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Sigh…

October 1, 2016

This cartoon comes via "A (Sadly Short) List of Admirable Foreign Leaders" at Dan Mitchell’s International Liberty blog. There are some good choices on Dan’s list.

stevebreen-leader-you-respect

Now I like Gary Johnson’s and Bill Weld’s positions for the most part; certainly I like them more than I like their competitors’ positions.

But there are days when I wish Johnson would kick his game up a notch or two. Maybe he could take some advice from Matt Welch? (My emphasis.)

Gary Johnson Has an ‘Aleppo Moment’ (His Unfortunate Words) on MSNBC

Right before I interviewed him at the Libertarian National Convention in May and again before his CNN townhall in June, Gary Johnson made the same odd comment to me (this is a paraphrase): “Matt, I’m so sorry that it’s me up there defending libertarian ideas instead of you people who have been speaking about it so eloquently for so long!” He made a similar comment to longtime Libertarian activists just after accepting their nomination in Orlando. Aside from being an expression of his endearing-for-a-politician humility, the pre-apologies pointed to a central paradox of the Johnson campaign: His strategy has been laser-focused on getting into the presidential debates, and yet as a communicator, he is uneven, goofy around the edges, and prone to the occasional WTF moment.

Oh sure, you can come up with some caveats and whataboutisms here. I don’t know who my favorite foreign leader is either! NPR and Salon and all the rest are unfairly mischaracterizing this as Johnson being “unable to name a foreign leader”! There’s scant evidence that the voting public cares about foreign-policy gotcha moments, particularly in this of all campaign seasons! Also, what about Hillary Clinton’s warmongering and Donald Trump’s incoherent Mideast bluster!

All of that may be interesting, but it doesn’t change the fact that Gary Johnson screwed up bigly here, because this is who Gary Johnson is. A partial list of self-inflicted errors in this exchange: […]

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