Gary Johnson has “zero interest in running as an independent or third party candidate,” according to official campaign source

In response to my inquiry,

Would anyone from the campaign like to officially deny for the record rumors that Gary Johnson is planning on switching to the Libertarian Party race? If the rumors are true, I understand you can’t confirm them and I understand why. However, if the rumors are not true, we can publish a denial. I have been told that some of your campaign staffers have publicly denied the rumors on facebook, but I haven’t been able to track it down.

Thanks,

Paulie
IndependentPoliticalReport.com
415-690-6352

I have received the following:

Hi Paulie,

While Gov. Johnson respects the Libertarian Party for its activism on behalf of liberty, he has zero interest in running as an independent or third party candidate. Gov. Johnson has confirmed on multiple occasions that he will not be a third party or independent candidate for any office, nor has he been sending out any “feelers” regarding the possibility of doing so. Gov. Johnson is focused on winning the Republican presidential nomination. He will do just that by building momentum in the great state of New Hampshire, where he is already impressing Granite State voters with his unparalleled resumé and his bold plan to present a balanced budget in 2013, bring the troops home, and stand against attempts to infringe upon the individual liberties of Americans who may have a different sexual orientation, religion, or nation of origin.

You can quote me.

Josiah Schmidt
Staffer
Gary Johnson 2012

See previous IPR coverage of the rumors:

Is Gary Johnson Considering the Libertarian Party?

George Phillies confirms Lew Rockwell story about Gary Johnson campaign inquiry into switching to Libertarian Party

Lee Wrights comments on possible entry of Gary Johnson into LP Presidential race

Wayne Root would welcome Gary Johnson to Libertarian Presidential race

53 thoughts on “Gary Johnson has “zero interest in running as an independent or third party candidate,” according to official campaign source

  1. Chuck Moulton

    Yeah, Josiah Schmidt is the Gary Johnson campaign’s social media coordinator who (among others) said on Facebook that Johnson had no interest.

    Unfortunate. I suspect the national convention will have low attendance with the currently declared candidates. I support NOTA so far.

  2. Richard Winger

    These statements by candidates mean absolutely nothing. If you read it carefully, it is a statement of Gary Johnson’s present thoughts and intentions. Anyone can and frequently does change his or her mind in the future. Note the statement makes no claims about future thoughts of the candidate.

    Candidates in his position must make these statements, because otherwise the major party will punish them even further than he has already been punished (debates, etc.).

  3. paulie Post author

    Readers can draw their own conclusions, but Schmidt went on the record and issued a very unambiguously worded statement.

    On the other side, we have reports that anonymous staffer(s) have sent out feelers. It is possible (t)he(y) could have been acting without Johnson’s authorization.

    I believe our readers should be able to see both sides, and not just in the comment sections.

  4. JT

    Josiah, while I respect Gary Johnson for his activism on behalf of liberty, polls are showing that Republicans have just about “zero interest” in Johnson being their nominee for President. At least a lot of Libertarians are very interested and he’d be warmly welcomed into the LP.

  5. George Phillies

    We have tried this before. How did it serve us?

    Extremely poorly, I would say.

    Johnson is young enough that he could switch parties, demonstrate his serious commitment to our party in the usual forms, and in 2016 run for our nomination.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    Is there some reason why nobody’s talking to Johnson about running on the LP ticket for US Senate against Jeff Bingaman next year? Or for US Representative from his district?

    It seems like it’s always silver bullet fantasy stuff with the LP: “If only we can get X to run for president, we’ll be in fat city.” If every hour spent on those kinds of bullshit daydreams had been spent walking precincts instead, there might be some LP congresscritters now.

  7. Stephen VanDyke

    Tom: A strong presidential campaign in the LP has a way of lifting all the other boats. And plus it’s fun to bullshit about the possibility of say Penn Jillette making a vanity run.

    You’re right about walking the precincts though. That and lawn signage are pretty much part of the visibility quota needed for most local elections to be pulled off. Hire REALLY good designers.

  8. Sane LP Member

    short of bringing Harry B. back from the grave, the LP doesn’t have any strong candidates.
    I agree with # 2 NOTA

  9. paulie Post author

    Johnson is young enough that he could switch parties, demonstrate his serious commitment to our party in the usual forms, and in 2016 run for our nomination.

    Why would he do that?

    If he wanted the LP nomination he could have it now..

    If he wants to run in 2016, he may do better with the Republicans, if neither Ron nor Rand Paul runs.

  10. paulie Post author

    Is there some reason why nobody’s talking to Johnson about running on the LP ticket for US Senate against Jeff Bingaman next year? Or for US Representative from his district?

    Maybe somebody has, or will.

    But if he wants to run against those people, it’s a lot more likely he could get the Republican nomination, which would make it more likely he could actually win.

    What would be his incentive in switching to the LP to run for Congress?

    It seems like it’s always silver bullet fantasy stuff with the LP: “If only we can get X to run for president, we’ll be in fat city.” If every hour spent on those kinds of bullshit daydreams had been spent walking precincts instead, there might be some LP congresscritters now.

    That, I agree with.

    The LP does not have a lot of people who are both willing and able to do retail politics, as well as have a minimal clue of what to do.

    Hence the need for bringing in new people in different ways than we have been.

  11. paulie Post author

    short of bringing Harry B. back from the grave, the LP doesn’t have any strong candidates.
    I agree with # 2 NOTA

    The second part does not follow from the first.

    Browne’s reasoning as to the importance of having a presidential candidate still holds true, even if that person is not as good as Browne at doing those things.

    Even if you do them poorly, you’ll still attract some people.

    The Marrou campaign was less impressive than Browne’s, but it reached some people…including me.

    A key question is whether the presidential candidate will share contacts gathered during the campaign with the LP. In years when they have, the LP grew as a result. In years when they haven’t, not so much.

    Another question is what the party will do with contacts once they get them. When I put in my inquiry in the early 90s, the LP was about the same size as now, but they sent me a packet of information including Bergland’s book and made several attempts to get me to join. I wasn’t ready to join at that time, but the book and its references for further reading addressed many of my objections, and led me down a path to where I eventually joined a couple of years later.

    From what I understand, for much of the 2000s inquiries were basically ignored. I think they are not ignored anymore, but I don’t know what all materials they are sending in response to inquiries now.

  12. Daniel Wiener

    Richard Winger @ 3 has it exactly right. This kind of statement is pretty meaningless. It’s not even a General Sherman statement (“I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.” ).

    Furthermore, it’s a comment from a staffer, NOT a quote directly from Gary Johnson. It would be quite easy for Johnson to disavow his staffer’s comment at some later time, or say that his staffer had misunderstood. Not that it would even be necessary to do that. As Richard pointed out, Johnson could simply change his mind, irrespective of his present intentions.

    What I find most interesting about the statement is that someone from Johnson’s campaign even bothered to respond. Sure, this is what they had to say if they were going to say anything, else Johnson would instantly be finished as a candidate for the Republcian nomination. But why not ignore the question? That tells me that there is indeed a groundswell of interest among a lot of people who want Johnson to be the LP candidate, sufficient that his campaign feared the mainstream media might soon get ahold of it. They needed plausible deniability, as Robert Capozzi @ 6 put it. Now they can deflect any questions by simply referring to this posting in IPR.

    So good work, Paulie. I was wrong when I said that you shouldn’t expect a response. But I don’t think the libertarians who are trying to recruit Gary Johnson will be overly concerned by Schmidt’s missive, and the optimistic one might even be mildly encouraged by it.

  13. Marc Montoni

    Another question is what the party will do with contacts once they get them. When I put in my inquiry in the early 90s, the LP was about the same size as now, but they sent me a packet of information including Bergland’s book and made several attempts to get me to join. I wasn’t ready to join at that time, but the book and its references for further reading addressed many of my objections, and led me down a path to where I eventually joined a couple of years later.

    Hmmm… I’m glad to hear that. The book would have been Bergland’s “America’s Libertarian Heritage”, or “ALH”. Still a good intro.

    I was the guy who sent out those packets and saw the follow-up mail out the door from 1990-1993.

    From what I understand, for much of the 2000s inquiries were basically ignored.

    Partially true. I usually test them once a year or so. The response packets stopped coming when Neale & Seehusen fired the former office staff around 2003-2004. The renewal letters and follow-up packets also stopped going out. They were reinstituted in fits and starts in 2007 and in earnest once Benedict became Executive Director.

    I think they are not ignored anymore, but I don’t know what all materials they are sending in response to inquiries now.

    They still don’t seem to do the sort of comprehensive follow-up that we did in 1990-1993, but I am hopeful that the program will be improved more.

  14. paulie Post author

    Hmmm… I’m glad to hear that. The book would have been Bergland’s “America’s Libertarian Heritage”, or “ALH”. Still a good intro.

    The title was Libertarianism In One Lesson. Same author.

    I was the guy who sent out those packets and saw the follow-up mail out the door from 1990-1993.

    Thanks!

    Neale & Seehusen fired the former office staff around 2003-2004.

    JT disputed that anyone was fired on a past thread. I was mostly ignoring the national LP at that time, so I’d be interested to hear both of you on that.

  15. eric sundwall

    The local precinct bit is nonsense if you consider the role of the third party in strictly protest terms. Fight the big fights how you can and watch the electorate suck their own eggs when things worsen.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    17 es: Fight the big fights how you can and watch the electorate suck their own eggs when things worsen.

    me: Not sure how this notion feels for you, but it feels to me like contempt. A message that comes from contempt seems unlikely to attract “the electorate.”

    No matter how you view politics or a 3rd party, if one shares views that have a contemptuous, sanctimonious attitude, I suspect that few will salute. The Golden Rule is not optional, but you can be on the negative side of the curve.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    es@17,

    “The local precinct bit is nonsense if you consider the role of the third party in strictly protest terms.”

    But considering the role of a third party in strictly protest terms is a fuck-silly idea. It’s like considering a bulldozer in strictly drag racing terms.

  18. JT

    Paulie: “JT disputed that anyone was fired on a past thread. I was mostly ignoring the national LP at that time, so I’d be interested to hear both of you on that.”

    I said nobody was fired? On what thread?

  19. JT

    I know Steve Dasbach and Bill Winter resigned of their own accord. George Getz was still there. Ron Crickenberger worked there until close to his death in 2003. Those were the upper-level employees at that time.

  20. JT

    Thanks for the link, Paulie. It’s tough for me to remember exactly what I said almost a year ago, and I don’t want to deny saying something that I did actually say.

    All I said in that thread is that nobody on the LP staff was forced or driven out due to allegations of corruption against them or against the LNC. I was denying what you said was the cause of any departures in that time period.

  21. paulie Post author

    All I said in that thread is that nobody on the LP staff was forced or driven out due to allegations of corruption against them or against the LNC. I was denying what you said was the cause of any departures in that time period.

    Well, the LNC was voted out in 2002 due to allegations of corruption and inside dealing with staff. Then staff left in 2003-4; Marc says they were fired.

    At the time, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention, but I thought we might get some better people. Instead things got dramatically worse. My focus was on other things and my internet addiction was temporarily under control, but I did go to the national convention in 2004 and was disappointed we did not pick Russo. However, in hindsight Badnarik did pretty well, given what he started out with.
    Then Steve Gordon talked me into starting blogging as a channel for my energies because I was complaining about the site design of the Alabama LP website on our email lists (the same one they have gone back to using now once again….like the turd that just won’t flush). Since then my internet addiction has been back in full active disease mode and the shenanigans at the national level drew my attention.

    It’s quite likely I’m wasting my time on it. I have a hard time letting go, even though I don’t see much chance that the party will go in a direction I like.

  22. Gene Berkman

    Paulie @ 12 -It appears that Gary Johnson is running for President because he does not think he can win the Republican primary for Senate in New Mexico.

    Gary Johnson is so far from the mainstream of the Republican Party on legalizing marijuana, abortion and immigration that a campaign is 2016 is not likely to get any more interest than his campaign this year. And if a Republican wins the White House in 2012, it will take a stronger candidate than Gary Johnson to challenge the incumbent in the primaries.

  23. paulie Post author

    It appears that Gary Johnson is running for President because he does not think he can win the Republican primary for Senate in New Mexico.

    Maybe, maybe not. He’s proven he can get elected and re-elected in NM before. There may be other reasons he prefers to run for president instead.

    Gary Johnson is so far from the mainstream of the Republican Party on legalizing marijuana, abortion and immigration that a campaign is 2016 is not likely to get any more interest than his campaign this year.

    That may be true. However, if Ron Paul is deemed to old to run again that year, or just does not want to, and Rand Paul is too busy trying to get re-elected to the Senate, there could be an opening for Johnson to capture most of Paul’s support, and possibly bring in enough independents to make an impact.

    And if a Republican wins the White House in 2012, it will take a stronger candidate than Gary Johnson to challenge the incumbent in the primaries.

    I don’t believe a Republican will win the white house in 2012. I think either Obama gets re-elected or the Americans Elect nominee gets it.

    If a Republican does win next year, that puts off any presidential ambitions that Johnson may have in the Republican Party. He may want to try getting into Congress in the meantime, or switch to the
    LP for 2016. On the other hand, if there is an incumbent Republican in 2016, Johnson could be the only one mounting a primary challenge, as opposed to being lost in a crowded field of challengers. I agree with you that he would be very unlikely to beat a president of his own party in the primaries, but he could definitely put himself in position for 2020.

  24. Gene Berkman

    “he could definitely put himself in position for 2020.”

    Among candidates who has challenged an incumbent President in the primaries only Ronald Reagan has gone on in future elections to win the nomination, and he did so after challenging an incumbent (President Ford) who had not been elected in the first place.

    In the Republican Party, challenging an incumbent is seen as evidence of disloyalty.

  25. Robert Capozzi

    27 gb, probably the Ds, too. Teddy in 80, McCarthy in 68 (I think he was in prior to LBJ begging off.)

  26. Gene Berkman

    RC @ 28 – you are correct. Gene McCarthy did challenge LBJ and received 42% of the vote in New Hampshire, leading to LBJ’s withdrawal.

    Sen Robert F Kennedy waited until LBJ withdrew before he entered the 1968 Presidential race. RFK even waited until LBJ withdrew before he came out in opposition to the Vietnam War. Kennedy was considering his future prospects and did not want to be seen as dividing the Democratic Party.

  27. paulie Post author

    Buchanan did better in ’96 in an open field following a challenge against an incumbent of his own party in ’92. Granted, he did not win.

  28. Kleptocracy And You

    One things for certain, each minute you’ve spent on this pipe dream is a minute you will NEVER have again ! If you like Johnson WHYNOT help him in NH ? Then this wasted time won’t be so wasted !

    I still have benjamins that say GJ will NEVER run LP in 2012. Any takers ???

    Gary Johnson 2012: One Dollar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLbN3fZjkHM&feature=digest_refresh_thu

    Gary Johnson 2012: Don’t Get Fooled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNXdoeF3KaM&NR=1

    Gary Johnson 2012: Introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=9XsRN5CWKrc

    Gary Johnson 2012: War on Drugs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwNz6mrEXoE&NR=1

  29. Gary Odom

    As a CP staff member I have no absolutely right to offer any opinion as to whether Gov. Johnson should seek the LP nomination and won’t do so. However, based on my own years political experience, I would not count this denial, made by one of his staffers at a time when the campaign is seeking to gain traction in NH in hopes of giving it the needed boost in credibility and visibility with which to carry it further in the GOP primaries, as a definitive statement of what Johnson’s future actions may be in 2012.

    If I am correct that the LP national convention will again pretty closely follow ours, which will be held in the latter part of April, it would seem apparent that Gov. Johnson would have no choice but to make his final decision on this matter rather immediately after the NH primary. If LP members attitudes about outsiders using their party as a “vehicle” are similar to the mood now prevailing in the CP, I would think that he might have a hard time being nominated if he were to wait that long. Therefore, it would appear that he might have a dilemma if he truly does wish to seek the LP nomination, in the event his GOP run doesn’t catch fire.

  30. infojunkie

    re: LP staffing problems 2003-2004

    Ron Crickenberger was let go “because he wasn’t raising enough funds for the Drug War and Ballot Access projects, the ones he was mainly focused on.” Of course, he wrote the annual fundraising letter, which was the LP’s biggest single revenue source, normally, for the year.

    Around the same time (August 2003) Diane
    Pilcher was in a serious bike accident, Nic Dunbar was being “transitioned out,” and Raiser’s Edge was not yet purchased. The subsequent transition to Raiser’s Edge did not initially include replicating the automated monthly data reports to the states; it took a while to get those re-automated. The party lost a lot of momentum in that time period, unfortunately.

  31. Robert Capozzi

    26 p: I don’t believe a Republican will win the white house in 2012. I think either Obama gets re-elected or the Americans Elect nominee gets it.

    me: I’m curious about AE. What’s a plausible scenario for them to mount a winning campaign, in your estimation? I think you’ve already shared they’ve got ballot access in some states. When do they nominate? What chips fall into place?

  32. paulie Post author

    RC

    Not sure when they nominate. That may or may not be on their site. I believe that the candidates they select will get a lot of both paid and free media leading to the nomination and create the impression they are chosen by all the people in an open manner. However, there is a lot of double talk from AE on this – some places they say the delegates are in charge and can pick anyone who is constitutionally qualified and qualified by their background (what exactly they consider to be sufficiently qualified by their background has yet to be explained), yet other places they make clear that the board of directors has absolute authority, that anyone criticizing AE (which they might interpret as criticizing the candidates the board will be trying to get the delegates to approve) can be muzzled, and that the candidates they select will “bridge the center.”

    They disclose as little information as possible, yet due to required reporting we know that a number of people involved with AE are multimillionaires. Several people heavily involved with AE are known in the past to be associates of and/or trying to recruit Mayor Bloomberg of NYC (himself a billionaire) as a candidate. More recently I saw buzz that General Patraeus may be their candidate. Bloomberg, as #1 or #2, can spend enough money just by himself if he so chooses to have as much as Obama and the Republican; however, spending even say tens of millions will get them a lot more media buzz, on top of what they are already getting by virtue of who they are (which there will be a lot more of as time goes on and as they get on the ballot in more places). That in turn will lead to a lot of small donations as well, so Bloomberg probably won’t have to spend quite as much of his own money to be competitive.

    For example see http://www.ballot-access.org/2011/09/15/chuck-todd-of-nbc-news-predicts-a-perry-nomination-will-enhance-a-third-major-ticket/

    “Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC News, predicted on September 14 that if the Republican Party nominates Rick Perry for President, a strong third ticket will emerge in the 2012 election. Todd seems to be describing Americans Elect without actually naming Americans Elect.”

    Expect to see a lot more of that in the future.

    80% of Americans say in polls that they would consider voting for a third party for president. Dissatisfaction with the Ds and Rs is at an all time high, as is the proportion of voters registering as independents. Trouble is that exiting alt parties are ideologically extreme, don’t have nearly the kind of money to compete with Ds and Rs, and thus are not taken seriously. Since they are seen as having no chance of winning the “spoiler/wasted vote” argument plays out. AE will be centrist and financially well endowed, and its candidates will be of the background that people take seriously as presidential candidates with a chance of winning – war generals, billionaire business executives, mayor of a city with more people than most states, for example.

    When the last candidate like that – Perot – ran the first time, he was actually leading in the polls. He dropped out of the race claiming President Bush had people planning to spoil his daughter’s wedding. He was never as popular after dropping back in, but nevertheless managed to get included in the debates and announcements of poll results. Since he was clearly behind the other two by election day, he did suffer somewhat from “wasted vote syndrome” but still managed to get almost 20%. Now, imagine if he had never dropped out in the first place and continued to lead or be neck in neck in the polls the whole time. That is a different dynamic, and that is what AE could do next year.

    What’s more, in the 20 years since then there are many more registered independents and the popularity of D and R leaderships has sunk further. So, there’s even more potential AE supporters than when Perot initially led in the polls.

  33. paulie Post author

    Talk about getting no respect:

    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/cnn-removes-gary-johnson-from-poll-two-weeks-after-he-outpolled-huntsman-and-santorum-in-their-own-poll

    He also polled the same as Cain in that prior poll. Cain, Santorum and Huntsman continue to be in the polls and debates, however. Johnson is no longer in the debates and now, no longer even being included in the polls. Without being included in polls it is not even possible to get into debates, since they use polls to screen who they deem a serious candidate.

    On the other hand, if they stopped including Cain, Santorum and Huntsman (all polling 1-2%) that would give Ron Paul a lot more face time in the debates as one of only five left months before voting starts.

    I’m not sure how Johnson hopes to pull anything out of this. Yes, he has a ground game in NH, but all the candidates will be pounding NH – and they have more money and more staff and volunteers, plus they are included in polls and debates.

  34. JT

    I think Cain has been at 4% or 5% in most polls, Paulie. Santorum and Huntsman have been polling lower though.

  35. Robert Capozzi

    p, is it possible that AE could choose someone AFTER Sept. 14, as Todd was saying. That sounds absurd to me.

    Perhaps he meant after the primaries have made the nominee apparent, perhaps in the spring.

    I guess a whole lotta money, the Perot factor, plus credibility and no paranoia, might do the trick. In some ways, AE being successful could be a net plus for the cause of liberty, as it could break the duopoly, freeing things up in terms of the mechanics of politics as practiced.

  36. paulie Post author

    I think Cain has been at 4% or 5% in most polls, Paulie. Santorum and Huntsman have been polling lower though.

    He was at 2% in the CNN poll that Johnson also got 2% in, yet CNN dropped Johnson this time but not Cain (or 1%ers Santorum or Huntsman).

    p, is it possible that AE could choose someone AFTER Sept. 14, as Todd was saying. That sounds absurd to me.

    That’s possible (they’ll already have ballot access before they nominate), but they’ll probably want to nominate early enough to have time to poll and get in all the debates as well as comply with state laws that require candidates to be registered with the states by a certain date. Those laws have been waived for Republicans and Democrats before. They may or may not be waived for AE. If the AE has not officially nominated before the debates are finalized the media may or may not include the AE frontrunner in the polls used to qualify the debates.

    I guess a whole lotta money, the Perot factor, plus credibility and no paranoia, might do the trick.

    There’s also the crappy economy, an incumbent in one party (incumbents tend to be blamed for a bad economy, whether they caused it or not) and a weak field in the other big box party, as Salon points out.

    In some ways, AE being successful could be a net plus for the cause of liberty, as it could break the duopoly, freeing things up in terms of the mechanics of politics as practiced.

    It has potential pluses and minuses.

    I’m not sure how Johnson hopes to pull anything out of this.

    I meant the 2012 Republican run. Since a couple of people have commented after that I figured I would respond to myself rather than just fixing it.

  37. JT

    Paulie: “[Cain] was at 2% in the CNN poll that Johnson also got 2% in, yet CNN dropped Johnson this time but not Cain (or 1%ers Santorum or Huntsman).”

    That’s true, but that poll was weeks ago. Over the past few weeks Cain has consistently polled above that in a variety of polls. He isn’t polling at 1 or 2% like Huntsman has been. Cain and Gingrich are basically even (though I don’t think either one is going anywhere).

  38. Robert Capozzi

    41 p, what do ya figger the minus factor for liberty-advancing from a “real” AE? That it crowds out the LP?

    (I’d say that’s already the case, and given all the internal drama, it is its own worst enemy.)

  39. Robert Capozzi

    41 p: …a weak field in the other big box party, ….

    me: Interesting. I don’t see that. “Strong” candidates and nominees often lose. Mondale, Hillary, Dole, Gore, McCain. Manufactured candidates often win: Clinton, W, Obama.

  40. paulie Post author

    RC

    In addition to, as you point out, absorbing the generic non-D/Roid vote,

    It’s possible that the AE nominees may be more authoritarian than the Rs and Ds. Despite what they like to project on the surface, given all the information irregulartimes,com has dug up, it is evident AE is being run in an authoritarian and secretive manner.

    Billionaire executives and generals are more used to being individually in charge than career politicians. In a time of war and economic crisis, that could mean bad things for civil liberties.

    For his part, Bloomberg has been busy trying to wipe out gun rights by suing out of state gun dealers and is even trying to take away the right of the public to videotape on the public streets in NYC, while continuing to make videotaping of the public by government and corporate entities more and more ubiquitous, along with stop and frisk searches. All in all this could be bad from a civil liberties standpoint if they get elected. Of course, Obama, Perry and Romney and far from being good on civil liberties (or economic liberties) as well.

  41. paulie Post author

    I don’t see that.

    I think Romney and Perry are relatively weak general election candidates, along with the other Republicans running. If you read the Salon article, the writer agrees with me on this and says Clinton was also a relatively weak candidate – marred by scandal and innuendo (many Democrats passed up 1992 because a year earlier Bush was at 90% and looked unbeatable).

    As with Clinton, it is possible for Romney or Perry to win despite themselves, due to the weakness of the economy and the tendency to blame the incumbent for it by voters. Obama in ’12 could go the way of Carter in ’80 and Bush Sr. in ’92, as Salon suggests.

    However, Obama may be more like FDR: the economy sucked before he got in office and all the way through his first term, he is charismatic, and has some very loyal supporters and very dogged detractors.

  42. Gene Berkman

    “…Obama may be more like FDR: the economy sucked before he got in office and all the way through his first term…”

    FDR was able to blame Herbert Hoover for the depression, at least partly because the depression lasted through three years of Hoover’s term in office.

    Obama can rightly blame policies carried out by George W Bush, but since the recession occupied only the last months on the Bush term, and ALL of Obama’s time in office, people will more strongly associate economic problems with President Obama.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    45-46 p, oh, I think the obstacles to an AE candidate winning are rather massive. But, yes, anything is possible. Patreus/Bloomberg, say, could well be worse for liberty policy outcomes than Obama 2 or Romney. Or P/B could be SLIGHTLY better in alternative-universe scenarios, ones we’ll never actually be able to know.

    I don’t see any of these prospects as pro-liberty on a policy basis. But, then, presidents are often worse for liberty than they might appear to as a candidate. For ex., Obama has been worse for liberty than I’d (vaguely) hoped. I thought perhaps he’d be more dovish, f’rinstance.

    W, too, sounded not so anti-liberty as a candidate as he turned out to be.

    I have come to the default position that Rs and Ds (and hybrid Rs and Ds, as I see AE as being) will always disappoint and quickly reverse course in the areas where they are pro-ish-liberty.

    Nevertheless, I do see some positive in the prospect of a Perot-ish AE candidate — win, lose, or show. It’s a kind of small thing, but the notion of the “2 party system” assumption is a thought obstacle to getting government to stand down, at least somewhat. The Perot experiment did plow that field some, but it lacked follow through.

    Ultimately, I don’t kid myself that politics is the path of liberation. Politics is an obstacle to liberation, as I see it. Engaging in politics may be a necessary step in undoing shackles, and I see AE as a potential twist in the chains, one that may loosen them some.

    OTOH, since pols are often the opposite of what we might expect, could Patreus winning be the second coming of Ike? Ike, in my book, may not have been a friend of liberty and may have done a few unL things, but on balance, I see those years as being fairly positive ones, as liberty tended to overwhelm politics, on net, in the 50s.

    Were I conscious in 1952, I suspect I’d think Ike might be a liberty crimper, net.

    Liberty is like light. It just shines and shines. It’s not something to fight “for,” since it just is. My interest in politics is to undo the obstacles to the light…

  44. Guy McLendon

    Folks,

    There are multiple reasons to not dwell on whether the GJ campaign is putting out feelers … let’s just stop.

    I’ve already spent appx $500 to pursue the Recruit Gary campaign. For my friends who know how stingy I can be, the fact that I’m willing to incur these expenses speaks for itself.

    Meanwhile, I need another $700 in donations in order to buy an ad in the coming LP News. If anyone will help out, please give me a call: 832-372-8131, or email guy@mclendon.net … that’s also my Paypal email.

    The GJ campaign needs to see a groundswell of support … If we don’t show them one, then the LP national delegates will certainly not have a former two term governor to pick for our presidential candidate.

  45. Michael H. Wilson

    I realize this is all about Gary Johnson, but coming back from a meeting today it crossed my mind that Ron Paul may leave the Republican Party before his term is up and after the convention. Do any of you Vegas people want give us the odds on this happening and if so what party will he go to?

  46. paulie Post author

    MHW,

    I’m not Vegas folks, but I would say the odds are heavy against Ron Paul leaving the Republicans. I’ve explained why on previous threads (maybe this one too – I don’t feel like checking).

    If he does leave the Republicans, I would say that the odds are heavy that it would be for the LP. This is due to the fact that the LP has much better ballot access than the CP and that he has already run LP before and is frequently referred to as a libertarian by all kinds of people. I have gone into much more detail on that in past IPR comments as well.

    For those who say he lines up with the CP more than the LP on issues, I would say he is somewhere in the middle. He is pro-free trade, and on issues where he leans in a CP direction vis a vis the LP he is not as far as the CP is. Thus, I would say he is about equividistant between the two ideologically.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    No oddsmaker here. I’d say if Paul keeps showing up high in the R polls and if the GOP disses him more, he might be inclined to keep his campaign going, possibly with the LP. If OTOH he sinks back to 08 type performances, then he exits to do things like C4L and speeches.

    Wildcard is AE. Also world events. If WWIII breaks out, for ex., will he really not want to challenge the Rs and Ds?

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