(Last month, columnist Judy Gruen announced her candidacy for President of the United States. This month, she reports from the campaign trail.)

Buttermilk, Kansas – Running for president has proven a touch more difficult than I had imagined, even here in the sleepy town of Buttermilk. The only news of note upon my arrival was the theft of a Lo-Jack from a Ford F-150 truck, so my campaign visit rated front page coverage in local newspaper, The Waffle. The headline: "Jewish Mother Comes to Buttermilk." The sub-headline, in much smaller print: "Late entry to presidential race speaks at the high school gym at 3 p.m. today."

I thought they'd be thrilled to get me. After all, McCain, Clinton and Obama haven't deigned to stop within two hundred miles of here. Still, when the newspaper reporter whispered that he was pretty sure I was the first Jew most of the folks here had ever seen in person, I couldn't help but feel added pressure, and I tried to look as un-threatening as possible.

The gym was filled nearly to capacity with about sixty people — better than I drew at my last book signing at a Hadassah group in the West Valley. They applauded my proposals for mandating tax credits for new cotton strippers, combines and anything else their hearts desired from John Deere. But things got sticky when a burly guy wearing a Jim Beam t-shirt, tattoos and jeans desperately crying out for a belt, started asking me to explain my plan to balance innovation with regulation in the mortgage lending industry. That just figured. They see their first Jew and they think she's Alan Greenspan. Since my grasp of economics is even weaker than the dollar, which is not really a problem, since I have my policy wonks working on it, I dazzled them with my political savvy by changing the topic to foreign policy. Jim Beam's eyes widened when he heard me tell the crowd that I planned to visit Bagdad the following day to study the security situation firsthand.

Bagdad, Kentucky – All is calm here in Bagdad, where it's a chilly forty-six degrees, thirty-five when you factor in the wind chill. I had an impromptu campaign rally and highlights at the Look 'N Sharp hair salon. When I'm president, I will instantly levy a twenty-five percent tax increase on any business substituting single letters for entire words in their names.

Knockemstiff, Ohio – The bad thing about this stop is that there are no live citizens in Knockemstiff. Apparently, no one has lived here since 1923. I was about to fire my campaign manager for sending me here, since the last time I checked, most dead people voted from Chicago. But then, a miracle! As I was walking down the wide, dusty, abandoned road, narrowly avoiding being knocked over by tumbleweed, I saw a vision: a Chabad house! I thought I was hallucinating, that too much fresh air and not enough food were messing with my head. But sure enough, a young, bearded, tzitzit-clad young man came out of the building and whispered, "A landesman! Thank G‑d! I knew the Rebbe didn't send me here for nothing!"

"Well, technically a landeswoman, but let's not quibble," I corrected him. "Do you think you can spare a hot chicken dinner? I haven't eaten a good meal in weeks." We had a delightful visit as he showed me the plans for the day school, kollel and mikvah. When I left, I couldn't help but ask, "Why Knockemstiff? It's a ghost town!" He shrugged and said, "Nu? Las Vegas was once a ghost town, too."

Scalp Level, Pennsylvania – The wide open spaces of my campaign stops, at first so invigorating, are now getting on my nerves. I'm also having withdrawal symptoms from lack of overpriced boutique coffee. Shockingly, I even miss hearing arguments in Farsi. I tried to stay positive and on message at Joline's Real Good Food café, where I secured the votes of all three customers after handing out copies of my recipe for Crock-Pot beef stew.

And yet I must question whether my campaign is viable, or whether I'll end up, Heaven forefend, like Pat Paulson or Ralph Nader. As I mull the situation, my son calls from 2,500 miles away complaining that he has finally run out of clean socks. I also realize that taking my campaign on the road has put me in carpool debt to three other mothers until the spring of 2010. However, if I win, I'm sure I can get the Secret Service to do it for me. I am considering offering McCain, Clinton and Obama my availability for the Supreme Court if I bow out gracefully now, before my candidacy becomes a threat. I am so perfect for the Supreme Court. I have an opinion on everything!

Egypt, Texas – Here at Bud's Antique Car Restoration Shop and Swap Meet, I deliver a real stem-winder of a speech, full of passion, patriotism, and, thankfully, a program to boost the falling dollar and save the mortgage lending industry. I paid a kid five bucks beforehand to begin a rousing chorus of "USA! USA!" when I gave him a secret signal. He performed ably, the crowd dutifully following his lead. Giving out these recipe cards for my beef stew has also been a stroke of genius. It creates a bond between me and the women out in the heartland, even when they ask, "How do you think it would work with pork?"

The town paper, The Papyrus, wrote a glowing account of my visit and plucky candidacy. Unfortunately, they also reached one of my kids and quoted him as follows, "I wasn't kidding about being out of clean socks. Let my mother go!"

So, with heavy heart, I headed home. After all, Passover waits for no woman, even if she is running for president. I'll always treasure the connections I made in little towns across America, from Frog Eye, Alabama to Big Chimney, West Virginia. And who knows? A few more scandals with the other candidates may push my candidacy to the forefront, where it belongs, and I'll end up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the first Jewish mother president.

In any case, when I sit down at the Seder with my family this year and read about how we each must feel that we were personally redeemed from Egypt, for me, it'll have a whole new meaning.