I am pleased to see former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson announce for President. I believe the liberty message is served by having more than one messenger. Even unannounced but serious candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann has some Ron Paul characteristics – she was one of the first members of Congress to embrace Paul and his message. BUT…
BUT…I exhort both candidates to consider what I have suggested before: If one candidate (either Paul or Johnson) is a clear drag on the other’s chance to win, that candidate should drop out and the other candidate should select him as his running mate. With all due respect for Governor Johnson, who I admire very much – he vetoed 900 bills as NM Governor and was brave to start a message on the legalization of marijuana (I am not sure where I stand on this!), I strongly suspect that Paul will be the one who selects Johnson as his running mate. Here’s why:
Ron Paul is that rarity in politics: A larger than life figure admired by millions around the world. When you think of this sort of thing, you think of FDR, JFK or Reagan. It is amazing that a person not associated with charisma has such a following. It’s the triumph of his ideas.
Paul’s tremendous following will not easily transfer to another candidate. He brings antiwar liberals, libertarians, evangelical Christians (like me), social conservatives, Tea Party activists and as Paul put it in 2008, even an anarchist or two! That will be hard to convince to go to Gov. Johnson. I like and admire Johnson; I would be eager to help him. But it would take time and effort to get the Paul coalition behind Johnson.
Paul’s issue is age and health; he’ll be 77 when he takes office. Two strong libertarian candidates would be able to cover more events and keep the liberty message high. Let’s hope Paul can run for President and select Gary Johnson as his running mate.