If John Davis is elected president in 2012, he will have earned it.
He plans to visit every county in America, and so far he's hit 260 with about 3,000 to go.His 43-foot motor home is scheduled to stop at Jasper's Porch Restaurant in Ridgeland at 5:40 p.m. today. He will visit Beaufort and Colleton counties on Saturday.
Davis gets out with a 36-inch pipe wrench painted red, white and blue with stars. It symbolizes his battle cry: Let's fix America.
In his 20-minute give-and-take with the people of each county, he may mention ratcheting down big government and turning off the valve of overspending.
He's afraid if America doesn't change now, in five or six years "we could be done for." Debt will choke the nation, he said.
"We're going to need every American to help," he told me by cell phone from somewhere in Georgia. "People say if we could just get a good president we'd be OK, but it won't work that way. It will take every one of us to pull this country back up. It's not one person. We all like our political parties, but at a certain point we've got to realize this is an American problem instead of a Democratic or Republican or independent problem."
Davis is seeking the Republican nomination on a platform that is "pro-God, family, country, military, Second Amendment, pro-life and pro-balanced budget." For the 54-year-old home builder from Grand Junction, Colo., it would be his first public office.
He said he's raised $10,000 since he started. He and his wife, Debra, their 18-year-old son and two of his friends stay on the road for two weeks, then go home for a week.
Their stops are mapped out by computer, which tells them to the minute when they should arrive. He said his campaign has two full-time workers, one part-time one and a couple of volunteers. His website has gotten 265,000 hits, with a record 8,300 on Wednesday, he said.
"People ask me how I'm going to create jobs," Davis said. "Everyone is feeling the hands of the economy around their necks. But the federal government doesn't create jobs. Free enterprise does. We have too much government interference. We've got to turn it back over to the entrepreneurs -- the American people -- to get them going again."
He said people ask him what he'd cut to balance the federal budget.
"We have to cut everything," he said. "We're out of money and we only have so much to go around. We're going to agree to balance the budget, and then decide what we're going to cut. Everyone will have to help."
People on the street understand that, Davis said, just like they understand his red, white and blue pipe wrench.