Will Wilkinson on Gary Johnson
YouTube user karekenj put together a Gary Johnson web ad that I randomly came across, and any video featuring a Will Wilkinson quote on the first screen deserves a share in this space. For context, Will wrote a piece for The Economist the day after the Fox News/Google Debate in September 2011 and reflects upon meeting Johnson at a Cato event in Santa Barbara “a couple years back.” According to Wilkinson, Johnson epitomizes the authenticity of awkwardness:
I don’t remember if he said so, but it was clear enough he was already running for president. His speech was by no means rousing; he is a slightly awkward speaker who seems sorry he is taking your time. He tossed surprisingly little ideological chum to Cato’s wealthy financiers of libertarian ideology.
Mostly he outlined his enviable record as governor of New Mexico—the many budgets he balanced, the astonishing number of bills he vetoed, the surplus he left behind.
The Cato crowd loved it. I loved it. I approached the group encircling him after his inspiringly boring talk fingering my business card, seriously considering offering my help to his incipient campaign, until at the last moment I came to my senses and remembered that I hate politics. Still, I was tempted. Gary Johnson almost seduced me into volunteering to change my life by his apparent inability to bullshit, by persuasively conveying the impression that politics is a distasteful vocation and he really would rather be scaling Annapurna, but that people with the ability to make government work better have an obligation to try, so he tries.
Which is why (in the spirit of fuller-than-necessary disclosure) I’m damn glad he finally made it into one of the GOP debates, made a bit of a splash with his cribbed poop joke, and is finally getting a little love from the press.
And here’s the ad:
Image via Bleeding Heart Libertarians