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The Iron Man Candidate

July 1, 2011Posted in Blog, Facebook, Gov. Gary Johnson, Interview, New Hampshire, Twitter

From The Hippo by — Amy Diaz

To run for president, a candidate must have abundant reserves of energy unknown to most people. A candidate must also have a secondary passion in which he or she can retreat. President Clinton played the saxophone. President Bush cleared brush. President Obama plays basketball.

Presidential candidate Gary Johnson climbs Everest.

And competes in Iron Man Triathlons in Hawaii (

In an interview with the Hippo on Monday, June 27, Johnson gave a glimpse into his competitive nature, which may help shed light on what kind of president he would be. While Johnson talked policy and politics, he became most animated when discussing what he has done since leaving the governor’s mansion in New Mexico. Following a paragliding accident, Johnson built his own home, started a few business ventures and, oh yeah, climbed Mt. Everest. When asked about the experience, Johnson said it was everything you would hope it would be. Although it didn’t start out that way.

“Adding to that is I broke my leg just prior to going to Everest,” Johnson said. “So that added a lot of drama to Everest. But what are you going to do when you break your leg? Are you just going to lay on the couch and give up or do you go with the guy, the orthopedic surgeon, who says you can do this. But no pain killers, no cast, no anti-inflammatory, experimental bone healing and you need to get in the pool tomorrow even though your left leg is two times the size of your right leg.”

We told Johnson we had read Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer’s harrowing account of his climb of Everest, and that was probably as close to the summit as we would ever get. The GQ reporter who was profiling Johnson and sat in on our interview agreed with us and said that book was scary enough.

Johnson said as governor he would often wake at 4 a.m. to get his workouts in, which could take upwards of three hours. This leads us to believe if the campaign race were a running, biking or swimming race, Johnson would be in the lead. Unfortunately for him, it is not.

Check out the June 30-July 6 issue of the Hippo for our complete article on the Johnson interview.

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