The name Gary Johnson seems so innocuous. It sounds like the name of someone who'd be car salesman, a manager at Applebee's, or the next door neighbor who parks his Dodge Stratus offensively close to the place you set your trash cans. Mr. Johnson may, in fact, be all those people, but he also might be the next leader of the free world. Yup, Gary Johnson is running for president. The former Governor of New Mexico is the Libertarian Party's nominee for the Oval Office.
If you're anything like me, you've never heard of this fellow before now, you thought the presidential race was only two candidates, and you really dislike it when people park too close to your trash can spot.
In the name of edumacation, let's take a gander at five facts about this man who wants to be our Commander in Chief.
- He's been nicknamed Governor Veto. During his two terms as Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, Johnson vetoed 200 of the 424 bills approved by the State Legislature. His over-rulings set a state, and national, record. He vetoed more bills than all the other 49 state governors ... combined.
- He believes in low taxes, hates large spending, supports gay marriage, is pro getting illegal workers citizenship, wants to decriminalize possession of a small amount of marijuana, and is against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He pretty much defines the phrase "fiscally conservative, socially liberal."
- Which may be why the Republican Party doesn't want much to do with him. Johnson originally announced his candidacy for President with the G.O.P. but, after exclusion for primary debates, switched to the Libertarian Party. When polls actually include him in their surveys of voters, 80 percent say they have no opinion of him.
- He's an incredible athlete. He's summited Everest despite frost bite, he's competed in multiple Ironman races, he once ran 100 miles in 30 consecutive hours, and he almost died when he accidentally paraglided into a tree. Jeez.
- Johnson might be just the guy you're looking for. If you are tired of social Republican conservatism and really sick of Democrats over-spending, Gary is your man. At least, that's what he says, anyway.
Time will tell if Gary Johnson has any staying power, but at least now when you hear his name, you'll know he's running for President and not trying to sell you a car, tell you about a special steak entree, or frustrate you with his poor parking skills.
What do you think about Gary Johnson?
Photo via ronpaulrevolt2008/Flickr