Audrey Richards started her presidential campaign in the fourth grade.
Not for president of the debate team or color guard, but for president of the United States.
“I think my generation really has a lot to offer and I think I would bring out the best qualities in the government,” Richards said.
The determined freshman from Missouri decided at 10 years old it was her political destiny to end up in the Oval Office.
To achieve this goal, the audacious 17-year-old has the next 30 years of her life planned. She will run for representative to the ninth district in Missouri in 2022, remain the successful incumbent until 2024 and eventually become a state senator in 2026, paving the way to her presidency in 2032.
Her campaign has come a long way from her classroom in the Ozarks to the nation’s capital, where she now has a campaign manager and art director.
“Audrey has put a lot of time into this campaign and it’s completely possible that she can make hers come true,” Alex Copeland, her campaign manager, said.
Her campaign strategy has a teeny-bopping twist – Richards has traveled to eight different cities to see the Jonas Brothers, utilizing every concert as a networking opportunity.
“I think it was a perfect way for me to campaign to girls my age and younger because I know they will be key voters,” Richards said.
She became a member of the Jonas Brothers fan club in 2008, before the group had achieved notoriety.
Her plan of exploiting Jonas Brothers concerts as vote-getting opportunities might conflict with interests of one of the Disney Channel superstars.
The oldest of the trio, Kevin Jonas, has informally announced his campaign for president in 2040; a date Richards hopes he sticks to.
“I’m going to kick his butt in 2036 if he has to run,” she said.
Richards has even been able to convene with the Jonas Brothers by winning a meet-and-greet, a perk of being a longtime member of their fan club.
“I didn’t get to tell them much about the campaign, I just introduced myself, but I think they’ll remember me if I tell them who I am again,” Richards said.
As part of her continuing campaign efforts, Richards has also befriended a Twitter maven known to her online fan base as “stalker Sarah” for her ability to post pictures with celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, Kim Kardashian and the Jonas Brothers. Sarah promises to help with her campaign by using her Twitter prowess to send out support to help Richards gain notoriety.
While Richards can bond with her fellow pop-star fanatics, she is looking to get her business cards into the hands of every potential voter.
As part of her campaign strategy, Richards has also met with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
Her next step is to intern on Capitol Hill or for a newspaper like USA Today.
“I just really want to get more of a foundation here, because I really haven’t been able to do that in Washington, D.C. yet” said Richards.
While she doesn’t like to align herself with one party, Richards’ key campaign issues focus on resolving the federal deficit and supporting same-sex marriage.
While focusing on building a following in D.C., Richards is also looking to make use of her self-proclaimed skills in networking.
“Right now my main goal is to get on a talk show to spread the word,” said Richards. “I think being on ‘The Factor’ with Bill O’Reilly would be amazing because I’m so liberal and he’s so conservative.”
A long way from her hometown in Missouri, Richards already feels at home in D.C, spreading her message and getting to know the city that she hopes one day will be her permanent home.
“I go by the White House every time during the summer- my future house. It’s been really fun because I know the area so well,” said Richards.