Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gary Johnson Makes His Play

In a press conference in Santa Fe, the former New Mexico governor officially switched tracks from the Republican presidential primaries to the Libertarian Party's nomination contest.

He's already made one smart move, positioning himself as a competitor instead of someone awaiting coronation. The latter sort of arrogance (whether actual or perceived) was one reason it took Bob Barr six ballots to nail down the LP's nomination in 2008.

He's also already made one exceptionally dumb move -- bringing his support for the "Fair" Tax with him in his party switch (and, as Chuck Moulton points out in comments over at Independent Political Report, proving that even after months on the campaign trail touting it, he doesn't really understand it).

Obviously a former two-term governor enters any Libertarian Party contest as the de facto front-runner and with formidable advantages versus the rest of the field, who range from party regulars (R. Lee Wrights and Roger Gary) and perennials (Jim Burns) to single-issue gadflies (Bill Still) to other recently Republican also-rans (RJ Harris). But he's going to have to work for it, and he's also in a "nowhere to go but down, so be careful" situation.

It's going to be interesting.

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