Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Confident going into Libertarian convention, Gary Johnson provides glimpse of campaign strategy

Appearing certain of his nomination as the Libertarian Party's 2012 Presidential Candidate in Las Vegas this weekend, former New Mexico Gary Johnson looked ahead to the General Election campaign in an interview with Michael Shear in The New York Times "Caucus" blog.

Asked about distinguishing his own candidacy from those of President Obama and Governor Romney, Johnson said,
Gary Johnson is confident
he will become the LP
nominee on May 5.

By embracing the best from the Democrats, which, arguably, has historically been about civil liberties. And then embracing the best of what historically has been the best of the Republican Party, which is dollars and cents. Speaking with a broad brushstroke, the notion that the majority of Americans are fiscally conservative and socially tolerant — I’m in that group. That said, O.K., what are the problems facing the country? What are the solutions? I guess you could be homeless and still talk about the problems facing the country and the solutions. I’m going argue, though, that to run for president, you have to have a résumé to actually suggest that you could be successful in bringing about resolutions to the problems that we have.
His assessment of President Obama's performance during the past four years was succinct, but damning:

To me, Obama’s been a real disappointment on civil liberties: marriage equality, getting out of the wars, getting out of Afghanistan — he doubled down on Afghanistan — drug reform, signing the National Defense Authorization Act with the caveat that now you and I as U.S. citizens can now be detained without being charged.
Nor did he have kind words for Governor Romney:

The only issue I have with Mitt Romney is I have no idea where he stands on any issues. Other than he’s going to cut the budget but he’s going to increase military spending. He’s going to cut the budget, but he’s going to saveMedicare? Two sides of the mouth that really don’t end up talking about real solutions.
As an early glimpse of his campaign's strategy, these answers are revealing in that they suggest that Gary Johnson will try to position himself as the mainstream candidate--socially tolerant and fiscally conservative, with a record of doing what he promises he'll do.

This is potentially a strong approach . . . if he can get sufficient media attention for enough people to ever hear it.

1 comment:

tom said...

The Republican nomination is far from decided despite the Mainstream Media's and both major parties' Coronation of Mitt Romney last weekend.

Would you care to comment on the effect of Gary Johnson in a hypothetical Barrack Obama vs Ron Paul race and the likely impact on both the outcome and LP vote totals compared to Obama vs Romney.

Most pundits who have not chosen to just ignore Johnson and the LP seem to think he would take more votes from Obama than from Romney.

But that is probably not true of Ron Paul with whom he agrees on nearly everything, except the relatively minor but very emotionally charged issues of Abortion Rights & Gay Marriage. (Ron Paul is philosophically extremely opposed to both, but does not think the Federal government has Constitutional jurisdiction over either; Gary Johnson believes both should be legal)

And on a more pragmatic level they also differ on Johnson's two terms as Governor vs Paul's lack of Executive branch experience.