How Mitt Romney, My Long-Suffering Wife, and Kickstarter Helped the Race For President Take Flight
Thanks, Mitt Romney
At a Q&A in November 2014, Mitt Romney looked me in the eye and said, “James, go ahead with your question.” If you’ve ever been to a political event, you know what to expect. I had all the eyes in the room on me. I wanted to know the small details of his life, so I asked Mr. Romney how he likes to spend his alone time away from the limelight. Mitt talked about enjoying video tapes (yes, video tapes) and spending time with his family. He answered my question directly enough to move on, but I wanted a do over.
I wanted to know the details of his life. What does Mitt have for breakfast? Does Mitt sit at his table and enjoy a bowl of Rice Krispies, like me, or does Mitt make scrambled eggs? Does Mitt have a chef prepare him a gourmet crepe every morning? If Hillary Clinton could only set foot in three cities the rest of her life, which cities would she choose? How many nights in a row does Bernie Sanders think are too many to host house guests? What age does Donald Trump think is ideal for someone’s first kiss? At what fast food restaurant does Gary Johnson eat most often?
To get the answer I was looking for, my question should’ve been more detailed and articulated more smoothly. Since my “Mitt Moment”, I have been practicing asking meaningful questions everywhere I go. Now I’m more interested in knowing these things about the people around me.
My Loving, Long-Suffering Wife: Creating the Race For President Board Game
I bored my wife with questions like this for a year or two. She’s as patient as they come but she finally told me she doesn’t care to speculate about Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Fox News, CNN, or anything about the Phoenix Suns and Devin Booker (not really related but she said it). She jokingly offers me a quarter to call someone who cares when I bring these things up. Suddenly it made sense to me.
That was the missing piece. People want to know the details of those they care about. They want to hear from people they know. How long does Uncle John think people should date before getting married? What advice would Aunt Becky give someone who is about to graduate from high school? What would my friends study in college if their jobs weren’t dependent on a degree? Can my youngest brother explain why he’s mymother’s favorite child?
We’re fascinated by the things we find out when someone is nosy and curious. We love it. Is there a way to make gossip a virtue instead of a vice? Can people share stories and ideas in a way that strengthens relationships, builds connections, and encourages understanding? More than trivial entertainment, I had to find a way to create meaningful conversations in an interesting way. So that’s what I did.
I started tailoring the game to our friends and family. Most of them aren’t interested in politics, but they love to talk about their daily routines, how they would change the traditional school day, what movies a caveman should watch first, and events they could win a gold medal in if they could make it an Olympic sport.
I listened to what people wanted and created the game for them. By playing a game, they learn the details of the lives around them and spend quality time talking about things that matter.
We want to be in the know with the people we care about. We want to hear them answer insightful questions and we want them to share their dramatic stories. Sometimes we aren’t sure if questions are suitable, so we don’t ask. Cards are an easy way to facilitate conversation.
Race for President provides a platform for friends to share thoughts and experiences from their lives that wouldn’t receive attention in common social settings. It finds your voice. It shares your voice.