Tom Knapp at Kn@ppster: The Libertarian Party Has a Job Opening

TomknappOriginal article can be found here:

The “major” political parties formally vote to nominate their presidential and vice-presidential candidates separately, but it really goes like this:

The presidential nominee “chooses a running mate,” and then the national convention delegates rubber-stamp that man or woman. There have been a few attempts to force a fight (my recollection is that Howard Dean supporters tried to get enough delegates lined up to force a competitive vote and make him the veep nominee whether Kerry wanted him or not in 2004), but for the most part it is a process of coronation by acclamation based on the presidential candidate’s desires.

The Libertarian Party does things differently.

In any given election cycle, one or more candidates formally declare their candidacy for the vice-presidency long before we even know who the presidential nominee will be. They campaign. Maybe not as vigorously as the presidential contenders, but they do hold themselves out as candidates specifically for the vice-presidential nomination, and usually without trying to attach themselves to any particular presidential candidate.

The presidential nominee is given five minutes of speaking time to endorse a VP candidate or to share his thoughts on what he hopes the delegates will do, but it’s not a coronation.

For example, in 2008, after the presidential nomination had been decided (the nominee was Bob Barr), two presidential candidates switched tracks and ran for VP. Barr endorsed one of them (Wayne Allyn Root), but it took two ballots for him to prevail over the other (Steve Kubby). Unfortunately, the previously announced VP candidates didn’t do well in that contest.

This tradition of the LP’s has been atrophying over the last couple of cycles.

First, as I mentioned, in 2008 a couple of presidential contenders jumped in at the last minute, pretty much undoing the work of those who had been going for the VP slot from the first. Nothing we can, or really should, do about that, I guess, but it’s still a little sad.

Secondly, in 2012 two people — Gary Johnson and Jim Gray — ran as a kind of package deal and were nominated with neither muss nor fuss.

It would be good for the LP if we went back to REAL vice-presidential contests.

Right now, to the best of my knowledge, there’s only one declared candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nomination. His name is Mark G. Elworth and you can read about him at Independent Political Report.

No, I’m neither endorsing Mr. Elworth nor urging you to vote against him. If you’re this far into this blog post, you know how to read and should be able to make up your own mind as to whether or not he’s what you’re looking for in a vice-presidential nominee.

But I do think the party deserves more than one candidate to choose from.

If you’ve ever said to yourself “I’d make a good candidate for vice-president” — or if you’re saying that to yourself right now — why not throw your hat in the ring?

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

6 thoughts on “Tom Knapp at Kn@ppster: The Libertarian Party Has a Job Opening

  1. Thane Eichenauer

    Right now, to the best of my knowledge, there’s only one declared candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

    I think this was meant to say:
    Right now, to the best of my knowledge, there’s only one declared candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 VICE-presidential nomination.

  2. The Dylan

    I think we should seek the strongest possible ticket and that means that often the best choice for VP will be someone who is respected enough and renowned among Libertarians, making him or her eligible to serve at the top of the ticket. Before we had Wayne Allyn Root and Judge Jim Gray, our vice presidential candidates were mostly unknown even to LP activists and were almost invisible to everyone else (remember Richard Campagna?). In 2004, I voted for Michael Badnarik, but hard as I looked, I couldn’t find more than a paragraph of information about his running mate. Gary Nolan or Mary Ruwart would have done well with such a task. No disrespect to the fine men & women who stepped up to represent us but we should make it easier for presidential contenders or the nominee’s late recruits to make the switch to veep, not harder.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The Dylan,”

    Well, 2004 is kind of a sore point with me. There were no REALLY high-profile candidates for the VP slot, but of the two most prominent ones, one was an elected local officeholder with a long record of LP activism, while the other was a guy who had won no elections and had only been involved with the LP for a short while, but who claimed to have $250k in campaign donation pledges from people he declined to identify.

    The $250k guy won. The $250k never showed up. All that really did show up was a press release in which he claimed to have been endorsed by Gandhi.

    All of that would have pissed me off even if I hadn’t been the other candidate’s manager. And husband.

  4. Jill Pyeatt

    I just read this on Facebook from Mark Elworth:

    “I’m dropping out of the Libertarian Party race for Vice President. I’ve had it with trying to talk to all the Suits and Ties. I’m about getting stuff done, and running for VP for them is a waste of my time. I’m gonna go out and win my local race. Gonna go finish collecting the signatures for the Legal Marijuana Now Party. And gonna start up my new petition to legalize hemp in Nebraska. Thanks for the good time, I just feel the LP isn’t the place for me anymore. I’m for the working class not the entitled class.”

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