Gary Johnson Shut Out of First New Hampshire Debate

The first New Hampshire debate of the 2012 presidential race will take place later this month, and former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is not invited. CNN, WMUR, and the Union Leader are hosting the debate. Here's the latter's writeup

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will debate on June 13 in Sullivan Arena at St. Anselm College.

Invitations were extended to 13 prominent Republicans. In addition to the seven who have agreed to debate, Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump were on the list.

Palin, who appeared in New Hampshire yesterday as part of a campaign-style bus tour, told WMUR, "I don't think I'll be able to be there. Thanks for asking, though." Giuliani and Huntsman turned down their invitations. Daniels, Huckabee and Trump decided not to run.

CNN, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader sent invitations to every Republican who was taking substantive steps towards a presidential run
and met any of the following polling standards:

> At least 2.00% support in at least three major national polls released in April.
> At least 2.00% support in at least three major national polls released in May.
> An average of at least 2.00% support in the two May polls of New Hampshire voters by the UNH Survey Center.

And here's the Johnson camp's press release responding to the news: 

Republican presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson released the following statement today in reaction to not being invited to participate in the June 13 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary debate:

“I respect the right of CNN and the other sponsors of the June 13 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary debate to apply their own criteria and invite who they choose.  It is, however, unfortunate that a significant segment of the Republican Party, and more importantly, millions of independent voters who might be Republican voters, will not have a voice on the stage in Manchester.

What will be missing is the voice of those who hold an undiluted view of individual liberty – those who believe that individual rights extend to women who face choices about abortion,  Americans who happen to be gay, and those who don’t place other asterisks on freedom.

Likewise, there will be no voice for the growing number of Americans who see the hypocrisy and failure of drug laws that condone alcohol at White House Dinners while incarcerating millions of Americans, including our kids, who choose to smoke pot.

I wish the participants in the debate well.  And I sympathize with the millions of Americans whose beliefs will not be on display in Manchester on June 13.

I look forward to participating in the July 10 debate in Las Vegas, sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform and the Daily Caller."

Reason on Gary Johnson

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  • Irresponsible Hater||

    Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Romney, Santorum...

    Holy shit that's a lot of dumb in one room. The earth's axis may shift under its weight.

  • ||

    Thank God they're not having the debate on Guam then.

  • Matt Felch||

    do ho hoooooo
    I get it.

  • NeonCat||

    It's Hank, not Frank.

  • wayne||

    +3.14159

  • ||

    It's a stunning amount of dumb. If I could stand watching politicians speak, I'd actually think about watching this purely for entertainment value. There are guaranteed to be some epically retarded statements.

  • ||

    I'd like to watch it for the same reason, but I just got a badass new Samsung 52 inch TV and could not ensure it's safety.

  • ChicagoSucks||

    That is correct. Man currently does not possess technology capable of containing or controlling that much stupidity. This particular lineup could be considered a weapon of mass destruction, and should be disarmed by an equal but opposite amount of awesomeness (maybe Chuck Norris could do it).

  • ||

    I was just at Costco last night and saw a Sharp 60" that blew me away. I could not believe my eyes. It was 3D without glasses. And only $1900. It makes the first time I saw Blue-ray seem like nothing.

  • ||

    Seriously? I bought a 42" DL-fucking-P HDTV five years ago that cost more than that. I'd like to thank Obama for making TV's so much cheaper these days (and 3D!).

  • ||

    I'm happy with my 52" Toshiba, but this thing stopped me dead in my tracks. Maybe my wall has room for two screens...

  • ||

    Maybe my wall has room for two screens...

    You just gave me a sudden urge to watch Fahrenheit 451 for some reason.

  • Joe M||

    You should probably read it instead.

  • ||

    I've probably read that book a dozen times. I actually like the film as well as the book, and there are enough differences between the two that it almost feels like two unrelated stories altogether.

  • Jason||

    Dual monitors?

    :D

  • ||

    Really? 3D without glasses? What's the model number? I cannot find anything like that on www.sharpusa.com.

  • ||

    It might be this one. A bit more online. And I should clarify that what I was looking at looked like 3D. It was close enough that I wouldn't be able to tell a difference. Sorry for any inconvenience.

  • prolefeed||

    I'm still trying to get over the awesomeness of my newish Sony 55" TV with the HD digital cable service.

    It's like you're in the same room with them, it's that fine-grained a picture.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    TVs are for losers. Projectors are where it's at.

    My current configuration is 77" in full 1080p, but I could up it to 120" with a new screen.

  • skr||

    Someone was on NPR yesterday trying to convince people that Bacchmann was really intelligent but she was prone to gaffs. All I could think was that how smart can someone be that says so any stupid things over and over and over again.

  • skr||

    so many even

  • Almanian||

    I think "so any" works in her case, too.

  • skr||

    lol

  • Sparky||

    Maybe she has something in common with Obama.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/op.....327.column

  • ||

    We just make it a drinking game.

    Drink every time Bachmann looks startled.

  • ||

    Tryin' to kill me ?

  • ||

    It's not like I said take a drink every time Newt makes a pig-like chortle.

  • ||

    Newcular Titties, please.

  • ||

    Goddamn, when did this place get so formal?

  • ||

    Got to stay on brand.

  • ||

    It's a stunning amount of dumb. If I could stand watching politicians speak...

    I feel your pain. But if dumb is what you hate, why do you spend so much time on comment boards?

  • ||

    Holy shit that's a lot of dumb in one room. The earth's axis may shift under its weight.

    Axis shifting, not so much. Here's what will happen though: on the opposite side of the planet, the population will experience a temporary intelligence boost of 500-700%

  • ||

    Barney frank should be pleased.

  • Ska||

    Is that a santorum joke?

  • Anomalous||

    Mmm, frothy!

  • Platypus||

    now THAT'S funny.

  • Jim||

    Man, so many utterly shitty candidates to choose from! WHY can't I make myself vote GOP?

    Romney, and Big State National Greatness Conservatism FTW 2012!!!

  • SIV||

    Everyone outside of the establishment GOP is working overtime to kneecap Romney. He won't be the nominee.

  • Jim||

    For the sake of all that is good and right in the universe, I hope you're right.

  • Geotpf||

    Then who will be? I'm sure Southern Baptists won't vote for a mormon, but there really isn't an alternative for them to rally around (unless Palin runs).

  • Barney Frank||

    > At least 2.00% support in at least three major national polls released in April.
    > At least 2.00% support in at least three major national polls released in May.
    > An average of at least 2.00% support in the two May polls of New Hampshire voters by the UNH Survey Center.

    Huntsman supposedly met those qualifications? I seriously doubt it.

  • oscar||

    yeah, that's what I was thinking..he's polling around zero (although he'd be a splash of sanity in that room of dumb)

  • Cyto||

    Here's the poll they are relying on. Johnson is the only candidate on the list that didn't make the cut. In fact, he didn't get 1%. "Other" got 3%. "No Opinion" polled 17%.

  • {||

    I like the cut of No Opinion's jib.

  • Troll||

    Freedom just isn't that important. When will you people get it through your thick skulls?

    School lunches is where it's at.

  • H. Protagonist||

    So, Santorum gets 2% of 347 GoPers polled, or about 7 total votes and gets invited. Gary Johnson gets less than one percent, or somewhere between 1 and 3 votes, and is excluded. Given the inherent noisiness of this sort of data at the tails and the high number of undecideds, this is simply a silly way of screening.

  • SIV||

    Johnson was at 1% as a #2 choice in NH. He is running so poorly he can't even pick up Paul voters as a second choice. Johnson's campaign is really sucking.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Demonstrating, once again, that cosmotarians are not only unrepresentative of the American electorate at large, they're also unrepresentative of the libertarian movement in general.

  • SIV||

    It demonstrates that Johnson isn't running even a token serious campaign.
    Has he been to Iowa? He should be in New Hampshire often as it is the most important primary and NH GOP voters should be receptive to his issues.

    He could shoestring along in a rental car and cheap motels and supporters' (If he had any) guest bedrooms or couches.Speak anywhere with an audience and shake as many hands as he can.

    unrepresentative of the libertarian movement in general
    That too.

  • zip||

    he's been all over new hampshire since he announced

  • Zeb||

    It is pretty hard, if not impossible, to find any libertarian who is representative of the libertarian movement in general.

    Oh, and go fuck yourself, slappy.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Ron and Rand Paul seem to be doing ok for themselves... and feel free to go fuck yourself too!

  • Fiscal Meth||

    How the fuck is he a cosmotarian?

  • Destrudo||

    Interestingly, the margin of error in this poll in 5%.

  • ||

    What business does the press have filtering out candidates? That's absolutely ridiculous. They, plain and simple, don't want the anti-statist position on the table. There's no other explanation. The man's not some homeless guy running--he was the governor of a friggin' state.

  • ||

    Sorry, meant to say too much anti-statist position at the table. With Paul, they'll be getting a manageable amount. Can't make him look like anything other than--there's no other way to put it--a lone wacko.

  • ||

    Well, they've got to draw a line somewhere before they start inviting Fred Karger and Buddy Roemer.

    But, seriously, two-term former Governor should get you an automatic invite...

  • ||

    They invited Ron Paul. But that's probably in the hope that he'd say something they could characterize as kooky.

    What do you expect from the media, ProL? They are the sniveling, bought and sold lapdogs of the government.

  • ||

    We crossed the streams, but yes, I agree. One guy can be written off as a kook. Another one saying some of the same things might make people question the idea of the Almighty State.

  • sarcasmic||

    Good point.

  • Joe M||

    Right, things were way out of control in the first debate, with 2 of 5 candidates sounding reasonable.

  • ||

    Close call, but few people watched.

  • Joe M||

    Thanks to the media warning potential viewers it wasn't a real debate.

  • skr||

    i was going to say but the numbers on outube must be high. I mean c'mon "heroin" has to draw some hits. Then I checked and realized I was sorely mistaken. If all the videos of that debate hit 100k views it would be a miracle and that's just sad.

  • skr||

    100k views combined. Damn I should really proofread but the newspapers don't do it so I'm not going to start.

  • ||

    They did invite Paul, though it's easy enough to skip over him when asking the other people questions.

    I think you're right, though. They are afraid of Johnson. And perhaps they should be.

  • ||

    What is this, Echo Mountain?

  • ||

    What is this, Echo Mountain?

  • ||

    HAHAHAHA! You think this is the real sage? It is! *BOOM*

  • Jim||

    +1 for Total Recall reference.

  • ||

    What is this, Echo Mountain purple monkey dishwasher?

  • ||

    They're afraid of a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage candidate winning the GOP nomination?

    If so there might be a lot of money in guarding against monsters under their beds.

  • ||

    The left is more about statism than rights, anyway. If the government is all powerful. . .for great social justice!

  • Joe M||

    I hope someone set up us the moneybomb.

  • ||

    All your votes are belong to us.

  • Lolcat||

    I can haz cheezevoter?

  • ||

    And how does CNN, which leans left, get to choose what Republicans debate? Should Fox News host a Democrat debate and just invite circus clowns?

  • ||

    If you don't like the way they're operating the debate, start your own network and invite the candidates you think should be in the debate.

  • Oprah & Al||

    That's a great idea!

  • Cyto||

    Just be careful what you wish for... remember how that "Al Franken" thing worked out?

  • ||

    "remember how that "Al Franken" thing worked out?"

    ^^THIS, is why I have not voted since 2008 and never will again.

  • Mensan||

    What Al Franken thing? The thing where after he lost the election, poll workers suddenly found boxes of ballots in the trunks of their cars that accidentally weren't counted? Or the thing where all of those newly found ballots just happened to be votes for Franken? Cyto, are you implying that there was something fishy about Franken's recount victory?

  • ||

    What business does the press have filtering out candidates? That's absolutely ridiculous.

    You can't manage a debate with 20 people on the stage, which is what you'd get if you opened it up to everyone who wants to run for president. There has to be some criterion for winnowing the field down, and the criteria they're using don't look terribly biased to me at least.

  • ||

    Uh, huh. That only makes sense if you accept that there is any rational basis for "anointing" candidates as legitimate. Romney was a fucking joke last time around. Bachmann and Gingrich are almost universally viewed as totally useless candidates. Not to mention, recent election aside, we generally prefer governors to members of Congress.

    No, this is political.

  • ||

    So the criteria you're working off of are "being a joke" (according to whom?), "viewed as totally useless" (again according to whom?), and "we prefer governors" (talk about anointing!).

    I'll take the poll numbers as the best of the bad objective criteria, thanks.

  • ||

    Governors have done better in elections, historically. For the obvious reason that they have some executive experience.

    If I have to explain to you why Bachmann and Gingrich aren't taken very seriously, I'm concerned about your well-being.

    Romney had pretty much lost the primaries relatively early on last go-around, against a very weak field. On top of his latest missteps, he also has the failure to repudiate RomneyCare, which will make his performance even worse this time around.

    You just won't accept that leaving out a governor this early in the race is clearly inappropriate.

  • ||

    And libertarians have done terribly in elections too, so let's leave them out of the debates. How do you like that idea?

    I mean, you're complaining about "anointing frontrunners" but it's clear that you just want to substitute your anointing process for theirs.

  • ||

    No, I'm not. This early in the game, I think they have no business filtering out candidates. At all, if possible, but if there has to be some winnowing, it shouldn't include candidates with reasonable credentials. And in this case, it sounds like they'd have included more candidates if the ones invited and all agreed to show up, so why is Johnson still being excluded?

    How well-known someone is a year and a half before the general election strikes me as not a very valid criterion.

  • Zeb||

    It does seem a bit premature to declare who is or is not a serious or viable candidate six months before anyone votes.

  • Mensan||

    It does seem a bit premature to declare who is or is not a serious or viable candidate six months before anyone votes.

    Yes, it does. Unfortunately, the media thinks it's their role to decide that for us.

  • Mensan||

    Six of the thirteen "candidates" that were invited are not even running. If they want to limit the number of candidates they allow in a debate, maybe the first criteria should be that they are actually a candidate. If they need to minnow it down further after that, then they could apply other criteria.

  • CE||

    You can't manage a debate with 20 people on the stage...

    No, but 8 has already done, and isn't significantly more difficult than 7.

    There has to be some criterion for winnowing the field...

    How about actually running (declared and filed), and qualified (like say, a current or former governor), OR polling above X% (for people like Cain or Trump with no political background.)

  • ||

    "qualified" (well, beyond being over 35 and a US citizen at birth) is going to be a very non-objective criterion. Declared and filed is going to bring in a lot of Alan Keyes-type jokers.

  • ||

    I tried to come up with a less paranoid sounding reason, but I can't. Behind all the smug talk of "serious" candidates (Romney? Really?) I think there is a real fear of someone who won't tow the statist lion.

  • Almanian||

    SHUT UP YORE IN CANADA WE CAN VOTE FOR OUR OWN STATIST LION WITHOUT UR HELP!!!

    Just kidding. Happy Friday, DT :)

  • ||

    I am actually a deserter and live in the US. Still can't vote, though, so according to the VOTE OR DIE crowd I have exactly zero political opinions.

    If it comes down to Romney or Obama in 2012, I might just move back to Canada. (Not really. But sweet fuck that would be depressing.)

  • ACORN||

    "I am actually a deserter and live in the US. Still can't vote"

    We can fix that for you.

  • Dave||

    But he was governor of New Mexico. We don't want some frickin' furriner as president of these here United States!

  • Zeb||

    There's a New Mexico now?

  • Mensan||

    What business does the press have filtering out candidates?

    They did the same thing to Alex Snitker in the last senate election here in Florida.

  • Unborn American||

    What the fuck about my individual rights?! If my right to continue living isn't safe, none of our rights are safe.

  • ||

  • Mine Overseer||

    You get back in the dilithium mines and WORK you little shit! I'll give you your "rights"!

  • ||

    Respect my individual rights!

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Your owner doesn't even have the right to sell you, as he/she is gov't property. Sorry.

  • cancer american||

    i'm alive too you know! end the genocide against my kind!

  • asdf||

    loll

  • Joedoe||

    I happen to agree with you, but the abortion issue seems to be in a deadlock. When is the last time a Pro-Life President significantly advanced the issue? It seems to be used mostly as a political football these days, unfortunately.

  • Zeb||

    You're not an American until you are born. It's in the constitution.

    Also, shut up. Abortion arguments are boring.

  • Deceased American||

    You should talk to ACORN; they make sure my vote still gets counted.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    So they invited circus clown Trump, who is likely a Dem troll, but not a guy who has actually announced a run and was involved in the previous Fox News debate? Way to go everyone.

  • oscar||

    and a two term governor..its not like he's some unknown

  • SIV||

    Johnson is unknown in NH, home of the 1st GOP primary. Whose fault is that?

  • Zeb||

    I know about him. So there's that.

  • ||

    Trump was doing way better than Johnson in April polls.

  • ||

    Above, you asseverate that "you can't manange a debate with 20 people on stage, which is what you'd get if you opened it up for everyone who wants to run for president".

    You would admit that you are speculating, right? Even if 20 were running for the GOP nomination, it would be better, imo, to have all 20 on stage instead of some more "manageable" number.

    Tulpa, I don't know about you, but I can certainaly follow along whether there are 2,3,4,5 or 20 debaters on stage. I do not need a gatekeeper to screen things for me, thank you.

  • ||

    Those of us who really follow these things would probably have no trouble with 100 candidates, as we research them on the Internet on our own schedule and such. But reality is we're a tiny minority.

    The TV debates present the candidates to an audience that's somewhat less committed, and given that only one of them is going to be talking at a time, having too many of them is going to reduce the average "screen time" to only 2-3 minutes, which is nearly useless. I don't mean to get all Marshall McLuhan on you, but the problem is that unlike the Net, TV is a hot medium.

  • ||

    You are no doubt right in that we both could probably picture people we know who would make comments to the effect that the whole thing is useless or that it is a joke, etc, due to the number of candidates on stage.

    Perhaps I might be more hard on such people than you. Of course, I am also a hypocrite because I know that I would be harder on some than others.

  • Joe M||

    Likewise, there will be no voice for the growing number of Americans who see the hypocrisy and failure of drug laws that condone alcohol at White House Dinners while incarcerating millions of Americans, including our kids, who choose to smoke pot.

    There will be a voice for heroin users, however.

  • Pink Cosmotarian||

    "Raaaaacist!!"

  • Mike M.||

    This is really disgusting, especially in the "Live Free or Die" state. I'm not surprised at the least in CNN, because they're a bunch of scumbags, but I'm very disappointed in the Union Leader.

  • Cyto||

    Where are all those "free state" activists? Wouldn't this be a good time to bring their 20,000 voices to the fore?

  • ||

    They're all anarchists who don't vote. It's the fatal flaw in their plan.

  • ||

    No, they are more the "let's work within the system and not appear to be too kooky lest we scare away the moderates" crowd of "libertarians". IOW, losers.

  • Joedoe||

    Really? Because I thought the whole point was to influence state policy by migrating and THEN voting...otherwise, you know, it doesn't work.

  • ||

    Yes, you are right....the whole point was to do just that. My response was specifically tailored to Brandybuck...just some inside H&R teasing.

  • Deceased American||

    20,000 is their goal. They only have about 11,000 signed up at this point, and only about 900 have already moved to NH.

  • Ska||

  • Warty||

  • Ska||

    Meh, I didn't honestly believe it, but laughed anyway.

    Thanks a lot, killjoy.

  • Warty||

    It's OK. If it makes you feel any better, the story is true in the parallel universe I originally come from.

  • Ska||

    Ah, it does. I feel redeemed.

  • Jim||

    So if we get you to say Ytraw, will you be banished back to it?

  • ||

    eno sulp

  • Almanian||

    Stop taking points from Jim! He's a commenter, damnit, not a doctor!

  • Jim||

    *in accented voice*
    Hi everybody!

    *chorus*
    Hi Doctor Jim!

  • Almanian||

    PWNED!

    But I'm voting for him anyway, so Warty's also been PWNED!

    Great Double PWNAGE, guys!

  • ||

    What is is this PWNAGE you speak and where may a good gentleman acquire it? It sounds smashing, old boy.

  • Warty||

    Don't be so derisive. I deride your derision.

  • Almanian||

    PETER COSGROVE FOR PRESIDENT - 2012

    "Teaching Youth to Shoot Since [insert some date here]"

  • Joe M||

    Question: how do you think they'll position the candidates? Without Palin of Giuliani there, the polling averages go in this order:

    Romney
    Paul
    Gingrich
    Cain
    Pawlenty
    Bachmann
    Santorum

    Paul should be right in the middle next to Romney, but I will put money on it that they'll stick him on the far left or right podium.

  • ||

    You need a crazy old codger to make Pawlenty and Romney look "statesmanlike".

    "See? This is how 'grown-ups' approach these issues. Stop more pretending government isn't the solution."

  • AlmightyJB||

    But is Gary Johnston going to be there. That's what I want to know.

  • ||

    "Stop more pretending"

    Sheesh

    Fucking sentences- how do they work?

  • SIV||

    Johnson should've been included.However, whose fault is it that he can't meet the low bar required for entry? 2% in any National poll or 2% in NH. How much time has he spent in NH? Any?

    Reason warned us about this guy before taking the post down minutes later.

  • Zeb||

    He has spent some time in NH, been on the local call in show and a few other events.

  • ||

    sent invitations to every Republican who was taking substantive steps towards a presidential run
    and met any of the following polling standards:

    > At least 2.00% support in at least three major national polls released in April.
    > At least 2.00% support in at least three major national polls released in May.
    > An average of at least 2.00% support in the two May polls of New Hampshire voters by the UNH Survey Center.
    >Name is not Gary Johnson

  • SIV||

    Johnson is running a pretty lame campaign if he can't pull 2% in any poll.

  • Mensan||

    Just picking nits here, but it's not 2% in any poll.

    By their criteria, he could have polled at 10% in two major national polls in April, and 20% in two more in May, but he still wouldn't be eligible.

    That's an unlikely scenerio, but the point is the criteria is designed so that the media can arbitrarily choose which candidate they allow the people to hear from while not appearing to be arbitrary. They use the "major national" qualifier, so that they can ignore any poll which doesn't show the results they are looking for. And even if they can't discount a particular poll or two, that's fine, because the candidate has to meet the criteria three times over.

  • ||

    So, what criteria would you guys propose to winnow the field down to a manageable number of people?

    I see a lot of complaining and not a lot of alternative courses of action.

  • ||

    It said 13 were invited but only 7 are attending, so there is no reason to think there are too many debaters.

  • sarcasmic||

    They sent thirteen invitations.
    What's one more?

  • Joe M||

    Also, they had ten debaters in 2007 quite a few times.

  • Ska||

    There's some kind of mass debaters joke around here....

  • sarcasmic||

    Q: What do you get if you put fifty lesbians and fifty politicians in the same room?
    A: One hundred people who don't do dick.

  • Joe M||

    I think the problem is politicians do too much.

  • Sudden||

    Q: What do you get if you put fifty lesbians and fifty politiciansgovernment employees in the same room?
    A: One hundred people who don't do dick.

  • Dave||

    Yup. I can't believe that they invited The Donald, but not Johnson.

  • Sudden||

    They can fix that problem by inviting Don Johnson.

  • Joe M||

    If Christie were there, they'd have Tubbs. Heyo!

  • Joe M||

    Perhaps a fourth criterion to qualify could be "has ever previously held elected office". That would indicate that the candidate is electable, literally, and worthy of at least a tiny bit of respect.

  • oscar||

    agreed

  • ||

    The only ones who would be excluded by that would be Cain and Trump... that doesn't really improve the respectability of the field much.

  • Joe M||

    Well they already qualified by the other criteria anyway.

  • the ultimate arbiter||

    Minimum qualification (for a serious party) to be a presidential candidate: 1) At least 1 full term as a state governor. 2) Honorably discharged from previous office, or still in office. 3) If you lose either the primary or general election, you're done.

    This would leave only Johnson and Timmy Paw of the current "contenders", but the restrictions would encourage the likes of Tom Ridge, Bill Graves, Rick Perry, Frank Keating, and Bob Jindal to run. All of whom seem substantially better than any of the declareds than perhaps Hairy Johnson.

  • the ultimate arbiter||

    * that is, if you lose the primary to someone who goes on to lose the general, you're done.

  • SIV||

    I don't think the field should be winnowed at this point. If he's on the GOP Primary ballot that is good enough.
    Still, Johnson is not behaving like a serious candidate. Neither is Santorum but he cleared the CNN 2% bar somewhere.

  • ||

    Still, Johnson is not behaving like a serious candidate.

    Good to see I'm not the only one who got that from his whiny response.

  • SIV||

    He is unknown in New Hampshire. So unknown he isn't the second choice of the polled Paul voters. It's Johnson's own fault he is unknown.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's a shame he's so unknown. If there was only some sort of televised debate that could be produced by, say, CNN, which he could use to get his message out!

    It's a shame such a thing isn't possible.

  • ||

    Still not sure why a private company is obligated to provide free face time to every candidate someone likes.

    And Johnson had his chance in the FoxNews debate where he seriously underwhelmed.

  • ||

    They're not obligated. But playing favorites does damage their credibility as an "objective" news organization.

  • SIV||

    Johnson isn't newsworthy.He needs to go mountain climbing in NH or something.

  • ||

    Uh... he skied Tuckerman Ravine two days after he announced...

    http://outside-blog.away.com/b.....avine.html

  • Savage Love||

    "Neither is Santorum but he cleared the CNN 2% bar somewhere."

    Because of his other, ahem, name-recognition.

  • Jim||

    The field shouldn't be winnowed at all. People should be given ALL choices. If there's too many people, then have two debates, each of an hour, back-to-back, and Jeopardy style, invite the champion back each night until a Supreme Emperor is crowned, who will then be defeated by that fucking computer whose name I already forget, which will then usher in the Singularity.

    And that is my alternative.

    On a serious note, any winnowing is an example of the media as gatekeeper. Obviously they should be allowed to do what they want on their network. But an ideal solution would be to hold several debates, at the same venue, over the course of a couple of days, to allow everyone who has declared that they are running to have a moment to share their thoughts with the public.

  • o rly||

    I like the jeopardy idea. Like, actual jeopardy. Not their opinions (not yet), but their grasp of the facts. Questions on the structure of the economy, existing laws, the contents of the consitutions, foreign treaties, geography, history, FACTS. If anybody is unmasked as a wolf blitzer, kicked to the curb before we even hear their sorry ass bullshit opinion.

  • Sudden||

    But given the disparate impact upon Herman Cain, that would be RACIST!!!1!

  • Mensan||

    I like the Jeopardy idea too, but each question would need to follow the final jeopardy format (only without the song, and less time to write down their answer). Otherwise any candidate who is slower on the buzzer may not have a chance to answer.

  • R. Kurzweil||

    +100

  • Almanian||

    How about Reason hosts a debate, with commenters kicking in funding to pay for the costs through a special online solicitation and/or bake sale.

    *crickets chirp merrily*

    OK, moving on...

  • ||

    What do you call "manageable"? And it's not "complaining"; it's simply that we don't buy your contention that the field must be "winnowed".

    I think that especially applies in an early debate like this. I very much doubt that anybody other than a political junkie is going to be all that hot to watch it. Do you really expect all that many casual easily confused viewers?

  • Zeb||

    I don't think an alternative course is necessary until it becomes a problem. As it is now, they got fewer candidates than they invited. Why not fill the other slots with the runners up?

    Why the fuck are we having debates already anyway?

  • Pedant||

    Easy: those individuals who have filed in enough states to possibly garner 270 electoral votes.

  • ||

    So, what criteria would you guys propose to winnow the field down to a manageable number of people?

    How about people who have actually announced they are running for the office and taken formal steps to do so (exploratory committee, whatever).

    That right there opens up at least a couple slots for Johnson.

  • Joe M||

    The problem is, a lot of surveys are not including him, so he falls into the "other/not sure" category. It's impossible to show up in a poll when you're not a choice.

  • SIV||

    The NH survey included him but nobody there knows who he is.

  • Mensan||

    That's the exact problem Alex Snitker faced in the senate election here. The media said they didn't cover him, or allow him into the debates, because he didn't rank high enough in the polls. The pollsters that the media hired said they didn't include him in the polls because he didn't get any media coverage.

    Also, although Crist and Meek said that Snitker should be included in the debates, Rubio's people threatened to pull out of any event that included Snitker.

  • Matt||

    It's a little irksome that Johnson consistently says things like "I'm the only person talking about ending the War on Drugs" when Ron Paul is very clearly and visibly also doing that.

    I like Gary a lot and he should be in this debate, and he does differ from Ron Paul in significant ways. However give Dr. Paul his due, please! It just makes Gary look silly when he says things like that!

  • ||

    It seems as if Johnson is pissed that Paul decided to run. He figured it was his turn.

    But I think it would have been a disaster to have the only truly limited govt candidate in the race also be pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage (and very visibly pro-drug) -- that shuts off a lot of brains in the GOP who are otherwise reachable. It's just a pity there isn't anyone younger to run.

  • Matt||

    Maybe but that doesn't excuse essentially ignoring the other guy in the race who is closest to Gary's views. I'm not expecting Gary and Ron to be best buddies but they should at least acknowledge each other. They should be trying to piggy-back off each others and team up against the rest of the field instead of pretending they're the only ones speaking for liberty-lovers.

    I would hope that Ron Paul would publicly denounce Gary's exclusion from the debate. Maybe that would make Gary more likely to acknowledge him while also helping Gary's campaign. Libertarians need all the help and exposure we can get.

  • Joe M||

    Rand '16, count on it.

  • ||

    As good as that sounds, it would require four more years of Obama or four years of a disastrous GOP administration, neither of which sounds appealing.

  • Joe M||

    Seems like all the GOP darlings are planning for four more years.

  • Sudden||

    Rand, Ryan, Rubio, and Christie all holding out for 2016. The weakness in the current 'pub field virtually ensures Obama locks the POTUS for another four years, but the Dems lack depth to bring in as a replacement.

    The GOP farm system is the deepest in beisbolpolitics.

  • ||

    Those guys were all relative unknowns in 2007. Rand Paul was making a living doing eye exams for goodness sake. I'm sure there are Dems waiting in the wings who could be heavy hitters in '16 if it came down to that.

    And Obama is not winning unless the economy markedly improves.

  • Matt||

    I think it's hilarious that the GOP is so worried about the "inexperience" of potential 2012 candidates when the current US president only served 2 years as a US Senator before being elected.

    Seriously why is everyone so scared of Obama? The GOP loves to bash him yet nobody wants to run against him. It doesn't add up!

  • Matt||

    It almost makes you wonder if there's some backroom "gentleman's agreement" between the two parties that the GOP will let Obama serve another term, then actually try for real in 2016. Obviously this doesn't apply to non-establishment candidates. But it's starting to look real fishy that guys who were considered (by the MSM at least) to be popular candidates are dropping like flies.

  • Mensan||

    Rand Paul is an ophthalmic surgeon. It's not like he was doing exams at LensCrafters.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Well, unless Ron Paul somehow manages to get elected, that's the reality. I think he has a chance of winning Iowa but past that...

  • ||

    So, what criteria would you guys propose to winnow the field down to a manageable number of people?

    Trial by Combat.

  • SIV||

    Gary Johnson's Gorn ancestry should be good for a #2 finish.

  • Otto||

    "Obama - I will be merciful and quick!"

  • ||

    Obama is not even the same species as Kirk.

  • Joe M||

    Racist!

  • ||

    Kirok! Kirok!

  • Almanian||

    CAGE MATCH!!!

  • gary johnson||

    how about succesful everest climbers instead? hmmm? pleeeese?

  • ||

    Or, since that's unlikely, why not a reality show, just for the primaries? They debate and perform other presidential tasks, and we winnow them down that way. Once it's down to 4-5 candidates, we hold the primaries. All at once.

  • asdf||

    Would watch.

  • Joe M||

    I love it! Let America vote... before it votes!

  • ||

    And it would be a ratings winner, no doubt.

  • ||

    Or, alternatively, they could auction the spots, with all proceeds going to reduction of the federal debt.

  • Joe M||

    Maybe Barack Obama could donate his entire $1 billion upcoming campaign fund to reducing the debt. Kinda like a down payment.

  • ||

    But I agree with the general feeling that this is an awful field. The closest thing the evangelicals have to a viable candidate is Palin; the tea partiers have Bachmann, Cain, and Paul, but the GOP leadership would probably rather let Obama run uncontested than nominate any of those three.

    And Romney and T-Paw are boring moderates with a lot of blue-state governor baggage. The rest of the candidates have no real reason to be running other than to get their face on TV.

  • SIV||

    Palin is "running" on issues closer to Paul than Santorum or the establishment candidates. Is that what the evangelicals want now?

  • evangelical nutjob||

    we dun't really care about policies as long as they wear them jew-stars and/or giant crosses around their necks, and make sure to mention the blessings of "God" every third sentants. with huckster out, palin's are man!

  • ||

    My point was that Palin wears her evangelicalism and social conservatism very much on her sleeve, and evangelical voters tend to support "one of us" above all other considerations. You may not but most evangelicals do (no offense -- I'm ashamed at how my fellow atheists choose their candidates too).

  • cynical||

    For the NH poll, romney had something like 30% of the R vote. Where the fuck do they find these people?

  • SIV||

    NH is full of Yankee provincials.
    Romney was the governor of a neighboring state. Not some shoeless, xxx jug-swilling, snuff dipping daughter-fucker from Dixie.

  • Matt||

    It's very sad though that Johnson is doing so poorly. I think he's making a good effort. His biggest problem as I see it is that he doesn't pretend to be a social conservative at all or pander to them.

    Ron Paul, while mostly a libertarian, does have some social conservative political views, and all but admits being a social conservative in his personal morality (a morality that he would never impose on others, but at least one that he shares with most voters in Iowa). Thus he doesn't seem very out of place in an event like the Faith and Freedom conference. By contrast, Johnson would be out of place there, since he just doesn't come off as very compatible with socons. And even Ron Paul in the end is going to be limited by his unwillingness to legislate morality. That's the kind of red meat stuff that gets republicans elected in the primary.

    It's very unfortunate that social conservatives effectively control the Republican primary. The Democrats will always be state-loving people, and will always favor both "politically correct social" and economic restrictions on individual freedom. However the Republican party can't counter them because they've got their own authoritarians.

    This is why we desperately need a third party. Why can't we have something like the Liberal party in Great Britain?

  • Almanian||

    we desperately need a third party

    The perpetual Pat Paulson campaign's not good enough for you? Oh, I know he's dead now. Doesn't get any "third partier" than that, does it?

  • Pat Paulson||

    Picky, picky, picky.

  • Matt||

    Of all the contenders I actually think Johnson is in fact the most "presidential". He's got a great track record as an actual governor of a large state. He projects a strong image and is very articulate. He is very clear when he talks, sticks to the point, and stays on message in a very disciplined manner. There's no phoney-baloney populist fluff being tossed to the masses a la Huck or T-Paw, just great ideas and clear messages. He needs more exposure. But again because he doesn't even attempt to flatter social conservatives he will have a very rough time.

  • Matt||

    I loved the fact that at the last debate Johnson didn't even want to answer the ridiculous "reality TV" question at first. He was more interested in debating the issues than idle chatter.

  • Joe M||

    He should've gone off on it. He could've either said he'd rather discuss serious issues rather than some silly TV show question, or he could've framed his answer in terms of exposing a serious problem in America, like the war on drugs or the debt, for example. He flubbed that question terribly, as bad as the question itself was.

  • Matt||

    well the way I see it, "ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer". The question sucked. I guess they were trying to do him a favor and allow him to brag about his personal accomplishments but he didn't initially take the bait. He did relent eventually which was fine, had he tried to criticize the question he would have looked like a blowhard. I guess he could have changed the subject too but it would have been a tough segue to make. The question sucked, and it wasn't like they asked him a lot of questions to begin with.

  • o rly||

    try "im already in a reality tv show, what else would you call this farcical display of pandering the other contestants are engaged in?" easy as fuck

  • Joe M||

    They weren't trying to do him a favor. They were trying to make him look like he wasn't a serious candidate, but a "fun" sideshow candidate to be laughed at. And I may not have been clear, but I meant his answer could've been about a reality show about the war on drugs, for example.

  • Matt||

    perhaps he could have pulled that off (reality show about war on drugs), but as I mentioned it might have been a tough segue to make, especially if he had to improvise an answer. But yeah a reality show about the war on drugs would be an interesting concept, although the police would probably take it off the air.

  • COPS||

    what, you guys don't get Fox?

  • o rly||

    He handled it terribly. "Oh gee shucks, we'll I don't really have an idea...did I mentioned I climbed Everest yet tonight?"

  • Colin||

    This is what the Libertarian Party is. Unfortunately, it's just poorly run.

  • ||

    This is why we desperately need a third party. Why can't we have something like the Liberal party in Great Britain?

    Given our system for allocating electors, in the presidential election there really isn't any way for a third party to have a chance of winning. Even Perot who got 19% in 1992 didn't get a single vote in the EC. This could of course be changed by state legislatures switching to proportional awarding of electors rather than winner take all, but this would blunt their state's importance in the campaign so no one wants to do that.

    You only have third parties become first/second parties when one of the existing major parties collapse (as the Whigs did in the 1850s and the Federalists in the 1800s) but our current parties are far too crafty and flexible to allow that to happen.

    In Congress it's a little less daunting, but because we have district-based representation rather than proportional representation from an at-large election it's still tough for a third party to have a shot at winning a seat. If we had regional parties rather than faux-ideological ones that would be a different story.

    And then of course there's the issue of restrictions on ballot access, which is a whole other diatribe.

  • SIV||

    I think he's making a good effort.

    Running as a complete unknown in NH is not a "good effort". It's not even a "bad effort". It's no effort at all.

  • Matt||

    "Running as a complete unknown..."

    That's because he has no media exposure, it's not his fault. He made a very lengthy appearance on NH public radio a few weeks ago. Probably the only place that would book him. Saying someone is running a poor campaign a year before most primaries when they're starting out with zero name recognition is not fair. Frankly given what he started with, 2% is pretty good!

  • ||

    Ron Paul was under a similar media blackout at this point in 2007, but he still managed to get enough support in the polls to get in most of the debates.

  • Matt||

    and Ron had also been in Congress since the 70s and had his own paleo-con/Rothbardian following that he'd built up over many years. Plus he'd run for president before in '88. I used to make fundraising calls for the Republican Senate Committee in the late 90s and 1 in about every 6 people I'd call would mention Ron Paul.

  • Matt||

    And let's remember that one of the biggest catalysts for Ron Paul in the 08 election was his standoff with Guiliani very early in the election cycle in the May 07 debate. Operative word in that sentence: "debate."

  • Almanian||

    Fuck, we (we = "the US of fucking A") are so screwed. I'm gazing into the abyss, and see Ancient Rome™ waving back.

    We're headed there...maybe not in a rush, but inevitably. Was a good run while it lasted! Just a Q of time before it's over.

    *sad face*

  • ||

    It took Rome a long time to fall. In fact, I think it's referred to as a "decline".

  • ||

    Here's the thing: We're not going to fall. Not in the fall of Rome sense. Think more the successor institution to the Roman Republic. We're going to realize that our economy isn't fixable under Leviathan (which we will likely refuse to kill), which leaves one option remaining to us: World dominion through military power.

    We're already halfway there in the sense of our military potential. Once we go full-tyranny, it's the logical next step.

  • ||

    I want to play Justinian.

  • Pauly Krugnuts||

    I call Diocletian!

  • Otto||

    Cool - I saw this before Episiarch or SugarFree! I choose Caligula.

  • ||

    Well, I suppose Augustus would be nice.

  • Colin||

    This'll help Paul stand out more in the debate.

    Johnson is great on the issues (better Paul, imo), but he just isn't dynamic enough. He'd be much better suited as a senatorial candidate.

  • Matt||

    I think Johnson would make a better executive than Paul (although Paul would certainly do an excellent job). Gary strikes me as a little more of a delegator and "big picture" guy. Ron is an incredibly deep thinker, but I think that can be a liability in the executive branch (think Carter).

  • squishua||

    What is with people saying one candidate looks more like an "executive" or more "presidential" than another? We're not casting for a sitcom actor, folks.

    FWIW, I think Johnson would be perfect as Mr. Roper in a Threes Company remake.

  • Matt||

    I didn't say Gary "looks" more like an executive, I posited that he'd actually BE a good executive. Because, you know, he's actually been in the executive branch.

  • ||

    How the fuck do you know how dynamic he is? He's hardly even been given a chance to speak.

  • Almanian||

    Based on how the R's are approaching this thus far, and everything else I've seen, I continue to predict that in 2012, Obamatrons will be chanting:

    FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!

    In the "he's been re-elected" sense, not the "we HOPE he's re-elected" sense.

    I think it borders on inevitable. Yes, Americans™ are that fucking stupid. Never underestimate the force of large groups of stupid people. Particularly Americans.

  • Almanian||

    Shit, now I'm all doom and gloom :( I think I'll stay home and drink myself to death this weekend.

  • ||

    Considering November 2012 is likely to coincide with the depths of the second valley of the n-tuple dip recession we're just getting acquainted with, the GOP could nominate Jared Lee Loughner and still beat Obama.

  • ||

    I actually agree. As much as people are saying "incumbent" and "weak field", I think Obama is practically unelectable, barring superaliens landing here, giving us a post-scarcity society, and telling us that Obama should remain in office.

  • ||

    Call me crazy, but I still think there's an outside chance Obama decides/is pressured not to run for reelection. If the economy dips into the doldrums again (which I really, really, really, really hope it doesn't but it's looking like a possibility) there's going to be a "House GOP visits Nixon in the WH" moment later this year.

  • asdf||

    Yep. Economy isn't turning around, he's fucked.

  • ||

    The one hope he has is for his friends in the MSM to push the line that the second dip is the GOP's fault somehow (they're already starting to beat this drum with the Moody's debt ceiling "threat"). This of course makes no sense, and the MSM doesn't have the power it once did, but there's a depressingly large number of low-information voters who that might work on.

    Plus of course he's going to have a campaign war chest equal to the GDP of your average Latin American country, of course.

  • ||

    And if Hillary takes Obama's place, the GOP is screwed with practically any of the candidates they have now.

  • ||

    First of all, I don't think she's exactly popular.

    Second, anything that divides the party, even a little bit, means they lose. And dumping Obama for her would do just that.

  • ||

    Besides, she's going to be the GOP nominee.

  • ||

    It would be tough for the Dems to walk that line, but they're going to be awfully desperate if the economy tanks. If Obama can be convinced to cooperate I think he could make a graceful exit that doesn't split the party.

    Obviously if he insists on running they better not dump him...that would lead to a Reagan-Mondale type landslide as black turnout drops below 10%.

  • Pip||

    "If Obama can be convinced to cooperate I think he could make a graceful exit that doesn't split the party."

    There is absolutely NO WAY IN HELL that Michelle will allow that to happen.

  • Almanian||

    Maybe we should elect the Princess of Canada President? Don't give me all that "natural born citizen" BS, either. We haven't paid attention to those 100+ year old words in [length of time longer than the reader has been alive].

    Princess of Canada in 2012!!!! USA! (ada!) USA! (ada!) USA! (ada!)

  • ||

    If elected, she's probably be kidnapped by aliens on inauguration day, in some sort of isometric cube. Very much breaking with tradition.

  • Anomalous||

    Unfortunately, Gary Johnson needs a charisma transplant.

  • skr||

    I stil maintain that he needs a tailor.

  • Tncm||

    I think it's bizarre that people on this board seriously think that the Republican Party will put up a libertarian as a presidential contender. I know everyone brings up the example of how decades ago they elected Barry Goldwater, but it's not like the man was some individual liberty standard-bearer. He wanted a full on war with the Soviet Union, up to and including the use of nuclear weapons if need be.

    So if the GOP was to select a "libertarian", he or she would most likely have radically statist ideas that overshadow their more freedom inclined positions.

  • ||

    I don't think you can prove your allegation regarding Goldwater is true.

  • Tncm||

    I have a copy of Conscience of a Conservative, so if you'd like I can get a direct, cited quote.

  • CE||

    I think it's bizarre that people on this board seriously think that the Republican Party will put up a libertarian as a presidential contender...

    They will put up whoever wins the primaries. That depends on who votes. In most previous elections, libertarian leaning candidates fared poorly, but primary turnout is so low, libertarians could get their guy the nomination if they really wanted to, instead of just giving up.

    John McCain received 9.8 million primary votes in 2008. That's only 5% of the voting age population.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Lots of libertarians fell for the cold war fear stuff. That isn't an instant disqualification.

  • cynical||

    I want a full on war with Washington, up to and including the use of nuclear weapons if need be. So I can empathize.

  • Matt||

    The concept of filtering out people for low polling numbers is ridiculous this early in the process, and self-defeating. There's always the potential for a dark horse to emerge like Clinton did in 92 for the Dems. Maybe if this was January 2012 it would make sense, but at this point why not let everyone throw their hat in the ring, what do you have to lose, GOP? You field of contenders (minus Paul and Johnson, of course) sucks...and I'm not just saying that b/c I disagree with them politically. The establishment GOP candidates are horrible and they'd all get creamed by Obama. And Obama is actually beatable, folks. Much more beatable than Bush Sr. was in 1991!

  • skr||

    i'm not sure about that. Bush the elder was a bit of a wet dishrag even for his party. Nobody really cared about him. Obama is adored by his base even when he does things that should offend them terribly.

  • Matt||

    Dude at this equivalent time in the 92 election cycle, the right wing was salivating over the Gulf War. Bush's approval rating was in the 90 percentile, so obviously that had to include some of the GOP base. Probably the only people against him were superliberals and principled noninterventionists at that point

  • skr||

    I had totally forgotten about that. I guess it wasn't until 92 that his popularity tanked. Although the tax increase probably did a lot to sour the base. Also, not satisfying the bloodlust of the base probably didn't help either.

  • Pip||

    I remember that. I was in DC at the time and the MSM was saying that the only thing that could bring him down was if people focused on the economy.

    Starting the very next day, the MSM started bad mouthing the economy.

  • ||

    Yeah, what exactly caused the 1991-92 recession anyway? Oil price spike from the Gulf War?

  • Mensan||

    It was mostly the '87 market crash and the S&L crisis. Then when Iraq invaded Kuwait oil prices spiked (as high as $34 per barrel) and exacerbated the problem.

  • ||

    So, 15 people for an hour long debate -- that's 4 minutes per candidate assuming no commercial breaks. So either they discriminate in doling out the face time (which you guys would also be complaining about) or it's essentially useless for everyone involved.

  • Matt||

    Which 15 people? Who else is trying to barge in?

    Look I'm not opposed to some kind of minimum standard like "you're not some bum off the street." But clearly Johnson has credentials -- the guy is a former two term governor for God's sake, which is a lot more than a lot of the others can say.

  • Pedant||

    There aren't even 10 people filed in enough states to get 270 electoral votes. That's the only objective standard.

  • ||

    Much more beatable than Bush Sr. was in 1991!

    That's helped by the fact that Bush wasn't up for election in 1991.

  • skr||

    and Obama isn't up for election in 2011. >.

  • skr||

  • skr||

    wth no nosepinch emoticons allowed?

  • Matt||

    I was trying to compare apples to apples with that statement -- where do we stand at this point in the election cycle vs the 1992 election cycle. We can't accurately predict how electable Obama will be in fall 2012, we can look at how he's doing right now.

  • ||

    FOUR MORE YEARS!

    I think so. Even the most deeply disappointed O voters will take one look at whatever imbecilic stiff the Republitroids come up with and go back in there and vote for him again.

    "Motivated" Demo voters- those "Remember the Alamo Wisconsin" teachers and all the other union parasites will rally to his cause. They will look upon his works, and rejoice; and they will vote for him.

  • ||

    Gov. Johnson is a class act.

  • ||

    Get with the program guys. The media needs to make their frontrunner clear to everyone early on. The choice isn't yours; it's theirs.

  • ||

    Bing-o.

  • ||

    Then why didn't they invite only one candidate?

  • ||

    Gotta keep up appearances. Also, they don't control the election itself, so they don't want to appear wrong in their anointing.

  • o rly||

    Say you're a mediocre, annoying, spoiled rich girl. All your daddies friends fawn over you sycophantically, hoping for future payoffs. They are going to hold a beauty contest in your honor. They will supply you with the best makeup and clothes. They will "supply all the clothes for all the contestants", which means they'll be sure they spill gravy and ketchup all over the complimentary oversize t-shirts they give to the other "contestants".

  • ||

    Great comparison.

  • ||

    They have wonderful medication for paranoia these days.

  • ||

    Sometimes I think we forget that a conspiracy is simply two or more people deciding to do something together. For example, an accountant buddy of mine is coming over within the hour and we are going to partake of some wonderful herbal medicine.

    Then, we are going to talk about the National Spelling Bee which was aired by ESPN last night.

  • ||

    That's more rigged than SmackDown!

  • CE||

    Isn't the point of the debates to help undecided voters decide which candidates they like? How is polling relevant at this point in the race?

    And how did Jon Huntsman meet the 2.00% polling requirement? The highest I've seen him at is 1%.

  • Matt||

    I'm not sure where Huntsman placed in recent polling but he can't be very high.

    It's a travesty that he's included but Johnson isn't. They're both former governors.

  • ||

    He's not going to be at the debate.

  • Matt||

    I stand corrected.

  • Whappan?||

    However, Huntsman was invited. He declined.

  • CE||

    Why doesn't Reason host their own debate? Send out the questions, and have the candidates send video responses, then post them all side by side. Who needs TV?

  • ||

    Yeah, I'm sure Romney, Palin, and T-Paw are just chomping at the bit to be in a Reason debate watched by 500 people.

  • ||

    How many regular posters and lurkers do we have here?

  • ||

    Do you count the multiple handles our trolls go by as distinct identities? If so we're easily over 500.

  • ola||

    This

  • Pip||

    500 people? That's crazy talk!

  • ||

    So then they don't have to show up.

  • SIV||

    Ask tough questions on video, upload to Youtube.

    Sounds kinda familiar somehow...like some forgotten meme.

  • ||

    I think they excluded Johnson because they don't dare exclude Ron Paul, and they don't want a second voice of reason on the stage.

    -jcr

  • Fedup22||

    Gary Johnson could be more provactive and still maintain his principles. At this point what would he lose by calling someone like Herman Cain a bigot?

  • SIV||

    half his "supporters"

  • Fedup22||

    He doesn't seem to have many to begin with and if he wants to make some noise he needs to draw attention to himself. Herman Cain is a bigot, so he wouldn't be lying and that could possibly get him some media attention.

  • ||

    A big controversy is exactly what Johnson needs. It worked for bill Clinton.

    The Gennifer Flowers scandel brought Clinton name recognition and attention and ultimately was more good for his campaign than bad.

  • SIV||

    Some attention like being disinvited to all future debates? Why on Earth would you go after Cain* by calling him a bigot when the FairTax support is such a target-rich opportunity?

    * I don't see any political advantage in going after Herman Cain until he peaks/ becomes the frontrunner.

  • Fedup22||

    Gary Johnson is a FairTax supporter, so I'm confused.

    I was using Cain as an example more than anything.

  • SIV||

    Gary Johnson is a FairTax supporter
    WTF?
    First I've heard of it. Dealbreaker for me but that would get him to 2% anywhere if everybody knew it.

  • ||

    Shouldn't a PResidential debate be inviting only people who are, you know, candidates? And not people who are, you know, not?

  • ||

    You would think. But these days, the media gets to tell us who are the "real" candidates.

    Like, you know, Trump and Palin, and not actual Republican office holders.

  • Platypus||

    Shush! And pass the popcorn! This here teevee shore is entertainin'.

  • SIV||

    "Actual Republican Office Holder" is more a bug than a feature in this campaign. I'd love to hear the eventual GOP nominee calling out Obama as being Bush's 3rd term.

  • SIV||

    Actually holding debates before a candidacy is filed could save losers, like Gary Johnson, their filing fee.

  • Pedant||

    The only objective standard: Is the individual filed in enough states to possibly garner 270 electoral votes? If so, then they're invited, otherwise not.

  • Robert||

    Filed for what? There's nothing to file for in states at this time.

  • Pedant||

    Filing in SC was one of the requirements for the debate held last month.

  • Robert||

    What were they filing?

  • FreeGary||

    Gary Johnson's exclusion is arbitrary since other "unqualified" candidates were invited:

    http://race42012.com/2011/06/0.....-criteria/

  • ||

    This is a travesty. Cable TV "debates" are the only place in the whole world that voters can learn about a candidate's political philosophy.

  • ben||

  • Charles Lupton||

    I'm running the petition to get CNN to include Gary Johnson in the debate! Thank you for your support!

    http://www.change.org/petition.....ary-debate

  • Debate blog-Julio||

    The truth is that CNN did not make it this time either. I think it's unfair that was not involved and it's true what they say, people have to listen to all proposals and that has not been proposed is like leaving behind.

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