‘Average Joe’ hits the pavement
Man campaigns for president with his family on bicycles

OBERLIN — Joe Schriner, his wife, Liz, and their 2.5 children might look like an average American family, but not many “average” families would take a 2,000-mile bike tour in support of the average father’s campaign for a place in the White House.
But then again, the Schriners are anything but average, and Joe Schriner is not the average presidential candidate.
“We’ve developed our platform based on the expertise of the American people,” Schriner said, who is running for president as an independent “Average Joe” in 2008. He always speaks in plural to include his family, especially his wife, Liz, who is his campaign manager and offers “general support.”
“We are passing on our values to our children while working and playing alongside them. We are doing this as a team, and in the process we are gaining something critical that most Americans have lost,” Liz said.
As part of “Joe’s End Global Warming Tour,” the Schriners, from Cleveland, are bicycling across Ohio for 60 days and doing grassroots research for Schriner’s campaign position papers on the environment and energy.
On Friday, they stopped in Oberlin to talk to Sam Merrett and his team of mechanics at Full Circle Fuels, an alternative fuels center that specializes in converting diesel engines to run on straight vegetable oil.
In addition to learning about biodiesel for his political platform, Schriner said that the meeting with Full Circle Fuels’ staff is the kind of action that is critical to his campaign, because what he learned there he can pass on to other people he meets along the campaign, and in turn might inspire one of them to start their own alternative fuels center.
“Meetings like this are part of the method. We are planting seeds around the country with initiatives to help mobilize people now,” Schriner said.
When Schriner decided to get involved in politics, he didn’t really consider running for a local office, he said.
“By running for president, I chose the best vehicle to impact the greatest number of people. I’m not diminishing the importance of local politics, but running for president means you get a huge platform to reach people,” Schriner said.
As a family, the Schriners try to live by example for Joe Schriner’s campaign. The bicycle tour is part of that philosophy. Schriner is deeply concerned about global warming and wants to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases as much as possible, so his family bikes.
“At home, we ride bikes 95 percent of the time if it is within a 5-mile radius. We want the American people to do the same,” Joe Schriner said.
“We’re setting an example by being on bikes. If a family of five can ride 1,000 miles, one person can ride a mile to the market.”

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The “Average Joe” Schriner for President 2008 campaign: