Saturday, August 15, 2015

Vote for Tim

By his own admission, one of the candidates for president is building his campaign by harnessing grass roots momentum as opposed to counting on support from any major party. His policy positions are more broadly thematic rather than specific, focusing on world peace, fiscal restraint and smaller government. And he views his business background as one of his strongest qualifications, believing that his skills in that arena are exactly what are needed for the nation's chief executive. Unlike Donald Trump, however, his views on women are a good bit softer. As he and I stood talking and my wife walked up, he looked at me, then looked at her, and said with a smile, "Well, she makes you look good!"

Meet Tim Farkas, full time candidate for President of the United States.

Farkas was in the sub-prime mortgage business in his native Ohio, and has had some legal and business issues. But just like that other businessman in the race, he hardly sees that as a disqualifier. Quite the opposite: "I used to run a company with about 200 people, give or take, that all worked on commission. And when someone can get 200 people to work on a commission-only basis, then they understand how hard it is to get things done. So I think I have some good ideas and recommendations to get the right people around me and do the right things."

But to get elected you have to court the voters, and Farkas goes about it the old fashioned way. When I met him he was standing on the corner of 42nd and Sixth Avenue in New York City, the same way he stands on streets in his hometown of Columbus. He had a hand-written sign propped up on a table, and a stack of business cards in his hand. He made a beeline for every person walking by, offering them a card and telling them "It's your country. If you have something you want to say, drop it in my mailbox." Then on to the next. Since I was just standing there waiting for my wife, we got to talking.
He began by pointing out the many challenges we face as a country, specifically focusing on the national debt. "I know guys who are really good at finance," he told me. Beyond that? "It's a big problem," he said. Yup, I didn't disagree. "Lots of people have good ideas, and we need to use them." Hard to argue with that as well. "We have the freedom to believe. The United States of America gives us the freedom to believe." I agreed it was indeed a great country, but we had issues. He nodded, and threw out what is sort of his campaign slogan: "We need to get our country back." Perhaps not as pithy as Ben Carson's "Heal. Inspire. Revive." but certainly not as clunky as Rand Paul's "Defeat The Washington Machine. Unleash The American Dream," even if that one does rhyme.

It was about at this point that my wife walked up. She saw me standing there talking to a guy with a scruffy beard in shorts and shoes with no socks, and probably assumed I had had bumped into an old friend. I introduced her to him with a line I don't get to use everyday: "This is Tim. He's running for President of the United States." She smiled at me and cocked her head, with a look that asked is he dangerous, crazy or just curious, and regardless, why in heaven's name was I standing there talking to him? Then he complimented her, and we all laughed. I shook hands with him, wished him luck and started to head to dinner. As we walked away, he handed me a card, and closed with his signature request and offer: "If you have something you want to put on my website, drop me a line."  

Including Farkas, there are 24 declared candidates for the highest office in the land. There are sitting governors and senators, ex's of both stripes, and successful professionals from outside of politics, all trying to distinguish themselves from the pack. In that light, I would bet that Tim is likely the only one you'll meet on standing on the street asking you to give him a call. In this hyper competitive race, maybe the others should take notice.


Marc Wollin of Bedford watched the Republican debate strictly for entertainment. His column appears regularly in The Record-Review, The Scarsdale Inquirer and online at, as well as via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

No comments: