Matt Welch: Nice Guys Finish Third: Gary Johnson’s Awkward Night
By Matt Welch, Reason.com, June 23rd, 2016:
In order to be ‘likable,’ the L.P. candidate threw away opportunities to define himself better and to explain the differences between libertarian pragmatism and idealism
Eight hours before he stepped on a CNN stage for a widely anticipated, strategically critical town hall appearance, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson explained to me why he was planning yet again to wear athletic sneakers to a formal event. “It’s analogous to the Patriots’ perfect season,” he said.
Huh? Well, New England had gone 16-0 in the 2007 National Football League season then won its first two playoff games, all with head coach Bill Belichick wearing his nasty, trademark gray hoodie, Johnson explained. But under the bright lights of Super Bowl XLII, with the opportunity to make history, Belichick threw away what got him there, donned a shiny red sweatshirt instead, and the Patriots went on to lose in arguably the sport’s greatest upset. Moral of the story: Don’t go changing just because the venue does.
Well, so much for that. Near the tail end of Johnson’s mostly frustrating, occasionally inspiring performance on CNN, moderator Chris Cuomo asked him about his footwear. It was then that I noticed for the first time that the mountain-climbing triathlete was wearing shiny dress shoes, just like a normal politician. “I always have sneakers on,” Johnson stammered. “And I just—you know, everybody in my campaign is [saying] just don’t blow it with the shoes.”
Read the rest of the article here.