Gary Johnson, for president. Root wants Johnson to quit the GOP and run for president on the Libertarian Party.
Writing at Independent Political Report, Root posted (comment 8):
”I’ve been heavily recruiting Gary Johnson to LP for weeks. I had dinner with him in Baltimore a month ago. Spent much time with his campaign senior adviser in the past few days. I think it’s pretty clear I support Gary to be our Presidential nominee....
“I am heavily invested in my businesses and multiple careers right now ... I’m hoping to recruit a Libertarian-conservative candidate that I can support to LP, so I can wait until 2016.
“Gary is the perfect candidate. Answer to my recruiting efforts.
“The most fiscally conservative governor in America. Mr. Veto. Never allowed a spending or tax increase in 8 years as Governor.
“Simpatico with me on almost every issue.
“A Libertarian in every way -- yet still a huge supporter of Israel.
“The perfect LP candidate.
“I’ll be going 'all in' to help Gary.”
By any real world definition, that's an endorsement of a Johnson LP candidacy. It can even be taken as an endorsement of a Johnson presidency. Why would an LP official endorse an LP candidate, unless he wanted (even if he didn't expect) that candidate to actually win?
Yet in America's slippery political culture (“It depends on the meaning of the word 'is'.”), even the most supportive words are not considered an endorsement unless one says the magic words: “I officially endorse Thee!”
Thus, Root may claim that the hasn't actually “endorsed” Johnson for president.
Why would the Clintonesque Root want enough “wiggle room” to support a Johnson candidacy, without “officially” endorsing him?
Root's part of the pro-war/Reform takeover of the LP. As such, Root (and his supporters) care less about winning (no LP candidate will win) than about denying the candidacy to an antiwar firebrand. Nomination battles are really about “branding” the LP with one's preferred Public Face.
Will the LP's 2012 presidential candidate be a Republican Lite/Pro-Foreign Aid for “Friends” Face -- or an Uncompromisingly Antiwar/Anti-Foreign Entanglements Face?
At best, Johnson strikes me as the former, but with a dash of Antiwar Lite. He's certainly no Ron Paul.
Yet while Root wants to deny the LP's Public Face to a radical antiwar candidate, neither can he seriously endorse any LP candidate to the extent of actually urging people to vote for that candidate -- especially in swing states. Root's talk radio/Fox News supporters expect Root (and all of their "friendly guests") to rally behind the GOP in November. This election is “too important to lose” and the “most important election history.”
Root's career as an aspiring media pundit requires that he maintain his LP base as long as possible (by denying its leadership to his antiwar opponents), while simultaneously placating his Neocon media sponsors by preventing the LP from offering serious opposition to the GOP at the voting booth.
And so while Root is endorsing Gary Johnson for the LP's presidential nomination, I expect that Root will use his "wiggle room" (not an "official" endorsement) to hold back on supporting Johnson too loudly, should Johnson get the nomination.