"I think that everyone is introduced to politics when they are little. We all read books about George Washington in elementary school. What really got me into politics is that when I was in high school, I won the titles of most talkative, most likely to have a talk show, and most likely to become president. What is unique is that I was not even in the student council. Those titles really affected my decision to enter politics later in life.
"I graduated from college at 20 with three majors -- business, psychology and communications. After school, I worked as a reporter, and, later, editor, in Shaker Heights, Ohio. From there, I moved to Connecticut and was the editor of the weekly newspaper, the Greenwich Post. On 9/11, I was in one of the cities most impacted by what happened on that day, because so many people in Greenwich were working in or near the World Trade Center. 9/11 really hit me, and I didn't like how President Bush evolved the confusion and anger of that day into a war against Iraq. Presidents shouldn't do those things, especially under such extreme and uncertain circumstances. Statistics prove that about 95 percent of America supported the war at one point or another. I was one of only 5 percent of America who did not ever support the Iraq war.
"Even though I was only 31 at the time and the youngest Republican in U.S. history to ever run for President, those experiences really affected me and were a direct reason why I ran for president against George W. Bush. I only campaigned in a few states: Iowa, Connecticut, Ohio, Texas, and New York. I had volunteers, but I was doing most of it myself. I lived in a truck that I called Air Ford One. My campaign slogan was, 'Small ideas for America.' Presidents should really focus on small ideas because those sometimes mean more in the end than big ideas. I never made it onto a ballot for president, but I got a lot of media attention, which I then used in future campaigns.
"When I was doing research in Iowa for my first book, Will You Run for President?, someone told me about a Halloween party in Washington, D.C. at the Guards Restaurant.They suggested that I go dressed as George Washington to get a feel for what it was like to be president. I rented a George Washington costume, but I had to buy the wig for hygiene purposes. I went to the costume party in D.C. and it was a great experience. People really interacted with me differently, and I did feel very presidential. The next morning, I was wondering what made me feel that way - was it the outfit or the wig? I experimented by wearing the wig along with my normal clothes. My first experience was walking into an elevator with these two maids. They kept wanting to salute me. I realized they thought I was a dignitary or something because of the wig. So, I spent that day walking around Washington, D.C., with the wig on and noticed that I got a lot of attention. Years later, I used the wig for political events and in my campaigns for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois against Barack Obama and for U.S. Senator in Maryland against Michael Steele. Now, I am running for county executive in Montgomery County as Daniel 'The Wig Man' Vovak.
"Some people don't view the wig as serious. I think it's better to look in terms of who historically has not been taken seriously and their ultimate impact on America. People like Andrew Jackson, Ronald 'The Gipper' Reagan, and Gerald Ford were not taken seriously until they became president. Certainly, nobody took Jesse 'The Body' Ventura seriously until he became governor. The way to be considered serious in America is to be elected. One day, when I am elected, people will take me seriously. At that point, it will be up to the voters to decide whether or not I wear my wig in office.
"You know, I am a Republican, but I am worried about the party. As far as I'm concerned, we need to be a party of optimism. We need to find a way to look at America's good points and help shape America's problems for the better. I don't always see that among Republicans. Now, the optimism is low, which is normally the case when a party is out of power. We need more great optimists as candidates."
Daniel 'The Wig Man' Vovak is an author, movie producer, and currently running for county executive in Montgomery Country, Maryland.