A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to Columbus.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein instead ended up in Cincinnati after a campaign staffer mistakenly booked her flight to the wrong “C” city in Ohio.
Stein’s scheduled noon speech at Capital University in Bexley instead came at 2:35 p.m. after she jumped into a car to be driven up I-71 to the correct spot.
“A little scheduling error,” Stein said. “I wish we had the resources of the other candidates. We’re the only candidate who operates like the American people.”
Stein’s shoestring campaign relies on commercial flights rather than the private jets used by the major party candidates who she denounced as “corrupt servants of the billionaire class.”
Perennial Green Party candidate Bob Fitrakis, who is running for Franklin County prosecutor, could only good naturedly shake his head as he waited with dozens of others for Stein to arrive. They snacked on campaign-provided pizza, a “thank you” for sticking around.
“We have more of a volunteer corps,” Fitrakis said. “I feel they don’t know the geography of Ohio.”
And, another funny thing happened due to Stein’s tardiness. Her original crowd of about 100 faded away, but later slowly grew to about 150 people by the time she finally spoke.
The physician and failed 2012 presidential candidate flashed peace signs and power-to-the-people fists as she spoke for about 35 minutes about the “New Green Deal.”
She promised a “future where people, planet and peace are placed above profit.”
Stein would make employment a right and provide emergency federal aid to ensure the creation of 20 million jobs paying $15 an hour or more.
“It’s time to end endless war,” she said. Stein would halve the military budget, forbid foreign wars and put the money to work to provide free public college education, forgive student loan debt and finance other social-benefit programs.
True to her party’s name, she would pursue policies to end the use of fossil fuels and seek to have America using only “clean, renewable energy by 2030.”
She described Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump as untrustworthy and called for “more voices and more choices” while lobbying for her inclusion in the presidential debates. She is the longest of long shots since a candidate must top 15 percent in the polls to participate.
“We need to get the predators out of the business of running this country. Vote the bums out,” she said.
Stein posed for a group selfie with the crowd in which everyone huddled behind her and then stood for individual selfies and handshakes with everyone in the dozens-deep line.
Steve and Diana Colella, of Bradford, Pa., had a few days off and decided to follow Stein around the Midwest for a few days as she campaigns. They didn’t mind waiting for the candidate to arrive.
“We don’t care. It’s a good life sitting out in the sun and the breeze,” said Mrs. Colella, 54. “We need Dr. Stein. We have a 9-year-old who’s going to need water and air in about 20 years.”
Her belated Bexley appearance over, Stein had take off to catch a 7 p.m. event in Cleveland.
More than a few people told her volunteers — that’s I-71 — North.