As the publishing industry comes under heavier economic pressure, publicity departments have been downsized and budgets have been reduced. Now authors are expected to generate their own publicity, and I’ve noticed a strategy I think could really work well for me: write a book and run for president.

And so with this blog, and the attendant Tweet and Facebook post, I announce my intention to form an exploratory committee to help me decide if I should get a reality show and/or be a commentator on radio and TV so I can talk about why I should be president and why you should buy Doc.

Here’s the campaign slogan. “Mary Doria Russell for President: we’ve done worse! Besides, she wrote a book about Doc Holliday.”

A slogan like that can bring the country together. At any given time, half the voters think that whoever just got elected is totally unfit for the office, right? But with a slogan like mine, Republicans and Democrats and Independents would all be able to nod and say, “Well, she was the secretary of the Lowden Elementary School PTA for a couple of years. Why shouldn’t she be president of the United States? We’ve done worse! Besides, she wrote a book about Doc Holliday!”

Here’s my domestic platform. From now on, everybody gets an education as good as John Henry Holliday’s. That means Greek, Latin, geography, grammar and rhetoric, mathematics, and music. No laptops in school, but everybody gets a piano.

I have a position on gun control, too: national passage of the laws that Wyatt Earp enforced in Dodge City. If it’s good enough for  the Long Branch Saloon, it’s good enough for a bar in Cleveland.

I also plan to pander to special interests. Awful jobs should get the best pay. Coal miners, soldiers, and junior high teachers should get $300,000 a year to start. If you enjoy your work, then you get the satisfaction of a job well-done, and minimum wage.

Foreign policy: I believe the Russell Doctrine will be considered both practical and financially responsible. From now on, if we’re going to invade anybody, it has to be Mexico.

Mexico’s got oil, and they’re cutting people’s heads off and killing civilians, but it’s way closer than the Middle East. This will make for a more reasonably priced invasion, especially when you consider that most soldiers already like Mexican food and tequila. They can live off the land. Bonus: with all our troops south of the Mexican border, we’ll be vulnerable to a blitzkrieg from the north, and  Canada would immediately impose godless atheistic socialized medicine on us.

By invading Mexico, we can cut the Pentagon budget way back, and if Canada conquers us, we solve the long-term Medicare and Medicaid problems. I’m guessing right there, I’ve eliminated the budget deficit.

What’s not to like? We’ve done worse!

Get your bribes and influence purchases in early by donating to the Doc Holliday Memorial Fund at Smile Train!