Thursday, January 20, 2011

Johnson "Tilting at Windmills" Sabato Says

Former Gov. Gary Johnson, who just about everyone believes will seek the Republican nomination for president, is "tilting at windows," national political pundit Larry Sabato says, though he adds that Johnson would "enrich the debate" if he runs

Sabato, who is director of the Virginia Center for Politics, included Johnson as one of 19 possible GOP candidates today in his "Crystal Ball" blog.

The contenders are in various stages of undress as the strip tease proceeds. So we begin with a catch-all listing of those clearly running (such as Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty); those seriously toying with running (Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, etc.); those who might be persuaded to run (such as Chris Christie and Marco Rubio); and those who are running but tilting at windmills (Rick Santorum, Gary Johnson, and so on)

(Now I have to clear my head of  the gruesome image of Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich etc. doing a strip tease. Thanks, Larry!)

Of Johnson, Sabato writes:

This two-term governor of New Mexico is almost totally unknown outside his home state. A wealthy businessman, he was something of a surprise winner in the Land of Enchantment during his years of service (1994 to 2002). Johnson is a most exceptional kind of Republican, a libertarian on many issues including drug legalization, and a Ron Paul supporter in 2008. He has practiced what he has preached, openly admitting to smoking marijuana with frequency for several recent years, as he sought to overcome residual pain from an accident. Much like John Bolton, but from a different direction, he will enrich the debate by being in the race. But Johnson’s chances of nomination are mighty slim, and that is putting it kindly. Johnson probably hopes for a Paul endorsement if the Texas congressman does not run again.