Gary Johnson is the  former Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003 (term limited out).  As the Honorary Chairman for Our America Initiative, a 501(c)(4), Gary Johnson is not allowed to officially declare that he is running for president in 2012, but many people believe he is strongly considering it.

The American Conservative 770AM KKOB Radio out of New Mexico Santa Fe New KOB News 4 New Mexico

He has been traveling all over the country and hitting the media trail.  Recent appearances include The Colbert Report, Neil Cavuto, Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano, Hannity, and Real Time with Bill Maher.  He has made several trips to libertarian leaning and 2nd state on the road to the white house, New Hampshire, but this will be his first trip to Iowa.  He also has a growing Internet following, including this great advertisement video from a supporter.

I know what you are thinking, a politician riding on RAGBRAI, the 472 mile bike ride across Iowa?  You are probably imagining an out of shape politician being driven from stop to stop, to shake hands and to get his picture taken eating a big pork chop on a stick, but you would be getting the wrong picture.  Gary Johnson is a triathlete, who has also scaled the highest peaks of 4 continents, including Everest.  I picture Gary Johnson sailing through the ride with plenty of time to spare for hand shaking at each stop.  Many potential presidential candidates visit Iowa from time to time, but how many of them take the time to slowly track their way across Iowa, surrounded by thousands of Iowans, participating in one of their favorite pastimes, RAGBRAI?

He may be able to run, bike, and swim his way through a triathlon, but does he have what it takes to run for president?

His positions are right in line with the growing tea party movement.  His record as Governor of New Mexico speaks for itself, reducing the number of non-education state employees from 13k to 12k, cutting taxes 14 times and vetoing over 750bills, more than the other 49 Governors combined.  He is also seen as a possible successor to the 74 year old Ron Paul, for the expanding liberty movement that grew out of his 2008 run for president.

He has a growing number of supporters among students, speaking on campuses all across the country and serving on the Board of Advisors for Students for Liberty, and Board of Directors for Students for Sensible Drug Policy.  Barack Obama fired up the students and moved them to the polls, but since that time he has continued the wars, continued the drug war, and continued putting the bailout of  corporations ahead of the American people.  Could Gary Johnson, the anti-war, anti-drug war, anti-fed, anti-bailout politician do the same?  With an uncontested democratic race, I could see many students and young adults crossing over during the GOP primary to vote for Johnson.  I could also see Johnson stealing many votes from Obama during the general.

He is certainly a person to keep your eye on leading up to the 2012 race.

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  1. Can’t say I’ve even heard of him… and as politically aware as I am that should say something about his name recognition. I think the anti-bailout and anti-fed stances would play well with the Tea Party crowd, but if Sarah Palin and/or Ron Paul run he won’t be unique in that regard.

    Anti-war… one of the things that made me nervous about Ron Paul was his foreign policy, while I understand his position I don’t think his position is tenable with our current global situation. I would say the same about Johnson’s. While I again I don’t think we can or should be the world’s policeman, we can’t afford to take military action off the table either.

    His position on being anti-drug war worries me as well. What is the practical implication of that? If he wants to legalize drugs – that is misguided and harmful.

    1. If you haven’t thought through the practical implications around the drug war, and the implications of changing that failed policy, you may be over estimating your level of political awareness.

      1. I didn’t say what we were doing was particularly effective. I just don’t want to go down the legalization route, and I’ll admit I don’t obsess over this like some.

        My position is based on my awareness of how drugs impact young lives as I work with kids for whom this is an issue.

      2. Shane-I know that drugs used unwisely can have a disastrous affect on lives. But so can alcohol and it is legal. However, looking at the practical side of legalization, no matter what you do the drugs are not going away. But if you legalize, grow and regulate just marijuana alone, the usefulness of drug cartels almost disappear and so do they. We could almost destroy their business by repealing one drug law. Just think what happened when the ban on alcohol was repealed. The mobs all but disappeared. And Gary says, like alcohol, it will still be illegal to smoke pot, get in a car, and commit a crime. Just think about it…

    2. I don’t question your political awareness, and he certainly has a name ID issue nation wide. Part of that is due to the fact that he is not a career politician, continually seeking higher and higher office. Being governor of New Mexico was his first and only office holding. He is a businessman, served in office, then went back to private life for the last 7 years. That seams to be the intent of the founders, citizen governance, and what the tea party is calling for.

      His name ID is pretty high in the “liberty movement”, but not with the general population. But then again, 4 years ago, not many in the general public had heard of Obama, Paul, or Palin. Agree or disagree with the 3, they were nearly nobodies in the public eye 4 years ago who have gone on to be the most influential people in politics today. A lot can change in a few years, I think we will be hearing more about Johnson before 2012.

  2. If anyone has a moment, I suggest that you go look for more information on Gary Johnson –

    He recently formed the Our America Initiative ( to speak about his views in regards to limited government and freedom. He has been an outspoken advocate for efficient government, lower taxes, and protection of civil liberties, revitalization of the economy and promoting entrepreneurship and privatization.

    He is the type of leader that I think we need right now. I’ve already expressed my support and I hope that others will do the same.

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