Ever since Wayne Allyn Root began to emerge as a possible candidate for the Libertarian Party's 2008 presidential nomination, one of the big questions on my mind (and out of my mouth) has been "how can Root credibly undo his glowing endorsement of Republican John McCain for the office he's now seeking himself?"
Over time, it's become clear that Root's strategy for undoing that endorsement is a simple, but dangerous, one: Deny that he ever made such an endorsement.
Take, for example, the question/answer at about 7 minutes, 25 seconds into this video of a recent Root appearance in Chicago:
Root's interlocutor, btw, is none other than a rather tipsy Jeff Wartman, who deserves (and has) my everlasting gratitude for getting Root on the record.
So, which is it: Is Root just an oddsmaker who predicted the ascendancy of a candidate he doesn't support, or did he in fact endorse McCain?
Back in December of 2006, you'd have found the answer to that question here. These days, that link redirects to the front page of Root's retrofitted site, which used to be the publicity/promotion home for his 2005 book Millionaire Republican.
All, however, is not lost -- archive.org's "Wayback Machine" preserves the first bit of that article in a snapshot of the aforementioned front page, taken on 12/06/06:
HOW THE GOP CAN GET IT'S GROOVE BACK WITH THE DREAM TICKET OF McCAIN-LIEBERMAN IN 2008!
As the author of the #1 Amazon Best-Seller "Millionaire Republican," I have a vested interest in seeing my beloved GOP back in power. To that end, you can't blame this loyal Republican and former Malibu, California resident for doing some California Dreamin'. And what a dream it is! I've come up with a simple and easy 2-step plan that would instantly return the United States Senate to GOP control (today- without an election), energize the GOP base, and put a Republican in strong position to reclaim the White House in 2008 (giving us a great opportunity to control the Presidency for 20 consecutive years). My plan? It all revolves around a conservative Democrat named Joseph Lieberman!
Unfortunately, the Wayback Machine doesn't archive the entire article. Nor is it cached at Google. And while I had it personally archived at one time, that was a computer or two ago and I'm not sure I could find it even if I felt like pulling a bunch of old hard drives and digging through them.
What I do have to add to the record on this is a collection of quotes from deeper inside the article, which I posted to a Yahoo Group on 12/30/06 -- before Root formally announced as an LP candidate, and before this became a question which probably makes Root a little uncomfortable.
For your reading pleasure:
[T]his Millionaire Republican is suggesting that GOP leaders offer the Senate Majority Leader position to Senator Joe Lieberman in order to convince him to cross the aisle.
Senate Majority Leader Lieberman would be in a position to aid the Jewish state of Israel -- something so important to him (and many Americans -- including me). But I'm not done yet -- here's the coup de grace: the GOP offers Lieberman one more carrot that is impossible to turn down -- a place on the GOP Presidential ticket! That's right -- I'm suggesting an unbeatable GOP ticket of McCain- Lieberman in 2008 ...
My scenario gives the Republican Party a virtual lock on power for 20 consecutive years ...
Does all that sound like cold-blooded handicapping? Or does it sound like an endorsement? Is a campaign contribution to a political pick -- like Root's $1000 contribution to Joe Lieberman's 2006 US Senate campaign -- just a bet, or is it an endorsement?
Moving back a little further in time (but not much -- this is still late 2006), we find this in another Root article which has also since been memory-holed.
America wants a moderate Republican in the White House -- McCain is the ideal choice. He is strong on defense with a military background, yet gets along with Democrats and often crosses party lines. McCain campaigned for over 100 GOP candidates across the country -- and now will collect on that goodwill as the GOP picks up the pieces and looks for a mainstream, electable candidate in 2008. McCain is that man.
Take a walk with me now into a hypothetical future ... make that a highly hypothetical future ... in which Wayne Allyn Root has not only secured the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination, but wrestled his way to 15% in the polls and received his golden ticket to the televised candidate debates.
Now, try to imagine an even more hypothetical future in which those quotes would not be publicly read by the moderator to a sputtering Wayne Allyn Root and a smiling John McCain.
Don't feel bad. I couldn't imagine it either.