energy level!

9 Plus, you'll be able to tell your grandkids you once ran for president!

10 Even Stephen Colbert! Where have you gone, Stephen Colbert? Arizona's Colbert Nation turns its lonely eyes toward you!

11 The Tucson Weekly offers no guarantees we will actually read your manifesto.

12 While the Tucson Weekly may, at its discretion, send a photographer to take your picture should we determine that you are newsworthy, we recommend that you send your own photo to better control your image. A flag in the background is always a nice touch.

13 The Tucson Weekly reserves the right to cease covering your campaign in the event that we determine you are no longer newsworthy.

14 The Tucson Weekly reserves the right to refuse to notarize any candidate form for any reason, particularly if we don't like you.

15 Not to mention your place in history!

16 Or you're a procrastinator, and you miss our deadline. We would point out that procrastination is not a good quality in the Leader of the Free World.

17 Not to mention a bargain. A spot on the New Hampshire primary ballot costs $1,000!