Everyone’s third-favorite 2012 presidential candidate is back in the ring.
In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on Tuesday, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he would like to run for president in 2016. He ran against Mitt Romney and Barack Obama as a Libertarian in 2012.
“Let’s skip the pleasantries and ask the question everyone wants to know the answer to. Will you be running for president in 2016?” one Reddit user asked Johnson.
“I hope to be able to run in 2016,” Johnson replied.
When asked which party he would run under — Libertarian or Republican — he said, “I would love running as a Libertarian because I would have the least amount of explaining to do.”
This news may be scoffable to some — after all, Johnson earned just 1.2 million votes in 2012, or about 1 percent of the popular vote. But he ran the most successful third-party campaign since Ralph Nader in 2000, and we all know how that one turned out.
And while not much may have changed between 2012 and 2016, it’s hard to underestimate the seismic shift toward libertarianism that the Republican Party has undergone in the past few years. Yesterdays Republicans wouldn’t have dreamed of supporting state gay-marriage laws or medical marijuana. Now, the GOP’s big names are skirting those issues, but not openly opposing them, either.
It’s worth remembering that Johnson was at the forefront of both those issues. He’s long been a crusader for legalized marijuana, and he came out in favor of same-sex marriage (albeit not for its federal protection) long before President Obama did.
While social issues hardly decide a presidency, it goes to show that the morals we considered “presidential” yesterday, we may find repugnant tomorrow. And if the 2016 Republican nominee is as clueless about connecting with young voters as Mitt Romney was, a Johnson candidacy might start looking a lot more appealing.
What We're Following See More »
"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.
"The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms. Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of 'Project Lakhta,' a foreign influence operation they said was designed 'to sow discord in the U.S. political system' by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and the National Football League national-anthem protests."