Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson (And His Neighbor's Dogs) Might be Having a Moment


Even before former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson's "shovel-ready work" (or lack thereof from Obama) quip, a handful of media was still paying attention to his presidential campaign. They're paying a bit more now, mostly thanks to the vital question of whether Johnson lifted the joke from Rush Limbaugh or not. (Slate's Dave Weigel, of course, was already paying attention.)

CBS News dubbed the joke one of the wins from the Fox News/Google debate. Johnson himself, however, was the only candidate not personally relevant enough to be included in the night's winners or losers column.

Count GQ for inclusion in the Gary, we remembered you were still running before you made a dog poop/Obama economics joke column. They did a nice write-up of Johnson for their November issue. The author, Lisa DePaulo pulls off a non-slobbering political profile, (Esquire, take note) that also avoids condescension, in spite of the focus being mostly on the moments where Johnson and his tiny entourages have their credit cards declined and the numerous times Johnson is not recognized in hotel rooms and at a bike shop. The latter, however, might be where the most athletically legit presidential candidate in recent memory should be campaigning:

The guys send Gary downstairs to have his seat adjusted. Five minutes later, they follow him down the steps.

"You climbed Mount Everest?" Turns out they've been doing a little Googling.

"I did." He's very Zen about this. "Cool. And you smoked pot?"

"I did," says Gary.

He's fiddling with the bike. But they want to know more about Mount Everest. And how he plans to fix the economy. And handle the deficit. "This is what I love about New Hampshire," says Gary, and happily outlines his main—and most radical—position: to slash the federal budget by 43 percent. That's the number it would take to erase the deficit right now. This can be done, he says. Ya think? And he'd do it by, among other things, eliminating the Department of Education (he says he'd give all those billions to the states, minus 43 percent, and let them decide what's best, because "this whole idea that Washington knows best? That's why we're bankrupt"); bringing our troops home, particularly from all peaceful countries (he's thinks it's absurd that we have tens of thousands of troops in Europe); and "rebooting" the federal tax code with a "fair tax" that would abolish the entire IRS ("Imagine that!") and would tax consumption, not income, "because it's, well, fair."

Now the bike-store guys want to know whether he thinks he can beat Obama. "My contest is in the primary," he tells them.

"That sucks," says one of the guys.

"Yes, it does. But life's a journey."

He squeezes the tires. "Looks good." Then he lifts the bike and carries it up the steps. He is halfway out the door to the parking lot when suddenly he stops and turns around. "Listen," he says, "I only mentioned that president thing so you wouldn't think I'd steal your bike." Brinck and Matt simultaneously roll their eyes. He's apologizing for mentioning "that president thing"?!

"It's okay, man. You got our vote."

Read the rest here. 

Outside Online has a similar profile of Johnson, which points to the man's political credibility (he was a popular governor, after all), asks why he's getting no attention, and then probably answers the question with quotes like this:

It's the substance of his ideas that matters, he insists, not the style. I asked him if he'd ever considered getting a media coach. "No," he said. "Then people wouldn't be seeing me. They'd be seeing someone else's idea of me."

A familiar name also opined on Johnson in the same article:

"Gary represents the future that we want to live in," says Nick Gillespie, the editor of the libertarian magazine Reason, "which is a world where all sorts of interesting mixing is going on, and where people are left alone to live their lives as they see fit."

Both profiles read like Johnson himself comes across; puzzled that an experienced, government-trimming candidate with no scandals or obvious gaffes to his name is not getting any serious attention, but not nearly political or self-aggrandizing enough to turn martyr over it.

Reason on Gary Johnson, including Mike Riggs' look at the former governor's New Hampshire plans.

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  1. puzzled that an experienced, government-trimming candidate with no scandals or obvious gaffes to his name is not getting any serious attention

    Um, he doesn’t have any money or a national profile prior to his campaign. That might be why he’s not getting much attention.

    1. Or that he’s not the typical TEAM RED or TEAM BLUE moron that seems to be all the media can understand or get behind. If it’s not like high school, they can’t understand it.

      1. You sound quite bitter about your HS years, Epi. How many times did the AV club president swirlie you? Share, and let us both gain from the sharing.

      2. Gary “Fairtax” Johnson agrees with mIKE Huckabee on tax policy. That makes him “TEAM RED” through and through.

  2. Then people wouldn’t be seeing me. They’d be seeing someone else’s idea of me.

    This man is a loon! Doesn’t he know that everyone sees everything based on their reality tunnel?

    1. You’re the only one that believes that, you know…

    2. everyone sees everything based on their reality tunnel

      There are levels of reality tunnels.

      I think in your model Gary wants to remove as many middlemen as possible.

      So rather then seeing through a reality tunnel of a reality tunnel of a reality tunnel you are simply looking through your own reality tunnel at him.

  3. It’s the substance of his ideas that matters, he insists, not the style. I asked him if he’d ever considered getting a media coach. “No,” he said. “Then people wouldn’t be seeing me. They’d be seeing someone else’s idea of me.”

    That’s the problem, Governor. They don’t hear the substance of your ideas until they can look past the lack of style. You can change the latter without changing the former.

    1. I think that picture helps. It will appeal to voters who feel left behind the Rooskies whose big man spends his off hours wrestling great white sharks and raping bears.

      1. He needs to do something about that farmer’s tan.

        1. For some of us cyclist-voters, a cyclist’s tan is a feature, not a bug!

      2. That’s not totally true. I hear at least one of the bears said yes before she said no.

        1. Vladimir Putin doesn’t waste his time with bears who say yes.


  4. still #1 on

  5. still #1 on

  6. It looks like fox disappeared their poll about the debate winner because Paul and Johnson were 1-2.

    1. Facts that do not correspond to the theory must be discarded. That’s modern science.

      1. “Do you want the grant or don’t you?”

        1. Money is the best hypothesis of them all.

    2. Fox News…Fair and Balanced Republican Shills

      1. My mistake. Good to know they’re not that dishonest.

        1. I suspect that Fox is well aware of the Streisand principle. Deleting the poll would only bolster Paul and Johnson.

    3. So then it’s okay to jump on the ‘Faux News’ bandwagon now?

  7. On College Football Playbook this morning on the radio (great show if you’re into college ball), Jack Arute was telling Mike Leach about how the Cincinnati/NC State game was so out of control last night, he turned on the debate instead.

    He told Coah Leach that the best line of the night was GJ’s “shovel ready” remark, but then said that GJ seemed “kind of like a doofus” and a little “creepy” with a “weird affectation” that made it look like he was “shaking”.

    So there you have it; an outside opinion from a basically apolitical person on GJ. Shakey, creepy doofuses generally don’t go on to win elections (1988 being the most recent exception).

    1. So, basically, he was describing Leach.

      Of course, not sure Leach has been “accepted” by the college football media yet either.

      1. Pffft, Coach Leach would be some sort of demi-god in my fictional universe.

        My freshman year at Tech was actually his first year on the job, and I gotta tell you, after the job he did turning around Spike Dykes program, I worship the ground that guy walks on.

        1. Spike Dykes program… sounds like some sort of lesbian S&M fetish cabaret.

          Which is pretty much TT’s football program in a microcosm.

          1. …lesbian S&M fetish cabaret.

            Which is pretty much TT’s football program in a microcosm.

            I wish! Would have made the early-season home games against cupcakes more interesting.

          2. Mmmmmmmmm….. Lesbian volleyball

            1. Is there another kind?

    2. Gary Johnson did however win the vote of <html=””> Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett for the dog reference.

        1. *sigh*

          I think we have another outbreak. Somebody get that pancreaticly challenged guy doing his online learning anex courses again.

  8. because “this whole idea that Washington knows best? That’s why we’re bankrupt”

    No wonder “bright young conservatives” are weeping in their cornflakes, this morning.

  9. He does seem a little like the guy from Happiness.

    But even if he weren’t, he still wouldn’t be able crawl out of Ron Paul’s shadow.

    He should really run for senate, and build a name for himself the way Rand Paul is doing.

  10. Johnson and Putin… cage match!

    Who’s with me?

    1. money on Johnson…dude is a bad ass!

  11. “The candidate who had been kept out of polite society had just told a poop joke on the same stage as the next Republican presidential nominee. It killed. Johnson didn’t even try to contain his screw-you grin.”

    Love it, although the media runs off on a mission to find the source of the joke. Rush said it, no it was from the tonight show, no it was from tea party rally from 2009. Who the fuck cares? If only they would spend that much time investigating why perry is a compaaaasionate texan and romney is a “business man” with solutions. He is giving us the business, that’s for sure. I’ll give Perry one more, maybe two debates until he either withdraws or falls to the mid teens in support or both. One of the candidates needs to practice what Perry tried to get across with his salvia induced mumbling about Romney’s flipping. Maybe they need to find either a picture of him windsurfing or riding in a tank with a mouse ears headset on.

    1. Damn straight!…..889753.jpg

  12. Governor Johnson is indeed the sanest person in the race.

    The problem is that your average Republican voter is not.

  13. If only we could select our Presidents by subjecting them to triathalons and other suchlike reality-show Trials by Ordeal.

    1. Lamprey pie eating contest.

      1. If it’s good enough to kill English Kings, it’s good enough to select American Presidents.

  14. Given the general level of dissatisfaction with the Republican field, the time is ripe for a dark horse candidate to emerge.

    1. Dark whore candidate? I’m not running against my husband!

      1. Just because you shave your face doesn’t mean you’re not a wookiee.

        1. Uuuuunnnnnnnnnhhhhhhhhhhhhrrruuuuuuuhhhhhh!!!!!

      2. Couldn’t that phrase now apply to Palin?

        1. Hey now!
          Just because I snort cocaine, have a fetish for black guys, and cheat on my husband doesn’t mean I’m a whore!?!

          1. I should say that I think most of the book is likely bullshit.

            1. Especially now that the author’s emails have been released where he states that he has no evidence to support his allegations.

    2. I sure hope you’re right. The media is trying like crazy to get a turd nominated.

      1. What else did you expect to run against a douche?

    3. *snort* as long as the dark horse is for social security, wants to put a border fence up, wants to attack iran and believes a fair tax will pay for it all.

      that’s GOP voter perfection there.

  15. I’m glad he kept his shirt on during the debate or I may not have been able to help myself… hubba hubba

    1. What about Hermie Cain?

      1. Don’t know. Is he as ripped as Gary?

        1. This can’t be the real Michele Bachmann. The real one wouldn’t have sex with GJ unless he was a flaming homosexual.

  16. The desk clerk at the Econo-Lodge in Lincoln, New Hampshire, wants to know how to spell Johnson.

    Gary is beyond cordial. He spells it out. Doesn’t even mention that he is Gary Johnson, presidential candidate. Just politely forks over two credit cards?one that belongs to the campaign (to pay for Matt and Brinck’s accommodations) and one that is his own (since he is paying for as much as possible with his own money).

    “Sorry, sir,” says the clerk. The campaign credit card has been declined.

    “Aw, shit,” says Gary. And tells him to put everything on his own Visa. Then the clerk gives him a coupon for a free Econo-Lodge breakfast in the morning. “Well, that’s very nice of you. I appreciate that.”

    lol, wow, I guess this is where a few measly donations would’ve made all the difference

    1. And the reason that someone like Gary Johnson won’t get elected is right there:

      The desk clerk at the Econo-Lodge in Lincoln, New Hampshire, wants to know how to spell Johnson.

      God bless American stupidity. We get what we deserve. True intelligence is not recognized by the average voter; slimey fake intelligence and greasy ass slimeballs like Romney and Obama shall always reign over the minds of feeble Muricans.

      1. ….well, there is more than one spelling of the surname Johnson.

  17. The sole comment on that GQ piece is one of the funniest self-inflicted wounds I’ve ever seen.

  18. “Well, that’s very nice of you. I appreciate that.”

    This is not a man who can be relied upon to drop bombs on teh dusky hordes. He might as well be campaigning on the Farm Collective ticket.

    1. ^^ Bingo.

      He might as well have a TV ad that says, in an ominous voice-over:

      “Gary Johnson: soft on gays…softer on muslims.”

      And then shows him drinking out of a milkshake with Osama Bin Laden with hearts bubbling out from between the two straws.

      1. I’d love to see Santorum’s counter-ad playing off of that:

        Rick Santorum: Hard for Gays, Harder for Muslims, leaking fecal matter and water based lubricant for gay muslims.

      2. Johnson could probably swim to the bottom of the ocean and bring back the corpse.

      3. Is it okay if he ends the ad by screaming “I drink your milkshake!” ?

  19. Well, judging by the reaction of the audience and the rest of the candidates on the stage, it looked like that was the first time they heard it. Maybe ol’ Rush isn’t as popular as he’d like to think…

    1. Balderdash! I’ll bet you a dollar they were conditioned to respond that way.

      1. No more bets with you, Randolph. You know what happened last time…

        1. Yeah, but that nice young Negro prince left us a bankroll when we inexplicably relocated to NYC after becoming homeless.

          1. I had the most absurd nightmare. I was poor and no one liked me. I lost my job, I lost my house, Penelope hated me and it was all because of this terrible, awful Negro.

            1. ::gasping::

              It. Was. The. Dukes. It. Was. The. Dukes.

              1. I supported Aaron Russo before the convention.


                  I am of the opinion that the 80’s would have been a far better decade if only no one had ever came up with the idea to wear panties pulled up to the hip bone.

                  Also Jamie Lee is the hottest genetically male women on the planet.

  20. They’re paying a bit more now, mostly thanks to the vital question of whether Johnson lifted the joke from Rush Limbaugh or not

    Ummm….yeah isn’t this how the entire left wing media establishment works? By lifting talking points from left wing sources?

    It is funny that the Weigel is the one investigating…as he was/is a card carrying member of the Jurno-List Obama election team.

    Taking points indeed.

    1. It is funny that the Weigel is the one investigating

      Why am I not surprised?

      We made a truly disastrous hire at the hospital a few years ago. Had to get rid of the doctor after only a couple of months. Before we hire anybody now, somebody always mentions his name, and looks around the room.

      I hope before Reason hires anyone now, somebody says “Weigel?” and makes sure everybody learned their lesson last time.

      1. Yeah, and he doesn’t even hang out anymore. Jerk.

  21. What a rube; if he had a dozen college kids prancing around the lobby holding “Johnson for President” signs, that desk clerk wouldn’t have had to ask how to spell it.

  22. This is disheartening, yet totally predictable. Johnson totally fits the narrative of what the tea partiers wanted when they first started to protest 2+ years ago. They wanted a small-government, sensible brand of politics to take us out of the two-party mess that existed in DC.

    Once the Team Red wannabes realized the nation was leaving them and their party in the rearview mirror, they latched onto the tea party movement like a fucking pitt bull in Mike Vick’s backyard. The media let them get away with it, and voila…people like Johnson are marginalized.

    1. I doubt much of the TP wants a pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage president.

  23. Johnson will get a lot more media attention when the rumor is spread that he and Palin are having an affair.

    1. Actually him and a former College basketball star are having an affair with Palin at the same time.

      Obama may like high speed rail, but Gary Johnson is all about the train.

      1. [TRAINZ] !

  24. Two commercial ideas I’d like to see. One, played in Spanish on Univision and Telemundo, thanking Obama for deporting his 1 millionth immigrant, doing in 2 1/2 years what it took GWB nearly 7 to accomplish…paid for by the RP or GJ campaigns. Second, I really think GJ needs to parody the old Ray Jay Johnson Miller Lite ads from the 70’s and early 80’s. They could become classics immediately.

    I really, really really think the first idea would resonate with Hispanics. Unfortunately, if you played it on English-speaking statins, it would backfire. Fucking identity politics.

    1. Why would the RP/GJ campaigns want to pay for ads to help out Romney in the general election?

      Besides, Ron Paul is the one who made a “Wetback” television commercial and 90% of his online supporters are anti-immigration paleocons.

  25. Is it just me, or did Paul bury all the other candidates in 150 tons of camel shit in the debate? Wait, make that 200 tons.

    One of the things I like most about him is that he doesn’t pretend he’d be King as president — that the presidency has a specific role, and that presidents don’t create jobs, or control this, or run that, like the other candidates seem to.

    1. Half of all the posts would, if he blogged truthfully, be:

      “Santorum’s such a fag. Jesus fucking Christ, man.”

      1. Supposed to be a response to Brooks’ post below. Fucking squirrels.

    2. But alot of people seem to want a king. The don’t want someone to head the executive branch of the Federal government, they want someone to “run the country”

      1. ^^ This is true. Most people, on some deep, instinctive level, absolutely believe that someone must be “in charge”. If someone isn’t in charge, then things are “dysfunctional”.

        They don’t understand the difference between business and government, and it doesn’t help when people like Romney constantly conflate the two (I’m a good businessman, so I’ll run the gov’t like a business).

        Gov’t shouldn’t be streamlined and efficient (in it’s core functions; obviously I’m not saying it should be wasteful, because most of the waste comes from areas outside of it’s core functions). In fact, the founders purposefully designed it to be internally combative, so that it keeps itself in check. It should be paralyzed most of the time. People “working together” in a bipartisan fashion, what some libertarians call the “dangerous moderates”, are what has caused most of the problem.

        But that’s counterintuitive. It just makes sense that with one person in charge, running the whole show, things will be more efficient and better. In a business, it’s a bad idea to replicate job functions and have fractitious boards who constantly vote down the CEOs propositions. In gov’t, that’s exactly what we should want.

      2. Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king.

  26. Playing off something raised in another thread; Johnson should live-blog any debate from which he has been excluded.

    Something tells me he might get more traction that way than if he is actually on stage.

    1. There was at least one debate in which he answered all of the questions in real time on Twitter. I actually thought it made him come off as a bit loony.

      1. It only looked kooky on youtube when you could see that he was not actually on twitter, but was apparently inputting the answers onto a hand-held calculator and not understanding why it was not appearing on the television via the wireless interwebs.

  27. So won’t he be siphoning off New Hampshire votes from Ron Paul?

    1. this silliness angers me. Vote’s cant be taken, siphoned, moved, or handed over. Votes are earned. As a big L i have become tired of this assinine concept. If RP has enough votes to be a spoiler in a 3 way election with BO he didnt “Take” them he EARNED THEM! If the other guy had done his job a earned the confidence of the voter then there would have been a different outcome.

      Voters, for all the crap we give the electorate, are still individuals making individual decisions. Free Market how does it work?!?!?!

  28. One of the things I remember from Microeconomics is that the consumption tax creates inefficiency (“deadweight loss”) because it distorts prices and causes people to consume differently than they would have in a free, untaxed market.

    1. And in a second-best world we have to weigh the deadweight loss of the consumption tax against the deadweight loss of the most feasible alternative, or the existing alternative, which in this case is the deadweight loss of the income tax.

  29. Gary Johnson is the man Vladamir Putin aspires to be.

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