Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico, announced yesterday that he was entering the contest to run for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012. In his typical manner, he avoided the usual path of first, hint that he’s running, second, set up an exploratory committee, and third, formally announce that he’s running. No, Johnson tweeted that he was running, then gave a speech where he said, ‘I am running for President.’ A campaign video follows.
For those unfamiliar with him, Johnson is a libertarian, perhaps as pure a libertarian as any politician in the last century. In his two terms as the chief executive of New Mexico, he fought for school voucher programs, the decriminalization of marijuana, advocated pro-choice positions on abortion, reduced taxes and cut the state bureaucracy. During his tenure, he vetoed over 700 bills, more than the other 49 governors combined.
Unfortunately, for Johnson, he faces an uphill climb in his efforts. However, he has climbed Mt. Everest, so he is used to uphill climbs. He is unlikely to get any support from the South, both because of his views on social positions and his willingness, let alone eagerness to slash federal government spending in all areas. He will probably compete with Ron/Rand Paul for those Republican voters who share his beliefs. These voters tend to be younger and more highly educated than those who are sought after by the other, more typical, candidates.
But Johnson, whether he wins or loses, will probably pressure the free lunch crowd candidates to explain why their policy positions are either fiscally or morally correct. Here is his campaign video: