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Johnson Begins Uphill Climb In N.H.

April 23, 2011Posted in Blog

Highlighting his background as a governor and outdoor adventurer, Republican Gary Johnson announced his presidential campaign outside the New Hampshire State House yesterday before heading for Tuckerman Ravine, the mountain known as the birthplace of extreme skiing.

Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, acknowledged that he is virtually unknown in New Hampshire and other key primary states but said he will not be outworked when it comes to retail politics.

“I have to do, and want to do, really well in New Hampshire,’’ he said. “So I’m going to spend a lot of time in New Hampshire, where you can go from obscurity to prominence overnight with a good showing in New Hampshire.’’

Johnson, who has climbed Mount Everest and is an avid skier and bicyclist, planned to follow up his announcement with some spring skiing tomorrow in Tuckerman Ravine, a large glacial bowl on 6,288-foot Mount Washington, the tallest mountain in the Northeast.

Before serving as governor from 1995 to 2002, Johnson started a one-person fix-it business that grew to become one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico, with 1,000 employees. He said he can fix what he called America’s bankrupt status by asking two simple questions: What are we spending our money on? And what are we getting in return?

“Everything should be a cost-benefit analysis,’’ he said. “My entire life, I’ve watched government spend more money than it takes in, and I’ve just always thought there would be a day of reckoning with regard to that spending. I think that day of reckoning is here. It’s right now, and it needs to be fixed.’’

Other posts worth checking out:

The Liberty Papers: by Doug Mataconis

“The field of candidates for the GOP nomination for President got a little more palatable to libertarians today when former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson announced his candidacy for President at an event in New Hampshire…”

Gary Johnson, a pol who doesn’t blow smoke: by Scot Lehigh

“We have come to the point where it is safe to say treatment instead of incarceration,” Johnson says. “I think very shortly we are going to repeal federal mandatory minimums. We are seeing the repeal of mandatory minimums in states.”

Reason, by Brian Doherty

“Reason has had its eye on this very refreshing political figure for a long time. Some highlights:

*Michael Lynch’s very early 2001 profile of the then-Gov.

*Johnson loves Ron Paul.

*Ron Paul loves Johnson too, and Johnson doesn’t see why you can’t run a light if you are sure there’s no one endangered by doing so.

*Johnson is sensible on immigration.

*Johnson thinks pot legalization is a very vital issue.

*The Atlantic thinks Johnson deserves to hit the big time.

I’ve seen Johnson do his basic presentation a handful of times over the years, most recently just a couple of weeks back. I’m pleased to say he’s getting better at it: more capable of answering questions deftly, projecting a little bit more charisma and passion. (He is a very, very “normal guy” in demeanor, almost sleepily calm, which may well hurt him in the heat of a presidential race.) He likes to stress his experience as a veto-happy governor to show he can ride herd on a Congress that will doubtless fight against a President Johnson; he’s climbed Everest and smoked dope, and he wants you to know it.”

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