By Mark Jacobson, NYMag.com, June 14th, 2016:
Gary Johnson, the 63-year-old Libertarian Party nominee for president, is taking a brisk walk through a packed Times Square. Not that the crowds impede Johnson, who once climbed Mount Everest with a broken leg. “I knew my leg was broken before I started, but it was healing, so I went ahead,” says the candidate, who, in addition to ascending the highest peak in all seven continents, completed the 26.2-mile “Bataan Memorial Death March” across the White Sands Missile Range in combat boots. The Times Square tourist gauntlet is not without its challenges, however, especially when a phalanx of furry Elmos converge like a scrum of shag rugs. Tip bags in hand, they have apparently mistaken the candidate for one more rube out-of-towner.
“Beat it. That’s Gary Johnson. He’s running for president,” shouts a man in the uniform of the Gray Line tour-bus company, shooing the Elmos away. Johnson shakes hands with the Gray Line man as a massive digital billboard featuring bikini-clad models frolicking in the surf plays above his head. The candidate, who lives in the ex-hippie mecca of Taos because he “loves the skiing,” pauses to consider this moment in time and space. He isn’t exactly a nobody, after all: He built his own multimillion-dollar construction business and ran for New Mexico governor without previous political experience (using his own money) and won, twice. Now he’ll be on the presidential ballot in all 50 states, just like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Regardless, getting recognized at the Crossroads of the World, that’s “something,” Johnson says.