Bill Weld

Bill Weld Has No Regrets

"I think in 8 to 12 years the Libertarian Party could become the number-one party in the United States," the L.P. VP nominee says, "and I intend to participate in that."

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Bill Weld on election night. ||| Matt Welch
Matt Welch

As the five wide-screen TVs at the Gary Johnson Election Night party in Albuquerque began silently broadcasting the startling development that Donald freaking Trump might become the next president of the United States, the one person I wanted to talk to most of all was Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, William Weld.

After all, Weld one week ago had infuriated Libertarians to the point that his own party's Rhode Island chapter canceled a campaign event with him over him saying "I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton" on The Rachel Maddow Show, which in turn came one week after he took the extraordinary step (for a third-party candidate) of encouraging Republicans to vote against the GOP nominee. The man was getting heckled at his own campaign stops, and called out by his own warm-up acts, because of his well-publicized anxiety over the prospects of America being run by an "unhinged" Donald Trump. So how must he feel on a night when the Libertarian ticket was beating the major-party spread in a series of key swing states, in an election that may very well go to the authoritarian populist?

Unfortunately, Weld was safely tucked inside the hotel's Mexican restaurant, hobnobbing with Gary Johnson and support staff in advance of their speeches in front of delirious campaign workers here. Eventually the avuncular Bostonian made his way on stage, and delivered a confident if somewhat slurry speech that betrayed zero sense of anxiety about the coming Trumpification of America. "I feel that my brain has been opened," Weld enthused about his experience with Libertarian politics. "I've had a breakout year!"

As he made his way off stage and through a gantlet of quirky supporters toward the hotel elevators, I finally caught up with Weld to gauge his reaction to tonight's events. In a perhaps-surprising turn, the man so distrusted by libertarian grassroots was as bullish as I have ever seen him be about the future of the Libertarian Party. The following is a mostly complete transcript of our brief conversation:

Q: Florida went to Trump; you guys exceeded the spread by a helluva lot down in Florida, a lot of people are already calling you "spoilers." Is this the nightmare scenario that you were worried about kind of coming true in that sense?

A: No, you know, I came to think that it's important enough for the country to have the Libertarians to have a third seat at the table in our ongoing national dialogue. So we didn't pull our punches at all, and people vote the way they do, you know. It's a big country, and I think that Gary has really exceeded what has been done before for the Libertarian Party, and I think in eight to twelve years the Libertarian Party could become the number-one party in the United States in terms of size—

Q: Really?

A: —so we can come back and talk about it then.

We've got the centrist platform, we're socially inclusive, fiscally responsible. That's 60 percent of the people in the United States.

Q: We are in a coin-toss right now if we're going to wake up in a Clinton world or a Trump world, but the Trump world looks frankly a little bit more likely right now. Try to wrap your head around what that does for opportunities for the Libertarian Party, and even your own personal career, if tomorrow we're talking President-elect Trump.

A: Well (chuckles), I'm much more concerned about the Libertarian Party's opportunities than my personal future career. And I think the Libertarian Party would have a lot to say no matter which of Trump or Clinton is elected, because we have a lot not in common with both of the major parties. And it's very clear to me that Washington is sick and broken, and I think the country will agree to that when we continue to hammer the issue. As I intend to do.

Q: By "your career" I meant within the Libertarian Party. How do you foresee your role coming out of this tomorrow?

A: Well I think there's a lot that Libertarians have to talk about: term limits, balanced budget, you know, no more regime change and wars, smaller government. The other parties are not there, all they care about is getting re-elected; they're obsessed with re-election. That's no way to get to a good result. So, as I say, no matter who you wake up with as the administration tomorrow, the Libertarians have a very clear path in Washington, and I intend to participate in that.

Q: And just to be completely clear, no regrets about influencing swing states that went this close in this direction?

A: You know it's kind of conjectural; it's hard to say. You know, I always thought, and the polling recently bore that out, that we were taking more from Trump than from Clinton. So I wasn't worried about electing a Donald Trump. Gary was worried about electing Hillary Clinton! (laughs)

Q: You and the Libertarian Party base have had a contentious relationship after all this kind of stuff—

A: Well, they've been polite, I mean it was contentious back in the convention, and as I've said recently, if every time I have said something faintly civil about Mrs. Clinton it shows people just say "This is the end of the world," that's just a measure of how deep our politics have sunk in this election year. And I lay most of that at the door of Donald Trump.

NEXT: A Look at Some Key Lower-Ticket Libertarian Race Results

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  1. Weld is a hero and a patriot and should have no regrets.

    1. Weld is melted the microwave of otherwordly Welch and
      so such odd sandwiches demand what clacking of boney buttons?
      Welch created his bullshit months ago and you all just get off on the waves of bullshit designed to manage us all

    2. Weld is melted the microwave of otherwordly Welch and
      so such odd sandwiches demand what clacking of boney buttons?
      Welch created his bullshit months ago and you all just get off on the waves of bullshit designed to manage us all

    3. Fuck you Weld!

      Your candidate lost (Hillary) and you will never be trusted in the Libertarian circles again.

      1. He is a traitor. And should suffer a commensurate fate. I think a year locked in a ‘Big Brother’ style house with Tony, AmSoc, PB, and Hazel should do the trick.

      2. Fuck Weld. Because of him I voted straight republican this year. The LP lost me after 20+ years because of his douchery.

        1. Fuck the Clinton/Trump trainwreck! The (R) lost me this year because of all their douchery. There, we’re even!

    4. I walked into the voting booth intending to vote for Johnson.
      But then I saw Weld’s name there in black and white and I remembered all of his Statist-Authoritarian ANTI-INDIVIDUAL opinions…
      That’s when I said FUCK THAT, and voted Trump.
      I figured as long as we’re electing someone like that, I might as well get to keep my guns.

  2. Go away. I want to be able to ask “where’s Weld-o?” and have no one be able to give me the answer.

    1. Absolutely, do we have a new term LINO, Libertarian in name only?

  3. No thanks to you, asshole.

  4. Hotel Albuquerque? Fuck me, I could have gone downtown to see the festivities.

    *checks watch*

    Well, I do have work tomorrow. Maybe next time.

  5. I’ve sent President-elect Trump my letter, but I think I really need to set up an online petition to demonstrate the support for deporting Matt Welch to France.

  6. I’m much more concerned about the Libertarian Party’s opportunities than my personal future career.

    lol

    oh, that’s rich.

    1. Oh he’s probably speaking the truth. All his future career prospects are burning up in front of his eyes, and he can do nothing about it.

      For what shall it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul, blah blah, but if you don’t actually get a any trade-in on the soul, you’re a Weldshit.

      It’s fine, Weld. Tomorrow is another day, after all.

  7. I turned on MSNBC just now and I could be wrong but it seems I caught Maddow blaming a Clinton loss on Johnson.

    1. I think she was referring to the body part, not the candidate.

    2. I was flipping channels through all the pants-shitting coverage and heard Maddow still beating the horse about the Russians giving the election to Trump because of the emails and wikileaks and sexism, and, I don’t know, sexist emails. I think she started crying but they cut to break.

      1. She’s really going to cry now. Since it’s official.

    3. Must be due to Johnson, it could never be because she is a hateful, corrupt bought and paid for candidate.

  8. do you all even realize the great mind that collapses us within the thick bullshit dollars?

  9. I’m not watching the reliable MSM polls, is it a for-sure thing for the Trumpster Fire or is it just supposition while ballots get counted?

    New goalposts: Trump wins at 270, Clinton challenges and overturns by dint of either unfaithful elector or some rule change. The whole thing is burned down.

  10. What if reason was a wash?
    and a collection plate for clever Cornell/Harvard types to fuck with our lost wallets?

  11. Get lost Weld. You and the wench you vouched for.

  12. Is this the new thread?

    NBC has already called the presidential race on behalf of sexism.

    1. When the race card is over it’s limit just pull out the sexism card.

  13. Asterisk after his name or just go full white out down the memory hole?

  14. Jesus Christ shut up Van Jones you blathering buffoon. This guy’s mind is not right. And he was in the halls of power?

    1. I’m really enjoying watching him flip out.

    2. The same halls where Al Sharpton was also welcomed by Chocolate Stalin.

  15. I just hope they have checked Suderman into some kind of an in patient facility tonight. That guy has to be losing his mind right now.

    1. His wife is far more reasonable, she’ll take care of him. He’ll learn the truth about “price above rubies.”

      Fucking hell, I’m an atheist who’s actually never been to service once in his life. What’s with all the Bible quotes tonight?

      1. Trump has apparently scared the Jesus into them.

        1. That don’t explain me, I’ve already toasted female Slobodan getting her ass kicked!

          Is it the beer? I always thought beer was pagan and wine Christian…

  16. I have no regrets for not voting for him, either. Pizz the fuck off Weld. Maybe you can run with mummified Hillary in 2020.

  17. Martha Coakley must feel good tonight. She is no longer the worst candidate in history.

    1. Meeehh, nah, she was fucking awful. Really awful.

  18. I once met David Nolan a few years before he passed. I thanked him for creating the Libertarian Party and he said to me: “it was a waste of my time.”

    He wasn’t wrong.

    1. So he decided about the same time I did:
      http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/political.html (explanatory essays linked at bottom)

  19. Martha Coakley must feel good tonight. She is no longer the worst candidate in history.

    1. How do you feel, now that you’re tied inextricably to this ongoing, neverending shitstorm? Do you see the goofball mellowing out or is it nonstop funtime statism in a new direction from here on out?

      1. I don’t know quote what you mean but Trump will be acceptable President and an improvement over what we have. The people claiming otherwise are just terrified the country is going to figure out just how stupid our government and media classes actually are.

        1. That’s the problem, isn’t it? We thought this asshole did some serious damage to the brand, whatever that was, when he was running and evidently wasn’t serious, because he kept stepping all over his dick, but now he is the face of it and hopefully is in fact serious and Jesus Christ, John, you and I have been watching this asshole for many months and there’s no chance he lands on his feet now, after all this time. Where do you see this going? FFS. I’m as happy as the next guy to see Hillary lose, and there’s a certain schadenfreude to see her losing to this dumb motherfucker, but how do you it ending well with this guy?

          1. Simple. First he is not stupid. Second, the people who running our government right now are stupid. So it won’t be very hard for him to exceed the low bar these idiots have set.

            1. Won’t be tough for the chump to sail right over what used to be conventional stupid and face plant into new emerald hills of dumb, either. Probably prove rather easy for him in fact.

  20. Banana bread has won tonight.

    1. Not sure what this translates to but banana bread sounds good to me. Hot with melting butter.

  21. Thanks for all the http errors, Reason. Good grief, imagine that libertarians become about 1% more popular, this site will crash and burn into fucking ashes.

    1. They make fun of Breitbart, but I can’t imagine the traffic they must be pulling tonight and I bet their site didn’t crash once.

  22. The race was all about racism. Appearently millions of people who voted for Obama twice were really racist after all. Funny that.

    1. They only voted for Obama’s white half!

  23. Fuck. You. Weld.

  24. MSNBC – so Trump won, now let’s talk about how he needs to backtrack on what got him the victory.

    You know, the opposite of how they spoke about Obama who had a mandate to fundamentally reshape the country. Then talk about voters having “stick-shock,” like with the Brexit (as if there’s proof of that), and talk of how disturbing chants of “lock her up” are. I mean, it’s MSNBC, so no surprise. But are these people this detached from reality?

    Then jumps to Trump out performing Romney with every demographic group.

    1. Obama ran the Democratic Party into the ground. They are totally out of power and they were so bereft of candidates they had to run the worst nominee in recorded history because the only alternative was a crazy old man who hangs out at the laundromat. Obama will leave office with the Democrats entirely out of power and a guy the Democrats did everything they could to to get the GOP nomination because they thought he was so weak in the White House.

      Great job Berry.

      1. I’ll never forgive them for depriving us of Trump-Biden debates we both need and deserve.

  25. ABC is saying that Trump did 8 points better with Hispanics than Romney did according to exit polls. But Hispanics are all single issue open borders voters. Dalmia assured me of this.

    1. John, please please tell me you bet on some sweet 4/1 or 5/1 odds. If anyone deserves to cash that shit out, it’s you (fuck SIV).

    2. John, please please tell me you bet on some sweet 4/1 or 5/1 odds. If anyone deserves to cash that shit out, it’s you (fuck SIV, his typos are shit).

    3. John, please please tell me you bet on some sweet 4/1 or 5/1 odds. If anyone deserves to cash that shit out, it’s you (fuck SIV).

  26. They are saying on Twitter that Hillary has sent Podesta to her HQ. She might not show up and give a concession speech. Wouldn’t that be a fitting end to her career

    1. That pretty much says it all. I can’t wait for all the same people who said Bush stole the election in 2000 to tell me how Hillary continually contesting the results this time, despite the fact that it wasn’t nearly is close, is different and completely good and just and stuff.

  27. Shucks, no cushy ambassadorship for ol’ Bill after all. I haz a sad for him.

  28. socially inclusive, fiscally responsible

    Rhetorically interesting, politically coy.

  29. “We’ve got the centrist platform”
    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!

  30. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  31. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  32. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  33. Read these comments and it’s clear why the Libertarian Party nominee rarely gets more than one percent of the vote. It seems that there is no true interest in becoming a viable party. There are a lot of people in the US with the shared belief that we need to drastically reduce the size and scope of government. Successful parties are built around coalitions, not purists, and people like Bill Weld with a mind for reducing the size of government across a wide range of dimensions are whom you should be reaching out to. Until that happens, the party and its goals will remain on the fringe with no real chance of effecting change.

    1. Libertarians not only reached out to Bill Weld, he was chosen as VP. He let the LP down by spending the last crucial days of the campaign shilling for Hillary. In a number of states reaching 5% was very important in achieving the LP major party status and effecting the kinds of change you write about. Trust me when I tell you he made it harder and may have prevented some states from making it, including WA where I live.

  34. To Bill Weld: No thank you to any future involvement by you in the LP.

    While you were a great help early in the campaign and are appreciated for that, your defection to Hillary surrogate was costly in states like mine (Washington) where the LP is trying to achieve major party status and build for the future. A lot of people worked very hard on this campaign for many months and you let them all down in a disgraceful fashion.

    We don’t trust you and the only people who might still believe you have any shred of integrity left are at the Clinton Foundation. On the plus side, as I suspect you might already know, they pay well.

    1. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

      …….. http://www.jobmax6.com

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