Gary Johnson may just be the one GOP candidate who has the best chance of unseating Obama in 2012 if he can make it successfully through the Republican primaries, which in and of itself will be a daunting task.
While the former NM Governor currently suffers from low name recognition and is considered by many to be Ron Paul-lite, when you look at his positions on abortion, immigration, gay rights, drugs and war; all social issues which are important to many Independents and center-left Democrats, Gary Johnson not only has the cross-over appeal that the other GOP candidates lack but he has the current occupant of the White House beat as well.
He is also a fiscal warrior when it comes to spending, as his record during his two terms as Governor bears out. While in office he cut taxes 14 times, vetoed 750 spending bills from the Democrat controlled legislature, balanced the budget, left the state with a budget surplus, cut 1,200 state jobs and created 20,000 private sector jobs. How many of his opponents can boast of that?
As you can see, getting the economy back on track is right in the Governor's wheel-house and that plays particularly well to the Tea Party along with Independents who are concerned about our mounting government debt.
The tough part will be getting through the primaries for Johnson since his social positions may not sit particularly well with conservatives. He too will have a tougher time wooing the libertarian wing of the GOP away from Ron Paul, who has that group firmly in his camp.
But these are challenges that Gary Johnson welcomes and has overcome in the past. As a political neophyte in the Governor's race in 1994 he was told by NM GOP party operatives that he had no chance of winning the Republican nomination, let alone beating the Democratic incumbent. We know how that turned out.
What we have in Gary Johnson is a candidate that does not fit in perfectly with any one particular voting bloc but appeals to a broader group of Americans; whether they are Republicans, Democrats or Independents, who are weary of partisan politics (really politics in general) and want to see real change.
At the end of the day what we need in the POTUS is someone who has the best interest of the American people at heart and will not pander to one particular bloc or party but will return us to the limited government, personal liberty ideals that this republic is founded on. What we need is a candidate that speaks for all of the American people and will not be co-opted or maintain the status quo.
That candidate is Gary Johnson.