Wayne's World, Party Time, Excellent

A little while ago I chatted with erstwhile Libertarian vice presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root, to get a grapple on where the LP is going after 2008. Root didn't figure much into Brian Doherty's excellent rundown of the LP campaign, so I wanted to get his perspective.

"I just wrapped up another little political discussion," said Root. "I was talking to a guy who’s run nine campaigns in Las Vegas, and won eight of them. He thinks I'm an absolute favorite for mayor of Las Vegas in 2011. And keep in mind, it's a non-partisan race, and the incumbent is term-limited, even though he's been inspired by Michael Bloomberg to try and change that."

Root was "obviously disappointed" with how the Barr/Root presidential campaign ended, but the only specific criticism he made was the decision to "stiff Ron Paul" at his September 10 press conference and offer him the LP vice presidential slot. "If you want him to get behind you, offer him the top spot on the ticket. If you want to snub him, offer him the number two spot. I mean, why would he ever take that, this candidate who'd won a million votes?"

That's as negative as he wanted to get. "I'm a team player," he said. He concentrated on his game plan for the next four years.

- "Pick up the Ron Paul torch." Root is reaching out to RP's old base of supporters, like moneybomb originator Trevor Lyman, and appearing on Lyman's Break the Matrix site whenever he can.

- "Become Rush Limbaugh." Root's book The Conscience of a Libertarian will hit shelves in May, and he's proud of the subtitle: "Empowering the citizen revolution, with God, guns, gambling, school choice and tax cuts."

- "Find the next David Koch." Root's convinced, and he's not alone, that the secret of the LP's success in the 1980 campaign was the vice presidential candidacy of deep-pocketed libertarian philanthropist David Koch. "I will spent the next four years with one goal in mind: Finding a billionaire running mate. Believe me when I tell you I will find him, or her. All of a sudden I’ll be on TV day and night, just like Ross Perot, and suddenly we’ll get 19 million votes, just like Ross Perot."

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  • ||

    Root is a real nut. But posing with luchadores gets you a few points in my book.

  • ||

    "All of a sudden I'll be on TV day and night, just like Ross Perot, and suddenly we'll get 19 million votes, just like Ross Perot."

    And you'll lose and accomplish nothing to build a meaningful long-term movement. Just like Ross Perot.

    I mean, really, how can anyone look around and say "Hey, there's a guy who didn't really make any difference. Let's shoot for that!"

  • Ska||

    But did Perot really have a desire to create a lasting movement? I was 16 when Perot was campaigning, and all I thought to myself was "anyone that isn't a Dem or Rep is the right choice."

    The LP actually getting millions of votes would them with the brand, as they do have a political party/platform.

  • ||

    I'd love to see Root run for Mayor of Las Vegas. I think he'd be a disappointment to many hard-core libertarians if he got elected, but I think he is personally well-positioned and well-suited for Las Vegas-only campaign. Penn & Teller reportedly liked him, maybe they'd be willing to help.

    Aside from that, I have absolutely no desire to see him become the face of the LP nationally, and I don't think there's any serious chance that he will. If Barr's support among Libertarians fell over the course of the campaign, then Root's plummeted. He's proven that he's incapable of recognizing the line between "energetic" and "embarrassing". His boisterousness is perfectly suited for Las Vegas, but to the rest of the country he comes off (with good reason) as obnoxious and maniacally egocentric.

  • ||

    >he's proud of the subtitle: "Empowering the citizen revolution, with god guns, gambling, school choice and tax cuts."

    So Wayne Root = a pro-gambling Sarah Palin?

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  • P||

    Root is a loose cannon on a rolling deck. He wouldn't be my first choice for anything... other than Mayor of Las Vegas

    Does anyone know what ever happened to the reality show he was supposed to be starring in?

  • P||

    what the hell are God Guns? is there supposed to be a "," between God and Guns?

  • Russ 2000||

    Eddie Angel sure has put on weight.

  • ||

    "Root was "obviously disappointed" with how the Barr/Root presidential campaign ended, but the only specific criticism he made was the decision to "stiff Ron Paul" at his September 10 press conference and offer him the LP presidential slot."

    I'm a little confused there.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Perhaps Root should use his clout with Mexican wrestlers to "persuade" his fellow Libertarians to support him.

    "I am El Asso-Wipo! I will break you over my knee like so."

  • ||

    Despite my confusion, Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales have been indicted! Freaking sweet!

  • ||

    More manure from the B.S. specialist. Exactly why Weigel is asking someone who only joined the LP a few months ago, just so he could run for offic,e where the LP is going is beyond me. But then Weigel has been pro-Barr and pro-Root in his very biased (inaccurate as well) reporting. The Nevada LP is not keen on Root and never was, that is why he had to be a delegate from California to get into the convention. As for his favored to win status, that is just another one of the big lies that Root continually spreads around. He and Barr ran horrible campaigns, they didn't even trade principles for better vote totals coming in 4th place of all LP presidential tickets in percentage terms (which is why they ignore percentages and speak only of raw vote totals).

    I doubt the LP delegates will allow themselves to be conned a second time by this charlatan.

  • ||

    Root is a dufus. Now that the Publicans are back in the minority, they're gonna start whining about how the Obamacrats are abusing power and gubmn't needs to be smaller. Then Root is going to take his god-guns and go home. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    But I have to agree. A billionaire with a cult of personality, who's willing to tow the libertarian lion could be the real Messiah.

  • ||

    Somebody should tell this clown that Libertarianism is not conservatism and playing the God card doesn't work with LP delegates. No LIbertarian candidate should be talking about "empowering people with God" since the LP has no position on God but does have a position on separation of church and state. Root is confusing libertarianism for his own brand of Republican conservatism. He really should go back to the party where his ilk are welcomed.

  • Dave Weigel||

    I doubt the LP delegates will allow themselves to be conned a second time by this charlatan.

    I think if Root pulls a record vote total in the Vegas mayoral race or somehow wins it, a lot will be forgiven. If Ed Thompson can become a dream candidate by getting 185k votes in a gubernatorial race, Root really could slingshot his hopes in Vegas.

    One problem for him is he'd have to get an apartment or house in the city. He lives in Henderson now.

  • Joel||

    Does anyone know what ever happened to the reality show he was supposed to be starring in?

    It got fourth place in the election. And Root wasn't the star.

    Couldn't have been much worse if he was.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    So I see Root is a doofus and a charlatan, but the man who didn't believe in driver's licenses and wanted to chain prisoners to the point of atrophy...he's a real Libertarian!

    Some people around here act like the LP has the kind of membership that it can start being more picky than the Mayflower Club.

  • ||

    TAO for the win!

  • ||

    gee-whilikers Libertarians are a tough bunch to please.

  • ||

    Root suffers from the same delusion that most third-party candidates do. It's not just money that holds them back. They should be seeking a more fundamental change.

  • Bingo||

    John:

    Can you please summarize that? The font and paragraph layout of that site is not conducive to blog posts that long, and the author fails to offer a thesis statement in the first 6 paragraphs.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Bingo - first-past-the-post will never be conducive to the growth of third parties.

    That really is the summary.

  • ||

    P, the reality show was a bust because it would have violated FEC rules.

    Only "libertarians" can look at a Presidential Campaign year where Libertarian Candidates receive the second highest vote totals for an LP Candidate ever, a 22% increase in dues paying Members over last years, donations to the Party way Up, Positive Media coverage way up, and call this a failure?

    Do libertarians really want to turn the clock back to a couple of years ago when the LP Membership dropped from over 32,000 to 10,000? Where the LP was spending more money than it was taking in? Where the Candidates for Presidents vote totals were heading in a down ward spiral heading for under 300,000. Where another year or two the LP would have folded and become non-existant. I hope this is not the case.

  • Aaron Brown||

    God, guns, gambling, school choice and tax cuts


    "One of these things is not like the others
    One of these things just doesn't exist"

    Well, I suppose school choice and tax cuts aren't doing that great either.

  • zoltan||

    the man who didn't believe in driver's licenses and wanted to chain prisoners to the point of atrophy...he's a real Libertarian!

    TAO, who are you referring to?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Michael Badnarik - the LP's 2004 Presidential Candidate.

    And I, a gradualist, campaigned for him and shut my mouth about it.

    You see, Libertarians have this notion that they have to act like obstinate asses in party politics. You don't. A committed ideological cadre with a unity of message is very strong, but Libertarians revel in how very fuckin' "snowflake-special" they are.

  • ||

    TAO,
    There's a difference. I met Badnarik. Saw him in three debates, and give as many speeches. He never mentioned drivers licenses. And only in response to a question did prisoner atrophy come up once.

    Root is a living cartoon that dedicates every breath to bufoonishness.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Badnarik told people that there was no Constitutional authority with respect to the income tax. He's talked about the "threat" of the North American Union.

    Come now...

  • ||

    During the general election campaign I heard Wayne Allyn Root on the radio.
    Once.
    And that was an advertisement for his betting line on a sports radio station.

  • jj||

    There's a sizable segment of readers on this cosomtarian site alone who agree with that...

    "Badnarik told people that there was no Constitutional authority with respect to the income tax. "

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The 16th Amendment was ratified. Get over it. Or, better yet, get to repealing it. Don't deny it's efficacy or that it's duly promulgated law.

    Pop on over to to the site that broadcasts Badnarik's show.

    Swim in the crazy a little. A cursory examination shows that along with Badnarik, we've got broadcasts of Alex Jones! And Jesse Ventura! And a show by some "Holisitic Wellness" nutjob...and many more!

    I am sure that Badnarik is a good guy who knows his shit. I campaigned for the man. He also hangs around manifest nutcases.

  • Jordan||

    So, I see a lot of ad-hominems against Root. Anybody have any criticism of substance? Or do all the cool kids just make fun of him?

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    OH YEAH, JORDAN?

    WHICH IS YOUR PROPER LEGACY? WHITE SOX OR WIZARDS?

    HOW 'BOUT DEM APPLES?

  • egosumabbas||

    Lots of hate for Wayne Allyn Root here. Honestly, I think it's great that the LP has a supporter who's so energetic he can pop out of the screen and knock your couch over in the process.

    And yes, I also voted for Badnarik even though he's a bit wacky. On the other hand, he's a great scholar.

    This is a fundamental problem with the LP. They constantly put dorks on the ballot. The dorks belong at the reins of the party, tending to philosophy, and publishing treatises.

    But, you need larger-than-life public figures and incrementalists as *political candidates*. Root fits this bill, though he could ease off on the Red Bull.

  • fester||

    I think it would be interesting if Root could be the mayor of Vegas. I don't want him as the LP candidate for president, but as a mayor it would be interesting to see how he handles everything.

  • fillet of sole||

    Mr. Root is a true connoisseur of protective coverings for the lower portion of bipedal limbs. First he compares his college GPA in a sad collegiate penis waving competition and now we fantasize about buying elections. What's next? Extolling the virtues of having mafia connections in manipulating unions?

    You know that "little inside voice" in your head that says, "Don't say that?" The one Homer Simpson has that sometimes escapes into reality to create an awkward situation. Mr. Root needs to hone that "little inside voice" a little more. Or at least learn when to just STFU all together.

  • Craig||

    The 16th Amendment was [is claimed to have been] ratified. Get over it. Or, better yet, get to repealing it. Don't deny it's efficacy or that it's duly promulgated law.

    Fixed.

  • Craig||

    Well actually....

    The 16th Amendment was [is claimed to have been] ratified. Get over it. Or, better yet, get to repealing it. Don't deny it's [its] efficacy or that it's duly promulgated law.

  • Jordan||

    OH YEAH, JORDAN?

    WHICH IS YOUR PROPER LEGACY? WHITE SOX OR WIZARDS?

    HOW 'BOUT DEM APPLES?



    Touche, good sir.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    "Exactly why Weigel is asking someone who only joined the LP a few months ago, just so he could run for offic,e where the LP is going is beyond me."

    Anybody who mistakes me for a Root booster is certifiably insane, but:

    I'm pretty sure Root formally joined the LP in 2005 or 2006. And even before that, he had some history -- the Las Vegas Review-Journal ran libertarian-themed letters to the editor by him (on taxes, etc.) at least as far back as 2003, and he called himself a libertarian on Bill Maher's TV show in the late 90s.

    Furthermore, like it or not, Root DID come in third for the LP's 2008 presidential nomination, won its 2008 vice-presidential nomination, and campaigned as its vice-presidential candidate. His opinion on "where the LP is going" is, at least to an internal LP extent, newsy and relevant.

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