Articles

Politico: Gary Johnson emerges as the next Ron Paul

In Deficit, Drug reform, Foreign policy, Gary Johnson, Gary Johnson 2012, Government spending, Health care, Immigration, Interviews, Our America, Ron Paul on December 17, 2009 by Josiah Schmidt

Jonathan Martin at Politico published an excellent profile piece on former Republican Governor of New Mexico and potential 2012 candidate Gary Johnson:

Former New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson is a teetotaling triathlete who looks the part of the laid-back Mountain West politician.

But don’t let the jeans and black mock turtleneck he’s sporting on his new website fool you: Johnson is starting to sound like a mad-as-hell populist with an eye cast on 2012 and the building fury aimed at Washington.

 “I’m finding myself really angry over spending and the deficit,” he said in an interview with POLITICO this week. “I’m finding myself really angry over what’s happening in the Middle East, the decision to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely. I’m angry about cap and trade. And I’ve been on record for a long time on the failed war on drugs.”

 Is that enough to design a presidential campaign around? It might be, at a time of tea parties, rage at bailouts, job loss and general voter discontent. And there is plainly an opportunity for some politician to harness the anti-establishment, populist grass-roots fervor that is right leaning but untethered to any party at the moment.

 It’s what Ron Paul tried to do in last year’s presidential campaign, but Johnson may better positioned to ride the populist wave than the longtime Texas GOP congressman. For one thing, the anti-establishment energy was not at the fever pitch then that it’s nearing now. And, unlike the unlikely Paul, a 73-year-old who got interested in elected politics when Richard Nixon abandoned the gold standard in 1971, Johnson is telegenic, is media savvy and, equally important, has twice been easily elected to statewide office.

 A libertarian-leaning Republican, Johnson this month launched “Our America,” a group that aims to draw attention to the principles of limited government at home and noninterventionism abroad.

 But as the subtitle on the website indicates, “The Gary Johnson Initiative” is also designed to elevate the profile of the ascetic and unconventional former governor, who is known nationally — if at all — for his support of legalizing drugs.

 Johnson is doing little to knock down the idea that he may be looking toward a 2012 presidential run.

Read the rest of the article at Politico.com >

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