David Weigel: Libertarian Party convention kicks off in Orlando

FILE - In this May 18, 2016 file photo, Libertarian presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson speak with legislators at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. He has virtually no money, no strategy to compete in battleground states and no plan to stop talking about his drug use. Yet with the Republican Party facing the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson could be a factor in 2016. The former two-term New Mexico governor, a Republican businessman perhaps best known for his years-long push to legalize marijuana, has a sobering message for a “never-Trump” movement desperately seeking a viable alternative. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Gary Johnson

By David Weigel, May 27th, 2016, Washington Post:

ORLANDO — As far as much of the media is concerned, the Libertarian Party’s nomination — which will be decided at this weekend’s convention — is Gary Johnson’s for the taking. The former governor of New Mexico and 2012 nominee has done a battery of media interviews, and his selection of former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld as a running mate has resulted in even more attention. Just last week, Weld became the party’s first vice presidential hopeful to appear on a major Sunday talk show.

But the Rosen Centre Hotel, which is slowly being occupied by Libertarian delegates, might contain the nation’s largest population of Johnson/Weld skeptics.

At a hastily scheduled Thursday night debate, before most delegates showed up, Johnson and Weld defended their records against candidates running as more purely libertarian. (None of them have, like Weld, felt compelled to release multiple statements explaining their old Second Amendment stances.) Austin Petersen, the 35-year-old, media-savvy activist who has become Johnson’s readiest critic, was seen to have scored a point on the selection of Weld.

Read the rest of the article here.

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