''Average Joe'' Schriner is just like everyone else.
With a wife and three children, the Ohio native has deep concern about the future of the United States and the direction the country is headed.
The only difference between Joe and the average American dad?
The Schriner family tours America in their motor home eight months out of the year. ‘‘Average Joe’’ Schriner is joined by his 11-year-old son Joseph, his 6-year-old son Jonathan, his 13-year-old daughter Sarah and his wife, Liz.
P-J?photo by Rich Place
He's running for President of the United States.
For the past three election cycles, Schriner has campaigned roughly eight months a year to spread his message and his opinion about issues facing the country. In fact, he believes he may have put on more road miles than any other presidental candidate in the last decade.
''We have traveled about 85,000 miles in 10 years,'' Schriner said. ''While most candidates fly, we have been on the road.''
''What captured people's imaginations was 'first black in the White House' or 'first lady in the White House.' Isn't it about time the average guy from Cleveland went to the White House?''
''Average Joe'' Schriner, presidential candidate
Although he mows his own lawn and takes up a painting job when he's not traveling, Schriner's campaign strategies are similar to those used by well known politicians. His team, however, is little bit different than most. His wife, Liz, serves as his campaign manager and he said his 13-year-old daughter, Sarah, is his first assistant.
The family travels the back roads of America in a motor home that is decorated in ''Joe for President'' bumper stickers with ''White House or Bust'' written on the back window. Schriner and his family stop, talk and debate with typical American people in small towns often ignored by front-running presidental candidates.
''What captured people's imaginations was 'first black in the White House' or 'first lady in the White House,''' Schriner explained. ''Isn't it about time the average guy from Cleveland went to the White House?''
The campaign for president isn't a task that Schriner has taken lightly. In addition to the miles he has driven, he has an extensive set of position papers that outline where he stands on political issues.
''I didn't just sit down one night and come up with platforms,'' he explained. A former journalist, Schriner has spent nearly two decades creating his position papers by listening to fellow Americans.
Receiving national attention is something that hasn't hit the Schriner campaign yet, but he looks at that in both a positive and negative light. The downfall is not reaching potential supporters because few people outside of those he directly addresses know about his stance on issues. It also affects volunteer efforts for his campaign.
''It's a Catch 22 for us,'' he said. ''You don't look very viable to the other candidates, so people offer to help a little, but not a lot. That's been difficult for us. We gave everything up for this and we thought there would be a little more support coalescing.''
On the other hand, the lack of television cameras and the public eye make his appearances more personable and ''average.'' He speaks at public schools, to civic groups and in restaurants, talking with real people.
''When I walk into a Southern diner in Alabama, for example, I might have to debate a truck driver who is twice my size and not in the same camp when it comes to immigration reform,'' Schriner said. ''For us, it's not a staged event. We are right in the firing lines day in and day out, trying to defend our positions.
''At the end of it, though, nine out of ten times we are willing to disagree ... but some kind of democracy has happened.''
It is that simple democracy that Schriner believes America should run by. His tax plan is one example of his position on America's pressing issues.
''We propose that there is a simple, one-page form for taxes that anyone can decipher,'' he explained. ''And because this is a democracy, you can designate where at least one quarter of your tax money goes.'' He believes a pie chart, for example, would make it easier for Americans to understand.
''We think simplifying it and giving people a more hands on experience with the government will get people more interested in the process.''
With the family on the road for eight months a year, Schriner's three children are home schooled, or as he calls it ''motor-homeschooled.'' His only daughter, Sarah, said she learns a lot from being on the road.
''It's great,'' she said. ''We meet a lot of people who are very interesting.''
Along with her father and mother, Sarah shares the motor home with her younger brothers, Jonathon and Joseph. Like any typical American siblings, conflict often arises.
''I think if I can break the conflict between Joseph and Jonathon, relations with Russia and China aren't a problem,'' Schriner joked.
Like in past campaigns, Schriner will be touring America with his family for the majority of each year through 2012, where he hopes to apply on the Green Party ballot.
''I think we have the best platform,'' he said. ''You might not agree with all our stances personally, but when you come away from that Web site, it's hard not to say 'my goodness, it's a serious attempt by an average citizen.'''
For more information about ''Average Joe'' Shriner, visit his Web site at www.voteforjoe.com.