Thursday, May 3, 2012

Johnson's Looking Good to Win Libertarian Nomination

I had a telephone chat yesterday with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who most believe is about to come out on top this weekend at the Libertarian Party convention in Las Vegas, Nev.

My story is HERE.

As I say in the story, even though getting the nomination might not be that difficult, the rest of Johnson's road to November will be rocky. Johnson knows that if he has any chance of seriously competing with President Obama and Mitt Romney, he'll have to get a spot in the presidential debates, which begin Oct. 3 in Denver.

And he also has to overcome the institutional obstacles any third party faces, which historically have caused even the most robust third party efforts to dwindle before election day.

One interesting thing Johnson told me about his running mate, retired Judge Jim Gray of Orange County, Calif., is that even though Gray has been a long time critic of the war on drugs, when he first met Johnson around the turn of the century, he chided Johnson for "going too far" on the issue.

"He was for harm reduction and treatment instead of incarceration, which are all good things," Johnson said. "But at that point he was not for legalizing marijuana."

Gray has since come around to that viewpoint, Johnson said.