2012 Libertarian VP Candidate Judge Jim Gray to appear with former Senator Jim Webb at Democratic Liberty Caucus Southeast Regional Convention in Rock Hill, SC on January 3rd, 2015

From an email chain forwarded by Charles Frohman and Guy McLendon of OAI:

The conference is a come together of all of the DLC Southeastern chapters which are currently in North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia.
We have currently invited the Charlotte LP and DP’s to be in attendance as well as the Rock Hill County SC LP and DP.

We would like for you to headline our general session as keynote speaker. We have also invited Former Senator Jim Webb to headline our VIP Dinner. Other speakers include local LP and DP leadership, 2 announced DP Presidential Candidates, and the DLC Caucus Board.

I can certainly work with you to get other gigs in the area! I currently have a couple in mind that are going on in that time frame.

Thanks so much! I am back from vacation so please let me know how we can further coordinate.

Danielle L.
Midwest Chairwoman
Democratic Liberty Caucus

Judge Gray accepted the invitation and Danielle L. wrote back:

Wonderful! We will be leaving the subject line up to you. The speaking time is 50 minutes with a 10 minute question segment after your speech.

Jim Webb is the strongest candidate of the 2 we are currently looking into backing for [US President in – from context, -p] 2016. The other will also be in attendance. Robby Wells of Charlotte, NC.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-democratic-liberty-caucus-southeast-regional-convention-tickets-14905373373 has ticket and event details.

Rock Hill, SC is near Charlotte, NC.

136 thoughts on “2012 Libertarian VP Candidate Judge Jim Gray to appear with former Senator Jim Webb at Democratic Liberty Caucus Southeast Regional Convention in Rock Hill, SC on January 3rd, 2015

  1. Joshua Katz

    I hadn’t heard of the DLC before this post, although I was familiar with the DFC. The DLC seems more friendly to Libertarians, less clearly Democratic, and less clearly defined ideologically – the DFC has a clear Georgist perspective, but research on the DLC shows them to have a much wider diversity of views. However, they seem to uniformly oppose militarization of police forces and to have a clear position on police abuse.

    Backing Jim Webb for President would probably make more sense if he were running. I agree that he’s a relatively strong voice for freedom within the Democratic Party, with views close to actual free-market economics, supporting the 2A, and so on – but I count him as fair to middling on foreign policy. All in all, not a terrible choice if you’re looking within the 2 old parties.

  2. Martin Passoli

    An article at Irregular Times indicates he is in fact running (they criticize him for not running more actively). First time I have heard of DLC also.

  3. Joshua Katz

    Hmm, interesting. It seems he has an exploratory committee. I listen to POTUS during my very long commutes and never once heard him discussed. I think he needs some more visibility.

  4. Dave

    Kudos to the DLC for putting principal over party and actually inviting another party’s candidate to speak. Though it sounds from the writing as if they’re ruling out supporting a non Dem. Have they ever not endorsed the Democrat? They don’t seem to have an article on wikipedia, which probably indicates this group is not very influential within the party.

  5. George Whitfield

    I recall that Thomas Knapp was at one time affiliated with a libertarian Democrat Party caucus. Perhaps he can give us some insight to the DLC.

  6. Martin Passoli

    As far as I can find the only website they have is on facebook, and they do seem to endorse Libertarians as well as Democrats there.

  7. Joe Wendt

    Jim “Cops are Noble Servants” Gray speaking at an event for Libertarian-Democrats, shocker.

  8. Joshua Katz

    They’ve endorsed a number of Libertarian, although I take it (which is reasonable) that they only do so when the Democrat is unacceptable. I wouldn’t rule out their Presidential endorsement changing if Clinton is nominated.

    Thinking about it, by the way, it might be smart that Webb has been so quiet. There’s still a lot of uncertainty about Warren (and maybe Sanders) and he’d need to present himself differently depending on their presence. With Warren in, he’d need to take Hillary’s right flank – and would likely have no chance, unless Sanders is also in. Without her, he can strip away both Hillary’s left and right.

  9. AndyCraig

    Webb is pretty good on the issues, but personally he has a certain… shall we call it the “Mike Gravel factor.” I don’t think he would do very well in the primaries, no matter who he’s running against. I think Brian Schweitzer has more to recommend himself to our hypothetical libertarian Democrats.

    On the official party youtube channel, you can watch Arvin Vorha speaking to Campaign 4 Liberty event, a group which to my knowledge has never endorsed a Libertarian but does support many Republicans. Going to speak to non-Libertarian and even non-libertarians groups should be encouraged and accepted when such an invitation is offered, not discouraged or shunned. We’re not just preaching to the choir here, and a big chunk of could-be Libertarian general election voters will be folks who saw their guy trounced and rejected in the Dem/GOP primary.

  10. paulie Post author

    “Webb is pretty good on the issues, but personally he has a certain… shall we call it the “Mike Gravel factor.” I don’t think he would do very well in the primaries, no matter who he’s running against. I think Brian Schweitzer has more to recommend himself to our hypothetical libertarian Democrats. ”

    Has Schweitzer expressed any interest in a campaign for the presidential nomination? I haven’t heard him do so. You may have a point about Webb, but given that their next availabe choice is Robby Wells…I hope that’s all I have to say on that. But you do bring up an interestig possibility: I wonder if Webb will jump to the LP after his campaign for the Democratic nomination fades, much as Gravel did, and much as Johnson did after an aborted run for the Republican nomination? I don’t expect Webb to get much traction in the LP either, but he could be an interesting VP choice, for example.

    “On the official party youtube channel, you can watch Arvin Vorha speaking to Campaign 4 Liberty event, a group which to my knowledge has never endorsed a Libertarian but does support many Republicans. Going to speak to non-Libertarian and even non-libertarians groups should be encouraged and accepted when such an invitation is offered, not discouraged or shunned. We’re not just preaching to the choir here, and a big chunk of could-be Libertarian general election voters will be folks who saw their guy trounced and rejected in the Dem/GOP primary.”

    I fully agree.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    I hope there’s video available after the event. I’m curious to hear what he’ll say, and also how the audience will react.

  12. paulie Post author

    I hope so too.

    A further point regarding the prospects of Webb, Schweitzer or any other libertarianish-leaning Democrat to actually get their presidential nomination in 2016: I don’t see it happening. I would rate that as even less likely than a Rand Paul nomination on the Republican side, and I don’t see the latter as nearly as likely as some people do, at least not for the top spot.

  13. Dave

    Schweitzer was very interested in running against Hillary, but he’s also been very critical of Obama on civil liberties, so i don’t really think he has a base in the Democratic party. He also made some comments against Feinstein that resulted in a great deal of outrage, after which he kind of went quiet. Personally I don’t think he runs now. I see the field being Webb, Sanders, and Hillary.

    I could definitely see Webb jump ship, much more so that Sanders. He’s always marched to his own drummer. And apparently he really still resents Clinton for voting for the Iraq War. I’m not sure he’d go LP. Maybe an independent run of some sort.

  14. paulie Post author

    I see the field being Webb, Sanders, and Hillary.

    Warren, or some other people you didn’t mention, are more likely to mount a serious challenge to Mrs. Clinton than Webb, Sanders or Schweitzer. I agree that Schweiter is unlikely to run in 2016.

    I could definitely see Webb jump ship, much more so that Sanders. He’s always marched to his own drummer. And apparently he really still resents Clinton for voting for the Iraq War. I’m not sure he’d go LP. Maybe an independent run of some sort.

    LP would be more practical. I don’t think he will have funds for significant independent ballot access. It’s also why LP would be more likely than any other alt party, and why Gravel went to us rather than, say, the Greens. Nationwide independent ballot access from scratch costs millions of dollars. That’s why we get the crossover candidates. Very few people want to raise and/or spend that kind of money on ballot access when we have already got most of it done and have proven ability to get all or almost all of the rest of it done time and again.

  15. Dave

    I don’t think Warren will run, honestly. Not that my opinion means much, but an interest in presidential politicking in all parties is a hobby of mine, and I’ve not even heard rumors that she’s truly interested. A lot of people want her to, but she just does not strike me as the type who wants it. I do think she’d be the only one who could run a serious campaign against Clinton, and Clinton knows that. It’s one reason she’s been taking steps to appear with her and using some of her rhetoric.

    You’re probably right about Webb. I don’t know enough about him to say for sure who he’d go for, but LP would be the best bet. And given they’ve had several establishment politicians(meant as a neutral term) cross over to them already, it probably makes it easier for him.

  16. paulie Post author

    an interest in presidential politicking in all parties is a hobby of mine

    Same here. I’ve been following that stuff since I was like 8 years old, LOL.

    I’ve not even heard rumors that she’s truly interested.

    Well, there’s rampant speculation about her running. I don’t know how much she has encouraged it, if at all, but as I an sure you know there are many other possibilities on that side as well.

  17. Joe Wendt

    It would be interesting IF Jim Webb sought the Libertarian nom. His service as Secretary of the Navy and as a US Senator, would make him the most viable candidate the LP may nominate. Plus, his advocacy for even a watered down version of the LP platform would give more credence to the LP being a viable alternative. Also, his military background would give the LP’s stance on military and foreign policy issues more credence amongst voters in an election. That being said, I doubt he would win the nomination or even make it on the ticket as VP. There are too many conservative LINO’s who would blindly support Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, and would do anything from having a former Dem on the LP ticket, regardless of how much of an improvement nominating Jim Webb could be for the Party.

  18. Joe Wendt

    correcting a typo: There are too many conservative LINO’s who would blindly support Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, and would do anything to prevent the party from having a former Dem on the LP ticket,

  19. AndyCraig

    You’re right that Schweitzer has effectively dropped out, but I think he could potentially be dragged in. Webb might well run, but I don’t think he will a single state. If anybody manages to knock Hillary down a few peg, it will be Sanders, but he won’t be allowed to get close to actually being the nominee. I agree with Dave that Warren has made it pretty clear she won’t run in 2016 against Hillary, but she might run in the future, either 2020 or 2024 depending how the general election goes for the Dems. Sanders is left enough to run a strong insurgency, but too far left to actually win. O’Malley is the other name that gets tossed around a lot, along with Cuomo. O’Malley will be 2016’s Pawlenty, and Cuomo will only jump in if it looks like Hillary is imploding. If he’s actually interested.

    I like the idea of Webb or another libertarian-leaning ex-Democrat for VP on paper, much as I liked the idea of Gravel for VP (I know he’s no better for the purists, and I share most of the complaints about him, but he would have done much better in balancing out Barr I think). Still, however nice that might be on paper, I don’t think it would work out at all in practice. As a Democrat, Webb has made a lot of noise on economic issues that will (and should be) unacceptable to Libertarians, and I think unlike Gravel he knows that well enough not to try. Also Johnson, unlike Barr, doesn’t need any help appealing to the left and center. Despite being an ex-Republican, Johnson has always had one foot solidly in social/cultural liberalism, secularism, etc., and doesn’t really need shoring up on that front. If he anything, he needs a more straight-laced type like Gary to shore him up from the right.

    I like Gray, I wouldn’t object to renominating him. But I think if the malcontent/purist/whatever wing wants to pull Johnson in a more radical direction, the smart move would be to get a good candidate from within the party to seek the VP nomination in 2016. There’s a half-decent chance that if it looks like it’s gaining steam, and Johnson is OK with the candidate, that Gray would drop out or not even announce his candidacy in the first place. That is admittedly speculative, and I don’t dislike Gray as much as some do, but I think it would be the smart move.

  20. AndyCraig

    re: Webb, he has a record of saying inflammatory things, on race, gender, etc. He is, in politico-speak, a loose cannon. As interesting as it would be, I don’t think his impressive resume would trump that. And I don’t think he’s really capable of articulating even a “watered-down” liberalism. He is still at heart a liberal/moderate Democrat, not a libertarian, on too many issues.

    If Webb, after dropping out of the Democratic primary, is willing to be Johnson’s running mate, I wouldn’t necessarily oppose that. But trying to get such a thing through the LNC after the convention has nominated somebody else (as the time of these things would necessitate) would be a total shitshow.

  21. Andy

    “Joe Wendt

    December 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    It would be interesting IF Jim Webb sought the Libertarian nom. His service as Secretary of the Navy and as a US Senator, would make him the most viable candidate the LP may nominate. Plus, his advocacy for even a watered down version of the LP platform would give more credence to the LP being a viable alternative.”

    I disagree that having held elected office automatically makes one a viable candidate for the Libertarian Party. It did not work for former US House member Bob Barr, and even with Gary Johnson, who had been Governor of New Mexico (and note that Governor and Senator are the two offices which most people who have been elected President have held prior to being elected President), this was not enough to propel him to a high level of success. Gary Johnson still failed to get 1% of the vote, and he received a lower percentage of the vote than Ed Clark received back in 1980, and Ed Clark never held elected office. Yes, I know that Ed Clark had a wealthy running mate in David Koch, and I know that David Koch kicked in something like $3 or $4 million into their campaign, but it should also be pointed out that Ed Clark had to compete for votes against a higher profiled independent candidate in John Anderson, while when Gary Johnson ran, he had the benefit of being the highest profile minor party or independent candidate in the race.

    I don’t think that Libertarian Party candidates necessarily have to be 100% anarcho-capitalism right now, but they should at the least be what is considered to be fairly hardcore libertarian. How libertarian is Jim Webb? I’m skeptical that he’s “libertarian enough” to be an effective or acceptable Libertarian Party candidate.

  22. paulie Post author

    His service as Secretary of the Navy and as a US Senator, would make him the most viable candidate the LP may nominate.

    Viable in what universe? I doubt he would do any better, or even as well as, Gary Johnson, and he has far less chance at the nomination.

    Also, his military background would give the LP’s stance on military and foreign policy issues more credence amongst voters in an election.

    Except that he would still get very little coverage and be excluded from the debates, won’t have money for national mass advertising, and has very moderate views on those issues for an LP candidate.

    That being said, I doubt he would win the nomination or even make it on the ticket as VP.

    I agree with you about the presidential nomination but I think he could have a solid shot at VP. Johnson, and many people around him, could very well see symbolic value in having a former Democratic US Senator and cabinet officer on the ticket. So could a lot of convention delegates, potentially.

    There are too many conservative LINO’s who would blindly support Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, and would do anything from having a former Dem on the LP ticket, regardless of how much of an improvement nominating Jim Webb could be for the Party.

    Why would conservative LINOs like Johnson when he emphasizes so many liberal-libertarian issues so strongly? That doesn’t make much sense.

  23. Joe Wendt

    I am skeptical of Webb’s libertarian cred, however he would be an improvement over Johnson based on his resume, which some libertarians associate with viability for some dumb reason (look at Barr and Johnson). Personally, I would prefer either Darryl Perry or George Phillies.

  24. paulie Post author

    If Webb, after dropping out of the Democratic primary, is willing to be Johnson’s running mate, I wouldn’t necessarily oppose that. But trying to get such a thing through the LNC after the convention has nominated somebody else (as the time of these things would necessitate) would be a total shitshow.

    I don’t see it happening through the LNC. It would be more likely that he would switch to an LP presidential nomination run close to but before the LP convention, a la Gravel, since the Democratic nomination would no longer be plausible with most states having voted. Then he would fall short of the presidential nomination, but put himself in a strong place to be considered for VP, both by Johnson and by the delegates as a body.

  25. AndyCraig

    But the case for Johnson has never been just his good resume, it’s that he’s more-or-less a good libertarian. I know you and others might disagree with that, but myself and others think that’s the case for him, and I think most of the party agrees. Not just that we just nominate any ex-Governor or Senator who walks through the door. Gravel placed after all placed 4th after Root- Root for chrissakes!- and Ruwart, and he’s not just a Senator but with some modicum of historical significance (Pentagon Papers, etc.) I don’t think you’ll find too many people saying the solution to the problem of Barr being the nominee, but would be to have nominated Senator Gravel.

    I like Phillies, even though I often disagree with him. But Phillies as the nominee would be a disaster, I think. I don’t see what you see in Perry, that would wouldn’t get over any other marginal blogger. (no offense to marginal bloggers, but you don’t see me running for President.) Nor can Perry apparently limit his aspirations to the LP, since he’s also associated with a host of other minor liberty-oriented parties, both defunct and quasi-defunct, which are the two categories non-LP libertarian parties fall into in the US. If coming to the LP from being in the GOP is unacceptable, then I think by the same standard so should leaving the LP to join and promote another minor party.

  26. paulie Post author

    *water-down libertarianism, rather, of course (and forgive my other types 😉 )

    Not sure if you know this yet, but as an IPR editor you can actually edit them after the fact.

  27. Joe Wendt

    Webb is a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Secretary of the Navy, and a US Senator. Some nimrods within the party will somehow equate that with being as viable/appealing/whatever. Some may view that as an improvement. I personally view him an improvement because, he actually has charisma (to a limited extent) and doesn’t remind me of big bird.

  28. paulie Post author

    I guess different people have different ideas of charisma, but Governor has in recent decades been a much more likely background for winning presidential candidates than Senator/Cabinet member.

  29. Joe Wendt

    “But Phillies as the nominee would be a disaster, I think.”

    I disagree, I think he’d do the party proud and would help grow the party.

  30. Martin Passoli

    He would get the usual 5-10% of the delegate vote that he gets when he runs for chair or president if he runs for either one again.

  31. Andy

    Paul said: “Why would conservative LINOs like Johnson when he emphasizes so many liberal-libertarian issues so strongly? That doesn’t make much sense.”

    Because he’s a former elected Republican. Also, Gary Johnson is not as “liberal” as some make him out to be. One example is that he favors banning late term abortions and he also favors parental notification if a minor wants to get an abortion. These are issues which are more identified with “conservatives” than with “liberals.”

  32. AndyCraig

    I think failing to make more of his charisma and life story was one of the major failings of the GJ2012 campaign. He’s actually very good on those things, they should play up his ‘character’ more I think (not as in ethics, but as in persona)… but I will concede he at times needs some coaching, and has on occasion stuck his foot in his mouth. lol @ big bird, though.

    Paulie is right though, Governors tend to do better running for President than a Senator/Cabinet member. Yes, that technically describes the presumptive Democratic nominee, but Webb isn’t married to a popular ex-President. If anything, serving in a Cabinet position tends to kill a Governor/Senator’s chances of successfully running for President. Tommy Thompson went from potential nominee to “who’s that? oh, he also ran?” in just one stint as Bush’s HHS Secretary.

    All other things being equal, I agree Webb has a better resume for a Presidential candidate. But that doesn’t mean he’d make a better *Libertarian* Presidential candidate, or that he’s a better candidate when you consider things other than list of offices held.

    Obama, after all, was a guy who barely spent two years in the US Senate before running for President. Jimmy Carter was a relatively unknown Governor of Georgia. Once you’re over threshold of having been elected to one of those offices, so the idea of being elected President is *plausible*, I don’t think additional experience really counts for much with the voters.

    //re: edits. Good to know. I wasn’t sure if it was accepted, though, and I wasn’t logged in as an author.

  33. AndyCraig

    Webb also has a history of making racially insensitive remarks, opposed allowing women in the military, and has written several very odd sexually-explicit novels, and has seriously claimed that the Civil War was about the “centuries-old Celtic-Saxon conflict.”. Charisma? Maybe. But so did Kucinich. Didn’t stop the highlight of his campaign being “that guy who said he believed in UFOs during a debate.”

  34. paulie Post author

    I don’t get Kucinich’s charisma, but he did manage to marry a younger and very attractive woman, so there must be something to it.

  35. AndyCraig

    @Andy “”One example is that he favors banning late term abortions and he also favors parental notification if a minor wants to get an abortion. These are issues which are more identified with “conservatives” than with “liberals.”””

    While those are true, I think it’s very silly to say that his overall pro-choice position on abortion appeals more to conservatives than liberals. Nobody who cares about those issues from the anti-abortion perspective, would accept a candidate who was pro-choice except for those two aspects of the issue. Whereas there are a lot of generally pro-choice people who make those same exceptions. Also, to state the obvious, the LP has before, currently does, and will probably continue to nominate many pro-life Libertarians who are much more strongly anti-abortion than Johnson has ever been.

    @JoeWendt As for Phillies, at the risk of being too harsh on George, you can’t support him for the nomination and pretend that “charisma” is any sort of concern. I mean, come on… :p

  36. Andy

    AndyCraig said: “While those are true, I think it’s very silly to say that his overall pro-choice position on abortion appeals more to conservatives than liberals.”

    Gary Johnson’s overall position is not pro-choice on abortion. He is only pro-choice if it is an early term abortion (and if the person seeking the abortion is not a minor), and even then, he takes a 10th amendment position, like Ron Paul, that it is an issue that should be left for the states to decide, which would mean that if Gary Johnson were elected President, and a state like say Utah banned all abortions, he would not interfere with that decision in Utah. These stances would put Gary Johnson at odds with much of the pro-choice on abortion crowd (of course one could make the argument that these are good stances to take, but this is not the point of this discussion, as the point is to show that Gary Johnson is not as “liberal” as some people are making him out to be).

  37. AndyCraig

    Maybe. I don’t think you could read too much into his general perception from that, though. This an issue that even the LP platform is deliberately ambiguous on. In general, Johnson puts much emphasis on his social liberalism/tolerance/libertarianism/whatever-you-want-to-call it, and when asked about the issue of abortion in particular tends to emphasis his pro-choice credentials over his pro-life stances. I wasn’t saying he’s a liberal-progressive, just that within the Libertarian spectrum he does better with that crowd than many more right-leaning Libertarians and psuedo-libertarian Republicans. If we’re talking about a running mate to balance the ticket, he doesn’t need a more left-leaning VP in other words.

    On legalization, on abortion, on marriage, on civil liberties, Gary is well to the left of any of the other political figures that have the libertarian label in most reporting, which like it or not (and I don’t) is a list that primarily consists of Rand Paul, followed by Justin Amash, with anybody else in the LP being far down the list if even on it.

  38. paulie Post author

    Also, I think Gary Johnson may be more pro-choice on abortion now than his public position was as a Republican. All he says now is that he is pro-choice. Try getting that out of Ron, much less Rand Paul. Gary says that openly, and without being prompted.

  39. langa

    As for Phillies, at the risk of being too harsh on George, you can’t support him for the nomination and pretend that “charisma” is any sort of concern. I mean, come on… :p

    My thoughts exactly.

    I would say that the LP hasn’t really had a Presidential candidate with charisma since Harry Browne. Johnson comes off as more eccentric than charismatic, and Barr was just stuffy. I guess Badnarik was a little more charismatic than those two, but that’s not saying much. In ’08, I thought Ruwart and Kubby, in addition to being more libertarian than Barr, were also a lot more charismatic, but unfortunately, the bizarre obsession with “respectability” kept them from being nominated.

  40. Joe Wendt

    @AndyCraig,

    One important fact you are forgetting, George Phillies doesn’t remind anyone of Big Bird, like Johnson does. In addition, Phillies 2008 stances on foreign policy are far more superior to Gary “let’s get Kony” Johnson.

  41. Joe Wendt

    Now, if Gary Johnson shifted ideologically and supported someone like George Phillies, Chuck Moulton, Mary Ruwart, or even Darryl Perry as VP, I could see myself supporting him (because he’s at least making an effort to be more Libertarian). Unfortunately, I doubt that’ll ever happen.

  42. Andy Craig

    I think (admittedly speculating) that Johnson would be very willing to make such a concession, if he was offered a “more Libertarian” candidate that would also be at least equally effective at campaigning and has a reasonable degree of gravitas and credibility. I don’t think any of the ones you name except maybe Ruwart fit that bill, though. Phillies has some merit, but he wouldn’t per se satisfy the radical caucus, and his appeal has its limits. Perry, to put it bluntly, would be an ineffective joke.

    Steve Kubby, if he would be acceptable, already has a close friendly working relationship with Johnson. Though I think that make for a more marijuana-centric ticket than is advisable, and Kubby himself seems pretty clear that he doesn’t want to run for office again. Jeffrey Miron is no LP stalwart, but he’s a solid libertarian, who has also worked with Johnson, and has a prestigious enough academic resume to be at least plausibly credible.

    And I do think that’s an important consideration, I believe if the LP wants to be taken seriously we should nominate somebody for President who could actually plausibly serve as President, and by extension the same for Vice-President. Being a loyal true-north Libertarian isn’t enough, not for the Presidential ticket, or else we’d have hundreds of perceptibly qualified potential nominees.

    I don’t know who all was on Johnson’s short list for VP in 2012, but I know that there was one, and many other potential running mates were being courted/vetted. I don’t think he’s necessarily as committed to Gray as you assume, nor is Gray necessarily that committed to running again. As for me though, any other candidate would have to bring some serious value-added to the campaign to be worth bumping Gray for. And for what it’s worth, I think the practice of the Presidential candidates recruiting their own running mate is a positive precedent to follow in the future, if you didn’t like his choice of Gray. It’s smarter than just nominating whatever Presidential also-ran is still hanging around the convention and willing to accept the VP nomination, which has been past practice.

  43. Andy Craig

    I’ll concede the Kony thing was a mistake, though the way he framed it was not the totally unacceptable war-mongering that some have tried to paint it as. It’s not a mistake I expect to see repeated though. He *has* learned from criticism and moved more in our direction, ideologically. I think his instincts and tendencies are in the right place, his deviations few and small enough to accept. Maybe he hasn’t moved as much as some would want, but his willingness to listen to and learn from criticism is one of the things that strongly recommends Gary Johnson in my book, and sets him apart from the delusional ego-maniacs who make up the vast bulk of Presidential candidates, in the LP as much as the big-two parties. Perhaps just as importantly, he pays attention to and pro-actively responds to libertarian criticisms of Rand Paul and other pseudo-libertarian Republicans, who are still his main competition in a very real sense, not the stalwart/malcontent/purist wing within the LP, which I don’t think will be able to even force a 2nd ballot at the ’16 convention.

    I could name several unflattering characters that Phillies could potentially remind people of, but I really don’t want to get into criticizing the man’s physical appearance and personality.

  44. Joe Wendt

    “should nominate somebody for President who could actually plausibly serve as President”

    George Phillies and Chuck Moulton are just as qualified as George Bush the Elder (minus the two terms in Congress). Both are credible Libertarians, both have served in various positions at in their respective state parties, and Moulton was even Vice Chair of the LNC and came very close to becoming LNC Secretary this year. They both are suitable for VP, if not the Presidential nomination.

  45. Andy

    langa said: “My thoughts exactly.

    I would say that the LP hasn’t really had a Presidential candidate with charisma since Harry Browne. Johnson comes off as more eccentric than charismatic, and Barr was just stuffy. I guess Badnarik was a little more charismatic than those two, but that’s not saying much. In ’08, I thought Ruwart and Kubby, in addition to being more libertarian than Barr, were also a lot more charismatic, but unfortunately, the bizarre obsession with “respectability” kept them from being nominated.”

    Mary Ruwart espoused a hardcore libertarian philosophy, but she did not strike me as being charismatic at all. I thought she was too mousey. Steve Kubby had some charisma, but he did not always show (as in he was not consistently charismatic).

    Bob Barr may be able to fire up a room full of mainstream Republicans, but when it came to Libertarians, Barr fell flat. Barr was the worst candidate out of all of the LP candidates for President. Not only was he the worst on issues and credibility, his campaign was completely uninspiring. I have yet to meet anyone who said that they were inspired to become a libertarian or join the Libertarian Party because of Bob Barr. If anything, Barr turned off a lot of people who probably would have voted Libertarian otherwise.

  46. Guess what

    This was a great article up until the mention of Robby Wells. The only thing worse than these hobo candidates are the “activists” who take them seriously.

  47. langa

    Mary Ruwart espoused a hardcore libertarian philosophy, but she did not strike me as being charismatic at all. I thought she was too mousey. Steve Kubby had some charisma, but he did not always show (as in he was not consistently charismatic).

    I actually made a small typo. I meant to say, “… Ruwart and Kubby, in addition to being more charismatic than Barr, were also a lot more libertarian …”; I accidentally switched the words “charismatic” and “libertarian”, but my point remains the same, that either of them would have been a much better candidate than Barr. I think in hindsight, most people in the LP would agree. Probably the only exceptions are those people who are literally terrified of ever doing anything controversial, such as nominating a candidate who has been arrested on drug charges, or a candidate who wrote an ill-advised passage in a book many years earlier. These are probably the same people that claimed the Ron Paul newsletters made him a pariah. They are literally terrified of ever offending anybody, or even associating with anyone who has ever offended anybody. In short, they are gutless cowards.

  48. Andy

    langa

    December 27, 2014 at 5:31 am “They are literally terrified of ever offending anybody, or even associating with anyone who has ever offended anybody. In short, they are gutless cowards.”

    They were terrified of offending people, yet they nominated a candidate who was a long time drug warrior and who voted for The Patriot Act as well as other anti-libertarian things.

  49. langa

    They were terrified of offending people, yet they nominated a candidate who was a long time drug warrior and who voted for The Patriot Act as well as other anti-libertarian things.

    Libertarians actually seem to be the only people they aren’t afraid of offending, unfortunately.

  50. Joshua Katz

    If we want to make the case that an LP candidate is qualified and credible, I don’t think the Senior Bush is the easiest comparison to make. Besides two terms in Congress, his job as CIA Director put him in the White House daily. Better and easier comparisons are Obama, Bush Jr., and many of the early Presidents, whose claim to fame was writing. It would be silly to claim that Phillies, or Moulton, or I, have as much experience and credibility as Bush Sr – or Johnson, or Gravel, or Barr, for that matter.

    But this is, I think, rather overrated anyway. Nothing can prepare a person to be President. It is an overwhelming job for anyone. There is a threshold – once over the threshold, everyone is, to me, more or less equal. The only thing that, arguably, is extraordinary preparation, other than being VP, is the one experience that, as noted above, hurts a campaign – Cabinet experience, or very close sub-Cabinet. Such a person has learned to speak before Senate and Congress, facing hostility, and has worked closely with a sitting President, seeing the job on a day to day basis.

    How does the public feel? Rather schizophrenic. As was recently pointed out, everyone agrees that Jeb Bush is “the Republican establishment candidate” – the only Republican candidate who is not currently in Washington. The public wants an outsider with high-level government experience, a credible policy-maker who can move issues forward but isn’t a wheeler-dealer, a magician who can deliver results without costs, and who would also be fun to have a beer with. No candidate can stand up to those expectations.

    In short, a candidate should be someone who is qualified to be President, and can be seen as credible by many. No one will ever seem credible to most (remember “gravitas?”)

    That’s, of course, assuming we run a candidate – but I’m talking generally, not about the LP in particular or 2016 in particular.

  51. paulie Post author

    Phillies 2008 stances on foreign policy are far more superior to Gary “let’s get Kony” Johnson.

    Gary said that he would not rule out “humanitarian” intervention in extreme circumstances, not that he is gung ho to invade Africa. That’s a distortion of his position.

    Gov. Johnson is a peacenik, emphasizes his pro-peace positions strongly, is known for wearing peace symbols; his interviews, articles, blog posts, youtube ads, twitter, FB and so on all show(ed) a strong antiwar position. Saying he would not under any and all circumstances rule out use of US military force is far from being a gung ho warmonger who’s just itching for excuses to go to war.

    Now, if Gary Johnson shifted ideologically and supported someone like George Phillies, Chuck Moulton, Mary Ruwart, or even Darryl Perry as VP

    Since you brought up childrens television…one of these is not like the others. George Phillies, like Gary Johnson, is not a purist libertarian. He calls himself a centrist.

    I think Chuck could do a good job as a VP candidate, but probably won’t be considered for that seriously unless he runs for president first. Mary Ruwart could too, but I think she wants to stay away from running after what happened in 2008. Darryl could do a credible job in interviews, but honestly, I have a hard time seeing the delegates choose him over Judge Gray, Jim Webb, or other people with either more impressive resumes or more party loyalty and intra-party accomplishment.

  52. paulie Post author

    It’s smarter than just nominating whatever Presidential also-ran is still hanging around the convention and willing to accept the VP nomination, which has been past practice.

    Wayne Root is the only one that I can think of that fits that description, although others have been considered.

    2012 – Wrights ran for both spots, lost both. Judge Gray won VP and was not a presidential contender.
    2008 – Kubby ran for both spots, lost both. Root ran for both and won for VP.
    2004 – Neither the winning VP pick (Campagna) nor runner up (Millay) ran for the presidency.
    2000 – Art Olivier won for VP, and had not run for president. Kubby lost for VP, and had not run for president that year.
    1996 – Jo Jorgensen, the VP pick, had not run for the presidency.

    I’d have to look it up to go further back, but off the top of my head I can’t think of any before or after Root that actually managed to get the VP spot as a consolation prize in the LP although several have tried.

  53. paulie Post author

    I’ll concede the Kony thing was a mistake, though the way he framed it was not the totally unacceptable war-mongering that some have tried to paint it as. It’s not a mistake I expect to see repeated though. He *has* learned from criticism and moved more in our direction, ideologically. I think his instincts and tendencies are in the right place, his deviations few and small enough to accept. Maybe he hasn’t moved as much as some would want, but his willingness to listen to and learn from criticism is one of the things that strongly recommends Gary Johnson in my book, and sets him apart from the delusional ego-maniacs who make up the vast bulk of Presidential candidates, in the LP as much as the big-two parties.

    Exactly!

    Perhaps just as importantly, he pays attention to and pro-actively responds to libertarian criticisms of Rand Paul and other pseudo-libertarian Republicans, who are still his main competition in a very real sense, not the stalwart/malcontent/purist wing within the LP, which I don’t think will be able to even force a 2nd ballot at the ’16 convention.

    You are most likely correct. I see NOTA as the bigger threat, because both some purists/ultra-partisans and some Republitarian Rand Paul fans could combine in a NOTA push. That, or possibly a last minute Ventura walk-in, but that’s last likely to get as far, or to happen at all.

  54. paulie Post author

    George Phillies and Chuck Moulton are just as qualified as George Bush the Elder (minus the two terms in Congress).

    If you consider mainstream credentials to be in any way important, Older Bush was the sitting VP of the US, and many including myself believe the real de facto president for most of the time Reagan was in office, so there’s that minor detail.

    Mary Ruwart espoused a hardcore libertarian philosophy, but she did not strike me as being charismatic at all. I thought she was too mousey.

    Sometimes, but she can be charming. I’ve seen her light up a room more than a few times.

    Steve Kubby had some charisma, but he did not always show (as in he was not consistently charismatic).

    He feeds off positive feedback. When he is getting a lot of rejection and hardship in his life it’s hard to be that smiling, happy self that works better for him in appealing to a crowd. Doubly so when dealing with a bad flu, just starting to learn to use a teleprompter, trying to scrounge up enough money to get to conventions, pay rent and afford medicine, trying to resolve the last of the legal situation, worrying about getting busted for having medicine while on the road (or using something a lot less effective), etc., etc.

    Bob Barr may be able to fire up a room full of mainstream Republicans

    I have a hard time imagining him firing anyone up, even those guys.

  55. paulie Post author

    This was a great article up until the mention of Robby Wells.

    You have to put it in context. Even the DLC openly says Webb is the more credible candidate, which is a polite way of saying they don’t take Wells seriously and want to make sure everyone knows it. And Webb, as noted earlier, is not a great candidate either – Irregular Times says he barely even updates his social media accounts and AC far above notes his “Gravel factor.” They are inviting Wells because that way they can say they have *two* presidential candidates, and because he asked to come. It’s not a huge group – they have three state affiliates in the region which are most likely very bare bones. They apparently don’t have a website other than a facebook page. So, they take what they can get.

  56. paulie Post author

    talk to us about the virtues of “offending.”

    Offending for its own sake isn’t much of a value, but if you are too afraid of offending anyone there is not much, if anything, you can actually do. Everything offends someone, and big accomplishments and significant actions always, or almost always, offend a lot of people.

  57. Joshua Katz

    Interesting that I managed to forget that Bush Sr. was VP and only remembered his CIA role.

    I think, although I’m not sure, that if Ventura walked in, he’d win. Again, I’m not sure, but that’s my expectation. I also think there’s less than 0 chance of him doing that.

    Please note: I am neither a Rand Paul supporter nor an ultra-purist. There exist people who don’t fit into either category who are less interested in running a Presidential candidate.

    Regarding Barr – I actually think he was an amazing speaker. He keynoted our convention here one year, and I had to remind myself a few times during his speech that I wasn’t a fan, because he knows how to measure and react to his audience, sound good to the crowd he is talking to, and give a great speech. I don’t think those skills would have translated into a successful debate performance, though.

    Also, here in CT the ACLU asked us if were interested in a ballot access lawsuit. This began before I was chair, but the decision was made that we were. After I became chair, I went to meet with the law firm the ACLU had retained. It was one of those real old-school white-heeled firms – I’ve never had water from a Tiffany crystal glass before – and it turned out that the reason the senior partner there was so interested in ballot access was that a friend of his missed the CT ballot in 2008 – the senior partner at the firm had been an AUSA under Barr when Barr was USA.

  58. paulie Post author

    Better and easier comparisons are Obama, Bush Jr., and many of the early Presidents, whose claim to fame was writing.

    Obama had been a US Senator and state legislator. Shrub had been Governor of Texas and son of a president. Early presidents…I’d have to brush up, but off hand, I think most of them had had titles such as General, Governor, Congressman and Senator before becoming president, and besides, a lot of things have changed since then. A newly independent nation of 3 million people with a relatively weak federal government of which the presidency is the least important branch is a long ways away from a nation of 300 million which is the world’s top superpower with a massive federal government, budget and bureaucracy and an imperial presidency.

  59. Joshua Katz

    Paulie – I’m not saying any of the proposed candidates look good against those, just that comparing them to Bush Sr. makes them look worse. Obama was in his first term as a Senator – basically still wearing a beanie and wondering where the bathrooms are. Jr was a Governor, but was not seen as having, you might recall, “gravitas.” I think he was largely seen as someone whose father had bought him a Governor’s mansion, and who called his father and brother when actual policy work was needed, whereas no one could doubt Sr’s policy and wheeling-dealing ability. Everyone knew he was a credible politician. Everyone knew Jr as the guy who got pulled over a lot and ruined every business he touched.

    The early ones – General is much easier to compare to than most jobs that are actually in politics. Running a big company can be seen by many as giving as much credibility for President as being a General would – particularly back in the days of “civilian control of the military.” Of course a lot has changed since then – I didn’t say such comparisons would be all that helpful, just that they’d make more sense.

  60. paulie Post author

    I think, although I’m not sure, that if Ventura walked in, he’d win. Again, I’m not sure, but that’s my expectation. I also think there’s less than 0 chance of him doing that.

    I think there’s a small chance he will walk in at the last minute, but I don’t think he would win, although he might.

    Please note: I am neither a Rand Paul supporter nor an ultra-purist. There exist people who don’t fit into either category who are less interested in running a Presidential candidate.

    I mentioned purists and ultra-partisans as two separate categories. Phillies is ultra-partisan but not ideologically purist. But you are correct, as an L in R seat you are not ultra-partisan either. So I should amend that to say that several different kinds of people with different motivations could unite to make NOTA a serious contender.

    Regarding Barr – I actually think he was an amazing speaker. He keynoted our convention here one year, and I had to remind myself a few times during his speech that I wasn’t a fan, because he knows how to measure and react to his audience, sound good to the crowd he is talking to, and give a great speech.

    I saw Barr speak to several state and national conventions. He wasn’t a terrible speaker, and he did manage to make himself sound libertarian, but amazing isn’t exactly the word that comes to mind.

    His post-nomination campaign was very forgettable, which is almost certainly a good thing. His pre-nomination campaign was very minimal, avoiding a formal announcement until all state conventions ended and all unofficial debates in Denver, even the one Root showed up for.

    As for his appeal to Republicans, that too seems to have faded, as he hasn’t come anywhere close to winning in his last two primaries for US House.

    I think he aspires to copy the Ron Paul playbook – Republican Congressman, LP presidential candidate, Republican Congressman again, and finally Republican presidential nomination contender. If so, I don’t think he will succeed nearly as well.

    Also, here in CT the ACLU asked us if were interested in a ballot access lawsuit. This began before I was chair, but the decision was made that we were. After I became chair, I went to meet with the law firm the ACLU had retained. It was one of those real old-school white-heeled firms – I’ve never had water from a Tiffany crystal glass before – and it turned out that the reason the senior partner there was so interested in ballot access was that a friend of his missed the CT ballot in 2008 – the senior partner at the firm had been an AUSA under Barr when Barr was USA.

    OK, so he wasn’t totally worthless. I’m still going to agree with Andy that he turned off and turned away more potential LP supporters that year than he brought in.

  61. paulie Post author

    Obama was in his first term as a Senator – basically still wearing a beanie and wondering where the bathrooms are. Jr was a Governor, but was not seen as having, you might recall, “gravitas.” I think he was largely seen as someone whose father had bought him a Governor’s mansion, and who called his father and brother when actual policy work was needed, whereas no one could doubt Sr’s policy and wheeling-dealing ability. Everyone knew he was a credible politician. Everyone knew Jr as the guy who got pulled over a lot and ruined every business he touched.

    The early ones – General is much easier to compare to than most jobs that are actually in politics. Running a big company can be seen by many as giving as much credibility for President as being a General would – particularly back in the days of “civilian control of the military.” Of course a lot has changed since then – I didn’t say such comparisons would be all that helpful, just that they’d make more sense.

    Basically agreed.

    How important those considerations should be to the LP is a separate question.

  62. Joshua Katz

    I’m guessing amazingness at speaking is quite subjective, so there doesn’t seem to be much to be said there.

    Note that I’m not saying the Barr endorsement was a good thing – I remain disgusted to this day that a Presidential candidate of ours was lead defense attorney for a brutal dictator, among the other things he’s done.

  63. Joshua Katz

    Paulie – of course, and my answer, speaking very broadly, is “not all that important, if important at all, once a threshold of credibility is reached.”

  64. Robert Capozzi

    pf: Offending for its own sake isn’t much of a value, but if you are too afraid of offending anyone there is not much, if anything, you can actually do. Everything offends someone, and big accomplishments and significant actions always, or almost always, offend a lot of people.

    me: Thanks. I don’t recall the last time I was offended by anything, but then I’ve been so chill for so long, I admit to being an outlier.

    I sometimes get the sense that my use of shorthand terms like “NAPsolutist” may offend adherents to NAPsolutism, but those paying attention notice that I’m open to the possibility that NAPsolutism may be the optimal political philosophy.

    I see “offend” as different from “disagree with.” I disagree with NAPsolutism barring evidence that it’s a workable philosophy, but it doesn’t OFFEND me. I would HOPE NAPsolutists, conservatives, and liberals disagree with my lessarchism, but that they don’t find lessarchism offensive. I do my best to be reasonable, thoughtful, and non-dogmatic.

    If they DO find it offensive, I am sorry about that. I am open to their POV, though, and maybe that’s the biggest difference between me and, say, Langa. I get the sense that he or she is certain that he or she is “right.”

  65. Mark Axinn

    >I think, although I’m not sure, that if Ventura walked in, he’d win. Again, I’m not sure, but that’s my expectation. I also think there’s less than 0 chance of him doing that.

    Good, because there is also less than 0 chance that Ventura ever will be a libertarian or govern like one.

    I cannot fathom what people find attractive about him, other than the fact that he bad-mouths Democrats and Republicans. Remind me what he’s done for the Libertarian Party in say, the last 42 years. Oh, I just remembered: nothing.

  66. paulie Post author

    Ventura does manage to spout some libertarian rhetoric, and did even before he was governor, but his record in office speaks louder than his words.

  67. Andy Craig

    I agree with Joshua’s point about it [resume] not mattering very much, once the threshold is reached. But that threshold, in the mind of most voters and most of the media we need to reach them, is like paulie said- Vice President, Governor, Senator, General, or in a pinch high-ranking cabinet Secretary or Congressman or major CEO. Even the last three aren’t always good enough- only two Presidents have been elected with their highest previous experience being in the House, both in the 19th C.: Lincoln and Cleveland. The closest a businessman has come was Perot, and none have won. And I don’t how far back you’d have to go find to a Cabinet member who wasn’t also one of the others before becoming President, but pretty far back into the early 1800s I’d guess.

    Maybe I’m wrong and an exception can be found, but I don’t think any major party in the modern era has ever nominated somebody who didn’t check at least one of those boxes. I was thinking maybe in 1916 when the Republicans nominated a Supreme Court Justice, but turns out he had also been Governor of New York, so not even that works.

    re: Ventura. He will neither seek, nor could he win, the Libertarian nomination. Aside from all the reasons we shouldn’t nominate him- like he’s insane, not a libertarian, and is in the process of renouncing his American citizenship so he can be a citizen where he lives, in Mexico- would be the answer he gave to question when asked in particular about running as a Libertarian. Paraphrasing from memory, his answer was basically “If they can give me ballot access without me having the ‘Libertarian’ ballot label or even joining the LP, because I’m too pure and clean and good to be labeled a Libertarian Party member on ballots.” Set aside how ridiculously impossible that would be under ballot access laws, and just try to picture how the reaction convention delegates would have to such an insult.

  68. paulie Post author

    He lives in Mexico half the year, during the winter weather back home in Minnesota. Where did you get the info about him renouncing US citizenship?

    His answer on the LP was not that he wouldn’t allow the ballot label, but was almost as bad – he’d take the ballot label and ballot access, but not join the LP, and would make it clear whenever and wherever campaigning that he is not an LP member or supporter, isn’t bound by the LP platform, and is only on the ballot as LP as an expediency to make it easier to be on the ballot.

  69. Andy Craig

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81988945/

    He publicly announced his repudiation of US citizenship. It’s my understanding that he doesn’t have Mexican citizenship yet, so he couldn’t have actually legally renounced his US citizenship until he establishes citizenship elsewhere, but I believe that’s his stated intention. Whether or not he “legally” did it for real is almost beside the point, though.

    You are correct about his ridiculous comments about how he’d run as an LP nominee. I think he answered the question in multiple places, and the one I saw he included the no-ballot-label, just-ballot-access provision. The exact details of his answer might vary, but you hit on the gist of it, and he’s said it multiple times.

    My understanding is he had a bad interaction with LP of MN as Governor, when he stormed out of their convention because the party wouldn’t support some damned train project he had his heart set on or something like that. His grudge against the LP is plain, and his answer about being the nominee is obviously just an extra-insulting way to say “Hell no.” Then again, who knows, maybe he is ego-maniacal enough to think we’d agree to something like that- you can never really tell with Jesse.

  70. paulie Post author

    Interesting. That was 2011. I know he has been active in various ways with US politics and has talked (it’s just talk IMO) about running for president both in 2012 and for 2016. And he cut a youtube ad for Johnson, IIRC.

  71. Joe Wendt

    Paulie,

    My Bush Sr comment was based on the fact that (prior to his service as VP) Bush’s political career is based on the fact that a Majority of his political career was outside of elective office.

  72. Joe Wendt

    As for George Phillies, he may not be a purist but would still far better than than Jim Gray IMO, because he is ultra-partisan.

    Also, I have a strange feeling the delegates would overwhelming vote for Moulton for VP (regardless of his potential Presidential run) because he is far superior than Gray IMO.

  73. paulie Post author

    My Bush Sr comment was based on the fact that (prior to his service as VP) Bush’s political career is based on the fact that a Majority of his political career was outside of elective office.

    Yes, but VP is very significant. And even prior to that, he held high level executive positions as Director of CIA, CEO of Zapata Oil, and Chairman of the RNC. His high-level non-executive positions were US House member, Envoy to China and Ambassador to the UN. He had been a runner up for a major party presidential nomination. So even if you somehow forget VP, which you shouldn’t do, he held a whole bunch of positions that were more high level, in and out of government, executive and otherwise, than anyone you like for the LP nomination.

    None of this has anything to do with whether this is the correct criteria for the LP at all, but if you are going to use them, use them properly.

  74. paulie Post author

    Also, I have a strange feeling the delegates would overwhelming vote for Moulton for VP (regardless of his potential Presidential run) because he is far superior than Gray IMO.

    I guess we’ll see what if anything your “strange feelings” are worth. It sounds like wishful thinking to me.

    Why do you think Gray beat Wrights for VP?

  75. Joe Wendt

    Paulie,

    I concede to your point on my comparison.

    My strange feeling is wishful thinking, primarily based on recent police actions (Michael Brown, Eric Garner, insert next guy killed by a cop here) and Jim Gray’s very positive view on the police as noble public servants.

    As for why Gray beat Wright, I think it’s because Gary Johnson publicly said he wanted Jim Gray as his running-mate (http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/30/pro-pot-judge-will-be-gary-johnsons-vp-pick/). I’m hoping a majority find Gray so unacceptable and would rebuke that choice in favor of someone like Moulton or Phillies (although I concede Moulton is the more likely option).

    Still prefer Phillies or Moulton or Perry for the Pres nomination.

  76. langa

    Langa, talk to us about the virtues of “offending.”

    Perhaps you should talk to us about the virtues of constructing straw men, since I never said, or even implied, that there was anything “virtuous” about offending people.

    In fact, I don’t think offending people is necessarily good or bad, at least not per se. It depends on what you are saying, and on the reason why someone takes offense to it.

    However, even in those cases where offending people is a bad thing, it is still not nearly as bad as many people make it seem, and it is certainly not some unforgivable sin. That was my point.

  77. Andy Craig

    Here’s an idea I’ll toss out there again, just because I think it could really work well: Jeffery Miron for President and Mike Munger for VP. (2016 or 2020, take your pick, or Miron replacing Gray for VP in ’16). A ticket of high-level, relatively prestigious academics running together would be worth something, in terms of credibility and notability. Probably just an idle pipe dream, but interesting to think about. I do think a top-tier academic position and history of broader public advocacy, would be one of the few things that can partially compensate for lack of any experience in high office.

    As a good rule of thumb, I don’t think anybody who doesn’t meet Wikipedia’s notability standard for having their own bio article should be seriously considered for the Presidential nomination. I don’t necessarily mean that strictly literally, but it’s a good way to think about it.

    Any potential nominee should have *something*- anything- which they’re known for other than just working within the LP. I’d get behind Penn Jillette/Willie Nelson before Moulton/Phillies (or fill in the blank with other party stalwarts). It might be cynical and jaded and even un-principled, and it’s not because I have anything against the ultra-partisan stalwarts per se, but the fact is that some degree of celebrity or reasonable credibility should be required to run for President of the United States. Anything else is correctly perceived as an insult to the voters we expect to seriously consider our nominee as an actual potential President. That requires some record of participating in the public sphere, with a public record beyond the tiny niche of active LP members.

  78. Ted Brown

    Someone mentioned that Grover Cleveland was a House member before being elected president. He meant Garfield. Cleveland never served in Congress but was Governor of NY when he was elected.

  79. Andy Craig

    Correct, thanks. Substance of the point is the same though- nobody goes from the House to Presidency in the modern era.

  80. Joshua Katz

    So far as I know, there has been one prestigious academic who became President, and he was President of his university as well as a Governor. Is Munger any better known than, say, Boettke or Horwitz? (I’d list Kirzner but he was born in England.)

  81. Andy

    The general public does not care if a candidate is a professor. Professors put a lot of people to sleep.

  82. Robert Capozzi

    L 1: Libertarians actually seem to be the only people they aren’t afraid of offending, unfortunately.

    L2: However, even in those cases where offending people is a bad thing, it is still not nearly as bad as many people make it seem, and it is certainly not some unforgivable sin. That was my point.

    me: OK, then. I don’t believe in sin, either, so I’m with you.

    Being “afraid” of offending also seems dysfunctional to me. You did say “unfortunately,” which led me to believe that you think offending is virtuous. Perhaps you meant it in some other way, one that I have no familiarity with ….

    There are Ls who seem to revel in making outrageous statements, and who respond to feedback that such statements are outrageous that they have no need to be “politically correct.”

  83. George Phillies

    The number of people who become President is so small that inferring valid paths from what has been done recently is surely a pointless exercise.

    President Obama taught law at a university.

  84. Jake Porter

    We should nominate someone who will build the party and know how to organize, or I should say hire the right people to organize and manage their campaign. That includes naming state coordinators, a campaign manager, chief of staff, volunteer coordinators, etc before the convention.

    I am here because of Michael Badnarik’s 2004 campaign. I’m not here because of Badnarik, but his staff. I am here because Badnarik got out of the way and had a professional staff of Libertarians build the party. Barr was obviously more qualified to run President based on his service in Congress; however, his campaign did little to nothing to grow party membership, recruit candidates, and strengthen state organizations. When I ran for statewide office, we spent most of our time recruiting candidates and building county organizations. That is what the Presidential campaign staff should do.

    Now if this candidate happens to be a former Congressman, Senator, Governor, or Admiral that is even better, but it is not what first I look for in a Presidential candidate.

  85. Mark Axinn

    For building party membership, the clear leader was Harry Browne.

    For pure vote total and (albeit limited) national exposure, and coming to us with the imprimatur of prior public office, then it’s Gary Johnson.

    Browne was from the Libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party, but he only got .45% of the vote. Johnson helped us break 1% without Koch money, which we never did before.

  86. paulie Post author

    You did say “unfortunately,” which led me to believe that you think offending is virtuous. Perhaps you meant it in some other way, one that I have no familiarity with ….

    Offending people is one of the consequences of doing something people notice. It doesn’t mean it is good in itself. It can be neutral or even bad. Let’s take the example of someone who is so afraid of car accidents that they don’t drive or even ride in cars. That doesn’t make car accidents a good thing, but it does mean that their fear limits them too much. There are people who are afraid of getting in relationships, starting businesses, or trying for any kind of success due to fear of failure. That doesn’t make failure a good thing in itself, it’s just something that comes along with trying (anything). Some people can’t leave their house because of all the bad things that can happen if they do. All of those bad things are real, really are not good, and they all actually happen to people. Is it good to be a shut-in because of them? Does it make getting mugged, catching an infectious disease, getting hit by a drunk driver, being struck by lightning, etc., good things?

    There are Ls who seem to revel in making outrageous statements

    Yes, there are. And there are some who have the opposite problem.

  87. paulie Post author

    As for why Gray beat Wright[s], I think it’s because Gary Johnson publicly said he wanted Jim Gray as his running-mate

    So why would that not happen again with someone who challenges Gray for VP if Johnson endorses Gray again?

    I’m hoping a majority find Gray so unacceptable and would rebuke that choice in favor of someone like Moulton or Phillies (although I concede Moulton is the more likely option).

    Hoping and oddsmaking are two entirely separate endeavors, or should be. I hope the LP beats the Democrats and Republicans in every contest, including the presidency, but I don’t predict it will happen. I put myself through one year of college on the money of sports fans who confused hopes with predictions, and some people make a good living that way.

  88. paulie Post author

    The number of people who become President is so small that inferring valid paths from what has been done recently is surely a pointless exercise.

    President Obama taught law at a university.

    He was also a US Senator, and Wilson was also a Governor.

    Some presidents hadn’t been elected to anything before they became presidents. Victorious war generals, generally. None have ever been “someone who doesn’t meet the wikipedia notability criteria.”

    Again, that’s a separate issue for whether this matters for the LP nomination – we are very unlikely to win the presidency regardless of who we nominate.

  89. George Phillies

    Several readers, iirc noted a campaign to delete our nomination candidates from wikipedia.

    Browne had Perot and Nader grabbing parts of the third party vote, the people who would consider voting for some third party. Many people will not. Clark had to deal with Anderson, who got 6% of the vote. Johnson had an almost clear field except for Stein. The notion that party wing is going to have a large effect is implausible.

    It is sufficiently unlikely that a candidate will win that we should focus on how running is going to increase the strength of the national party.

    Some people look at increasing national party membership. Browne’s first campaign did this. His second campaign did not. The Barr and Johnson campaigns were about the same; they did very little in this direction. If you look at state by state national party membership. life is more complicated. For example Michigan soared through 2000, and then dropped sharply. Massachusetts soared through the end of 2001, and then crashed.

  90. paulie Post author

    Several readers, iirc noted a campaign to delete our nomination candidates from wikipedia.

    Quite possibly. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability

    Browne had Perot and Nader grabbing parts of the third party vote, the people who would consider voting for some third party. Many people will not. Clark had to deal with Anderson, who got 6% of the vote. Johnson had an almost clear field except for Stein. The notion that party wing is going to have a large effect is implausible.

    I don’t agree with the idea that there’s some fixed third party vote. The best evidence I have been able to find indicates that campaigns rise and fall mainly on their own merits, regardless of how many other alt candidates there are or how strong they are. In some ways those other candidates do hurt our candidates, but in some ways they actually help, for example by getting more people to pay attention to those outside the duopoly, including us.

    If there was some more or less fixed “third party vote” we may have expected to do much better than we did in 1984 and 1988, for example. Or even 2004 and 2008 – while, yes, there was Nader, he was down from his 2000 peak, and there was no Perot or Buchanan.

    It is sufficiently unlikely that a candidate will win that we should focus on how running is going to increase the strength of the national party.

    I agree.

    Some people look at increasing national party membership. Browne’s first campaign did this. His second campaign did not. The Barr and Johnson campaigns were about the same; they did very little in this direction.

    Dues paying membership is one measure, sure, but there are others. Active, participating members for one thing. My on the ground observation is that Johnson helped us in this regard in Alabama and many other states, and Barr – nowhere that I know of. Media attention…all of our presidential candidates get some, but Johnson got more than usual, I think. Barr, less so.

  91. Robert Capozzi

    pf: Offending people is one of the consequences of doing something people notice.

    me: For Ls, you probably mean “doing or saying,” since Ls are so rarely elected, yes?

    I agree that SOMEONE will be offended by something that is said or done. I would so bold as to suggest that being politically relevant entails not offending a LOT of people. Many may well disagree, but macho flashing the multitudes seems counter-productive.

  92. paulie Post author

    you probably mean “doing or saying,”

    Yes.

    I would so bold as to suggest that being politically relevant entails not offending a LOT of people.

    Really? Is President Obama politically relevant? Does he offend a lot of people?

    In fact, I’m hard pressed of anyone who is politically relevant who does not offend a lot of people.

    I acknowledge your point that some libertarians are needlessly, excessively and pointlessly offensive, and relish offending for its own sake, but I would also say there are some who are overly worried about offending non-libertarians as well.

  93. Robert Capozzi

    PF, ya know, you make a good point. I don’t know how many folks found BHO “offensive” in 08, but some probably did. Most, I would think, thought he was not a fringe player, and that his election meant the end of western civilization. Haters and the hard right, perhaps did.

    Some (somehow) found BHO bowing to foreign royals to be offensive, which is a place I can’t go to in my mind.

    (Personally, I found McCain pronouncedly frightening, although not “offensive.”)

    I think the vast majority don’t find Rs and Ds offensive, though they may strongly disagree with their stands on at least some issues. A third party or independent candidate, however, is immediately more questionable and prone to being dismissed as a nut.

  94. Joshua Katz

    Also, some found it offensive when Obama saluted with a cup of coffee in his hand. Others found it offensive when Bush saluted with a dog in his hand. I expect the overlap was minimal.

  95. Andy

    “Browne was from the Libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party, but he only got .45% of the vote. Johnson helped us break 1% without Koch money, which we never did before.”

    First off, Gary Johnson did not break 1% of the vote. received slightly less than 1% of the vote.

    Second of all, this had little to do with Gary Johnson, or with Gary Johnson’s issues stances. Harry Browne ran in elections where he had to contend with higher profile “3rd party” candidates in Ross Perot and Ralph Nader in 1996, and Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan in 2000. Gary Johnson had the benefit of being the highest profile “3rd party” candidate in the race, and he was on more ballots than any other 3rd party candidate. These factors made a big difference in Gary Johnson’s favor.

    Also, Gary Johnson had the benefit of running after Ron Paul had already made the word “libertarian” more popular than it had ever been prior to this. Far more people knew what a libertarian is and self identified as libertarian when Gary Johnson ran as compared to when Harry Browne ran.

    Finally, Gary Johnson ran in 2012 when a lot more people were on the internet, and the internet was better developed, than when Harry Browne ran in 1996 and 2000. You can reach a lot of people more cheaply with the internet than by a lot of other means, and more people on the internet means more people that you can reach.

  96. Andy

    Paul said: “I don’t agree with the idea that there’s some fixed third party vote”

    Minor party and independent candidates compete for attention with each other as well as with the major party candidates. A lot of people have limited attention spans or limited time to pay attention (because they are busy doing other things). Higher profile minor party candidates or independent candidates in the race makes it more difficult for the lower profile minor party or independent candidates to receive attention or to get votes.

    I’d be willing to bet that if Americans Elect had succeeded in recruiting a high profile candidate to run for President instead of dropping out of the race that Gary Johnson would have received less attention and less votes in 2012.

  97. Andy

    George Phillies said: ” Johnson had an almost clear field except for Stein.”

    Jill Stein was a nobody. A great activist for the Green Party, but certainly not a well known person.

  98. Andy

    Matt Cholko said: “Barr was obviously more qualified to run President based on his service in Congress;”

    Bob Barr is no more qualified to run for President than I am. If anything, I’d say that Bob Barr is less qualified to run for President than I am, given that he violated his oath of office multiple times when he was in Congress. I have never held elected office and I do not have any fancy titles next to my name, and I’d be willing to bet money that if I were elected President, I’d be the best President ever, and I’d also bet money that I’d be a better candidate for President for the Libertarian Party than Bob Barr was.

    I am really surprised at the number of Libertarians who attach all of these superficial, meaningless qualifications to being President. The Constitution says that to be qualified to run for President that you’ve got to be at least 35 years old by the day you swear in as President, and that you’ve got to be a Natural Born American citizen. Other than that, you should be able to read the Constitution, and understand what it says, and you should keep your word.

  99. Andy

    “Mark Axinn

    December 28, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Wilson.”

    Woodrow Wilson was also one of the worst Presidents ever. Woodrow Wilson was handpicked by the banksters because they thought he’d be easy to control so they could cram their agenda through (the Federal Reserve Act, etc…).

  100. Andy

    “George Phillies

    December 28, 2014 at 7:45 am

    We have tried the celebrity path a considerable number of times and it does not work.”

    I don’t think that the Libertarian Party has ever had a real celebrity candidate. Some Libertarians have overestimated the level of celebrity of some past candidates. The party has never had somebody who’d be considered to be an A list level celebrity, or even a B list celebrity. I’d say that putting the “celebrity” candidates that the Libertarian Party has had on a C list or D list of celebrities might be too generous.

  101. paulie Post author

    Minor party and independent candidates compete for attention with each other as well as with the major party candidates. A lot of people have limited attention spans or limited time to pay attention (because they are busy doing other things). Higher profile minor party candidates or independent candidates in the race makes it more difficult for the lower profile minor party or independent candidates to receive attention or to get votes.

    I guess you did not see my longer explanation of ways that it also works in the other direction? I don’t feel like typing it out again, but the biggest limiting factor our candidates have is people not being aware of them, or very barely aware of them. Higher profile alt candidates in the race means more coverage of alternatives besides Ds and Rs, some of which includes us. It can mean debates with those higher profile alt candidates (not necessarily, but it can) and more people watching them, and so on.

    I’d be willing to bet that if Americans Elect had succeeded in recruiting a high profile candidate to run for President instead of dropping out of the race that Gary Johnson would have received less attention and less votes in 2012.

    Unfortunately there’s no way to test that, although 1980 provides the closest thing to a comparison. You could also say to some extent that 1992, 1996 and 2000 did as well, but Johnson is most like Clark out of the candidates the LP has run.

  102. paulie Post author

    I’d also bet money that I’d be a better candidate for President for the Libertarian Party than Bob Barr was.

    OK, I’ll bet you 20 dollars. If you don’t run for the nomination, I automatically win. If you run for the nomination and don’t win it, I pay up. If you get the nomination, we have a poll after the election on IPR as to who was a better candidate. Deal?

  103. Andy

    “paulie Post author

    December 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    ‘I’d also bet money that I’d be a better candidate for President for the Libertarian Party than Bob Barr was.’

    OK, I’ll bet you 20 dollars. If you don’t run for the nomination, I automatically win. If you run for the nomination and don’t win it, I pay up. If you get the nomination, we have a poll after the election on IPR as to who was a better candidate. Deal?”

    I would be leery about running unless I knew I could raise at least $1 million prior to the LP National Convention. I am not interested in even attempting that at this juncture, nor do I know if I’d ever be interested in running. If I were to run, I’d want it to be a real campaign (too many campaigns for the LP nomination do not fit my definition of a real campaign), or as close to a real campaign as possible, and if I did not have that I would not run.

    My point here was not so much about me running, but rather to illustrate that there are plenty of Libertarian activists out there who are more qualified or just as qualified as anyone else to run for President. I am sick of people coming up with all of this superficial bullshit and attaching it to being some kind of qualification to run for President, when no such qualifications exist or really matter.

  104. Andy

    A lot of people votes for minor party or independent candidates come in the form of protest votes. If there are more minor party or independent candidates, or if one or two minor party or independent candidates are a lot more well known and are getting more media attention than the other minor party or independent candidates, then those candidates that are more well known and are getting more attention are going to get more of the protest votes than the lesser known candidates.

  105. paulie Post author

    Well, no one is going to be a better candidate if they are not going to be a candidate. That’s like sitting at home watching the game on TV and saying you can do better than the guys on the field. If you think you can, go and try out. Otherwise, even if you’re right, it doesn’t matter, because no one will ever know for sure.

    And money doesn’t fall out of the sky. The reason a lot of people don’t run the kind of campaign you think they should run is because they don’t have the money, connections, free time or talent to do it. If you don’t have those things either, welcome to the club. And if you aren’t willing to try, welcome to the club too, and don’t wonder why we don’t have candidates doing the things you think they should be doing, because you are not doing them either.

    My point here was not so much about me running, but rather to illustrate that there are plenty of Libertarian activists out there who are more qualified or just as qualified as anyone else to run for President.

    Yeah, but how many of them can raise a million pre-nomination? How many of them can afford the time and expense of going around the country to campaign? How many even know how to make a good youtube video and get a lot of people to watch it, for that matter?

    None of these things just magically manifest themselves. And there are very few if any people who are both able to do any of these things and actually willing to run for the LP nomination. Lots of people are able but not willing, and lots are willing but not able. In the meantime, we take what we can get.

  106. paulie Post author

    A lot of people votes for minor party or independent candidates come in the form of protest votes. If there are more minor party or independent candidates, or if one or two minor party or independent candidates are a lot more well known and are getting more media attention than the other minor party or independent candidates, then those candidates that are more well known and are getting more attention are going to get more of the protest votes than the lesser known candidates.

    Yeah, but that’s only one factor and there are others that can outweigh it.

  107. Joshua Katz

    >Other than that, you should be able to read the Constitution, and understand what it says, and >you should keep your word.

    I’d prefer that the first Libertarian President also have the skills to get bills through Congress (which will not be pretty and will piss off Libertarians in the process), to get appointments confirmed, to generally govern.

    Regarding the split third party vote – I don’t have any answers, largely because I think the whole question is very situation-dependent. Sometimes the presence of a particularly “kooky” third-party candidate helps other candidates by letting voters say “well, he’s not as crazy as…” Sometimes a credible candidate makes the duopoly appear less convincing; sometimes it just concentrates all the protest votes.

    The problem, though, is that we’re comparing 1% to 2%. After 42 years, that’s not satisfactory to me.

    By the way, if anyone is curious, if we treat 11 elections as a “random sample” drawn from a normal population (both outrageous assumptions mathematically, but it’s the best I can do) and assume that the LP will run in at least 110 elections, a 90%CI for election results is .235% to .655%. A 95%CI would be .1% to .79%. So performances better than .79% are not noise, on those assumptions, but rather do indicate a more successful campaign than average. Arguably, so do those over .655%, but this is less clear.

  108. Jake Porter

    Do we really need to nitpick the meaning of every word? Just because I use the word qualified doesn’t mean I am discussing the Constitutional qualifications.

    Qualified: Having the necessary skill, experience, or knowledge to do a particular job or activity : having the qualifications to do something. Merriam Webster

    Which is why I said Barr was more qualified, but not a better candidate than Badnarik.

  109. Andy

    Joshua Katz said: “I’d prefer that the first Libertarian President also have the skills to get bills through Congress (which will not be pretty and will piss off Libertarians in the process), to get appointments confirmed, to generally govern.”

    I don’t believe that this really takes much in the realm of skill. Congress will either pass a bill that you want passed or they will not. If they won’t, then you’d have to compromise, which would mean offering a more watered down bill.

    Governing means controlling. Libertarians are supposed to want to set people free, not control them.

    If I were President, I would not be there to run big government, or to make government more efficient, I’d be there to shut it down, or to at least shut as much of it down as possible.

    I would grant pardons to anyone convicted of a non-violent drug offense, a non-violent gun control offense, income tax evasion, etc… I would encourage people to not file taxes, and I would have downloadable information on the White House website about why they are not legally required to file taxes, or use SSN’s. I would also encourage people to get active in the cause of jury nullification, and I would try to inspire people to stand in front of every court house in this country with jury nullification signs and pamphlets, and if anyone interferes with this peaceful activity I’d have them arrested under US Code Title 18 Section 242, as in Depravation of Rights Under Color of Law. I would hold a press conference, which would be streamed online, where the Federal Reserve System and IRS scam would be exposed, and I would encourage people to stop using Federal Reserve Notes and to trade in alternative currencies like gold, silver, Bitcoins, etc… I would have the Federal Reserve bankers arrested and put on trial for treason. I would also order the US military to leave all foreign lands, and to evict the United Nations from the USA. I would also fire everyone who works for the CIA, FBI, DEA, BATFE, NSA, and every other government agency that is not authorized by the US Constitution. I would have government agents who violated any section of the Constitution put on trial for human rights violations and/or treason. There would be lots of empty space in prison after I pardoned all of the non-violent drug offenders and others who were locked up for victimless crimes, so I’d fill a small portion of that space with NSA agents who violated the 4th amendment, BATFE agents who violated the 2nd amendment, etc… I would disarm all of the Secret Service members who guard the Congress and other government officials, and tell them that they can get their guns back after they repeal every law that infringes on the right of the American people to keep and bear arms, as well as every other law that is repugnant to the Constitution.

    Those are just a few of the things that I’d do. “They” would probably try to kill me (which I would publicly announce that I know that “they” will try to do), so I’d probably have to wear a bullet proof vest at all times and carry a gun. I would invite some trusted libertarians to work as my body guards.

  110. Andy

    “Jake Porter

    December 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Do we really need to nitpick the meaning of every word? Just because I use the word qualified doesn’t mean I am discussing the Constitutional qualifications.

    Qualified: Having the necessary skill, experience, or knowledge to do a particular job or activity : having the qualifications to do something. Merriam Webster

    Which is why I said Barr was more qualified, but not a better candidate than Badnarik.”

    I totally disagree with your definition of qualified. Michael Badnarik’s understanding of the Constitution and devotion to principle made him way more qualified to run for President than Bob Barr.

  111. Joshua Katz

    Without going through every action in detail, I will say those are mostly things you’d try to do. Most of them have perfectly legal stopping mechanisms without a friendly Congress. Others have ways that they can be stopped illegally, but you are unlikely to be able to prevent those illegal things from happening. I see that you acknowledge the easiest way to stop you, but Kennedy was stopped from doing several things in more mundane ways first. Generals simply didn’t take their troops out of places when told to do so. What are you going to do about that – go down there with a gun yourself? You’d likely do what Kennedy did at times – try to enlist the public to delegitimize the illegal actors, but it’s not entirely clear what the public will do about armed people disobeying you either.

    You are responsible for governing in one sense – it’s your job to bring about your goals, i.e. no or sharply limited government – in a way that is not massively destructive and that, hopefully, prevents an internal war (if not, why bother with electoral politics in the first place?)

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  113. Mark Axinn

    Andy–

    Nothing either of us said contradicts each other, except that I said Johnson beat 1% and you’re correct that he really got .98% (pretty fucking close in my book), which is still more than twice as much as my favorite Libertarian candidate for President (Harry Browne) and more than three times as much as Andre Marrou got in 1992 when I first joined the LP.

    On Wilson–I merely answered the question. No implied support for our most progressive President of the 20th century.

  114. paulie Post author

    I don’t believe that this really takes much in the realm of skill.

    And you base this on what exactly? Reminds me of the people who tell me that my job must be really easy, and that they don’t see what the problem is – just go to the mall and get 4,000 signatures a day. It really would benefit people who don’t have experience in a particular field of endeavor to not think they know how “easy” it is.

    Those are just a few of the things that I’d do. “They” would probably try to kill me (which I would publicly announce that I know that “they” will try to do), so I’d probably have to wear a bullet proof vest at all times and carry a gun. I would invite some trusted libertarians to work as my body guards.

    There’s lots of ways to kill people, not just bullets, and bulletproof vests don’t stop all the different ways a bullet can kill you. As for who you can trust, you just never know. Lots of ways to turn people, too. If you think it would be anywhere near as easy for you to survive and not be removed as mentally ill or just “disappear” you really haven’t thought this through or there’s just way too many things you don’t know.

  115. paulie Post author

    “And carry a gun”

    LOL, yeah, that’ll help you when someone poisons your food, or when someone shoots you in the head from a thousands yards away with a scope (bulletproof vest won’t stop that either), or when an armed and trained team storms your office with a variety of weapons as well as hand to hand combat training, or when you get kidnapped in the middle of the night, or when your own “trusted” bodyguards are bribed or blackmailed into turning against you…there’s thousands of other scenarios. You haven’t even begun to consider all the many problems you could face, from economic collapse to foreign invasion to rampant disease to being set up for some kind of heinous crime to being injected with a virus….you really think all the people that have a lot to lose under your scenario will just roll over and take it?

    Yeah…it’ll be easy..I bet.

  116. Andy

    Paul said: “Yeah, but how many of them can raise a million pre-nomination? ”

    I did not mean that being able to raise at least $1 million pre-nomination should be a requisite for being a Libertarian Party candidate for President, I meant that I would prefer it if I, or somebody else, was able to do this.

    I’ve seen a lot of candidates for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination run what I would label as jokes of campaigns for the nomination. I am not just talking about money here, because there are a lot of things that a potential candidate can do to run a campaign that take little to no money, yet some of them can’t or won’t even do these things.

    I understand that running a campaign, is a lot of work, particularly for President, so if one can’t handle the work load they probably should not run.

  117. paulie Post author

    At a minimum it takes being able to work at it full time and travel around the country, most likely not by yourself, and that takes quite a bit of money. Not a lot of people have the time and money to do that, or the willingness to spend it to run for president when there are a lot of other things they can be doing instead that are a lot more fun. It’s certainly not easy for a pre-nomination campaign to raise money (I’ve seen that from working on one). And as I mentioned before, even the things that don’t necessarily require a lot of money or time require skills or connections which a lot of people do not have.

  118. Mike Kane

    Appearing at a Democratic event as a former VP Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party would be supporting our destroyers. I am happy he’s not attending after all, but not thrilled with his comments on the other thread.

  119. Andy

    “paulie Post author

    December 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    “And carry a gun”

    LOL, yeah, that’ll help you when someone poisons your food, or when someone shoots you in the head from a thousands yards away with a scope (bulletproof vest won’t stop that either), or when an armed and trained team storms your office with a variety of weapons as well as hand to hand combat training, or when you get kidnapped in the middle of the night, or when your own “trusted” bodyguards are bribed or blackmailed into turning against you…there’s thousands of other scenarios. You haven’t even begun to consider all the many problems you could face, from economic collapse to foreign invasion to rampant disease to being set up for some kind of heinous crime to being injected with a virus….you really think all the people that have a lot to lose under your scenario will just roll over and take it?”

    This is all true. The establishment would do whatever they could to destroy me. It may take paying off some government agents to get them to stand down.

    I could offer them a proposal like, “Look, we are shutting your agency down, and we will be liquidating its assets. How about if we set you up with a nice “golden parachute” so you can retire in luxury?” Buying some of them off could actually save money in the long run, and the costs would be rather trivial compared to the costs of running these government agencies, along with all of the mayhem they cause.

    “Yeah…it’ll be easy..I bet.”

    Nobody ever said that it would be easy. A revolution may break out, but that’s what this country needs. We can not continue down the road which we are heading, which is in the direction of tyranny. It is better to fight now than to end up in something worse than Nazi Germany or Communist Russia.

  120. paulie Post author

    Appearing at a Democratic event as a former VP Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party would be supporting our destroyers.

    I don’t think so. I welcome members of other parties at our events and I like it when we appear at theirs. If we only talk to ourselves we don’t get near as much done.

    I am happy he’s not attending after all

    Maybe I misunderstood the other thread. My understanding of it is that Judge Gray is still planning to attend but that Jim Webb backed out.

  121. paulie Post author

    It may take paying off some government agents to get them to stand down.

    It would be like defusing numerous, ticking, very dangerous bombs at the same time while having a bunch more come at you unexpectedly and unrelentingly.

    Buying some of them off could actually save money in the long run,

    Some of them? What about the rest? And how long can you afford to buy them off?

    Nobody ever said that it would be easy.

    Well, you did say you didn’t think it would take much skill above, earlier today.

    A revolution may break out, but that’s what this country needs. We can not continue down the road which we are heading, which is in the direction of tyranny. It is better to fight now than to end up in something worse than Nazi Germany or Communist Russia.

    A revolution could lead to that too. And if your aim is a revolution, why bother trying to get elected first?

  122. Andy

    Paul said: “Well, you did say you didn’t think it would take much skill above, earlier today.”

    Not being easy and does not mean that something would take a lot of skill. It does not take a lot of skill to dig a big hole, but it is not easy either.

    “A revolution could lead to that too. And if your aim is a revolution, why bother trying to get elected first?”

    Somebody getting elected and doing things like I described above could be the spark that starts a revolution.

  123. paulie Post author

    Not being easy and does not mean that something would take a lot of skill. It does not take a lot of skill to dig a big hole, but it is not easy either.

    Doesn’t seem like mindless effort to me. More like juggling chainsaws in the dark and having more thrown at you all the time.

  124. langa

    L: Libertarians actually seem to be the only people they aren’t afraid of offending, unfortunately.

    RC: You did say “unfortunately,” which led me to believe that you think offending is virtuous.

    I’m not sure how you managed to interpret it that way. Perhaps I could have worded it more clearly, but I thought it was pretty clear from the context. Anyway, what I meant was that they seem to worry a lot more about offending non-libertarians than about offending libertarians. For example, they seem to worry less about whether a potential LP candidate is a libertarian than about whether that candidate will appear “respectable” in the eyes of non-libertarians. That type of thinking is what I was referring to as “unfortunate.”

  125. Robert Capozzi

    L, Oh! You meant to say “OTHER Ls actually seem to be the only people SOME Ls aren’t afraid of offending.” Yes?

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