Our favorite politician this election season isn’t a Democrat or Republican—it’s Walt Arnett, the candidate of the Orbitz Vacation Party! The competition was steep, but Walt clinched our Facebook election with his hilarious campaign video and staunch pro-vacation stance. So far Walt’s visited Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago on his cross-country tour; for a complete schedule (as well as the chance for you to win a swanky trip to one of his campaign stops), visit the Orbitz Vacation Party headquarters at www.orbitzvacationparty.com.
We caught up with Walt to see how things are going on the campaign trail.
As you tour the country, what have been your most memorable vacation moments so far?
I had a lot of fun campaigning in Miami. I met a lot of great vacationers and vacationistas. I wish I had more time there. I love art deco and I had a chance to visit the Art Deco District. South Beach was a great experience. The only annoying part was during our video shoot people would come up and ask if I was a model. I’m making a campaign video, people! I don’t have time to model in your underwear commercial at your studio loft! I have babies to kiss and drinks to umbrella!
I’d have to say my favorite memory was giving my stump speech in front of the exploding volcano in front of the Mirage. Did you know they use real lava? At least that’s what I just made up. I could feel the heat on my back from the molten magma (pyrotechnics) as I spoke my pro-vacation prose. Meeting the dolphins was really awesome as well. It took every part of my being not to jump in and swim with them. I did however smuggle one back in my carry-on. Don’t tell anybody.
I didn’t think the experience at the Mirage could be topped, but then I had the pleasure of experiencing the Peninsula Chicago, which is named after the world famous peninsula where Chicago was built. Keep in mind I vacationed here, I didn’t take any geography books on the plane, so if this is incorrect please let me know via cocktail napkin and carrier seagull. I had a blast shopping at all the great stores on the Magnificent Mile. And my one back very much enjoyed the four-hand massage. A minimum 4:1 ratio of hand-to-back is really the only acceptable massage for me now.
And the food! The food in each city was amazing. I highly recommend grabbing a filet mignon from STK in the Perry South Beach hotel. And the macaroni and cheese. To. Die. For. At the Mirage I baconed it up at Cravings buffet, I had a huge pastrami sandwich at the Carnegie Deli, and I had an awesome dinner at Stack with three beautiful women who by no means were told to sit with me just for the video. I had delicious dim sum at the Peninsula and I enjoyed the scrumptious room service in my white robe, which was white and fluffy, like a bald eagle’s head feathers.
What do you plan to spend your $25,000 winnings on? Where do you want to go and what do you want to do?
After meeting the dolphins at the Mirage I talked them into holding me a fundraiser in Fiji. They also invited me to swim with them after the election. I might just have to take them up on that offer. I’d also like to scuba dive as well. So I definitely think a tropical island trip is in order. It is hard work encouraging people to take vacation back, so I must live up to my mantra and take vacation back myself.
I have had a lot of supporters come out of the woodwork to support my campaign. My friend Michael wants me to campaign in Cancun, Mexico. I told him they can’t vote down there, but then he reminded me that it is pretty much 99 percent American vacationers. So I ask all Cancunians for their support! If chosen I will work hard to add Puerto Rico and Cancun as official states. And we can add Hawaii too. Are they a state yet? If not, they should be, because I like pineapples.
Do you think our Founding Fathers would have been pro-vacation too? Does it deserve a Constitutional Amendment?
Our country is deeply rooted in vacation. The pilgrims took an extended vacation from England. Our Founding Fathers worked hard to establish a country that gives us the right to pursue beach parties, which in turn brings us happiness. I can just imagine George Washington sailing off to the Bahamas on a wooden cruise ship and drinking Pina Coladas and doing body shots with Martha Washington. I definitely support passing a Constitutional Amendment to force Americans to use all their vacation days. It is for their own good. Trust me.
What advice would you give to would-be vacationers everywhere?
You must use your vacation! Whatever you do, do not let your vacation lapse. You work hard for your vacation, so use it! Also pack your sunscreen. Nothing can ruin a vacation quicker than a bad sunburn. Also, protect your passport. The safes in hotels are there for a reason. You do not want to lose your passport, it can make things tough when you find yourself kite surfing in international waters.