This week I was interviewed for an article to be posted on NPR’s national website. The story is about independent presidential candidates who continue to run, election cycle after election cycle. Reporter Linton Weeks said to me that some would categorize such candidates as perennial losers. “How do you respond to that?” He then asked. I said in our “campaign wake” over the past 12 years (and 125,000 miles), there are more people in the country now helping: save the environment, curb crime, welcome the immigrant, stand up for the unborn, aid the poor… In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, I gave a talk to a church youth group about the abject poverty we’d witnessed on Native American Reservations across the country in our travels. The youth were so moved, that shortly after the talk they planned a two-week “work mission” into the poorest Native American Reservation in New Mexico. “Loser?” I responded to the NPR reporter. “By whose measure?” …This week (besides updating our website), we’ve been doing some grassroots stumping in northwest Ohio. In Columbus Grove (pop. 2,118), I talked with one of the owners of The Gas Station. You read that right: “The Gas Station.” While it’s not clear how many actual seconds it took to come up with that, I do have to admit that in all our travels — I’ve never seen another gas station with that particular name. I mean it’s so obvious, who would think of it? The kids and I then went to Kohl’s Grocery Store up the street to put up a “Joe flier.” A cashier named Debbie noticed our campaign vehicle, which I had strategically parked right in front of the front windows of the store. (And we continue to do this all without paid consultants.) Debbie took a flier and asked about our platform. What’s more, she earnestly said she would go home that night to do research on our website. She added that she takes politics seriously. I said so do we. Note: Our son Jonathan, 8, is playing his first year of Midget Football. The first practice, they lined him up at outside linbacker. And on the first play, he raced in and sacked a quarterback that was twice his size. He stood up smiling, turned to me and exclaimed: “I really like this Dad!” Ya gotta think Clay Mathews III, the middle linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, probably said something similar to his Dad after his first hit.