Liberty Papers: I’m here with Libertarian Presidential Candidate Wayne Allyn Root and Cornelius Swart of The Portland Sentinel
Portland Sentinel: Okay, so how did you feel about yesterday’s debate based on the rankings?
Root: I don’t think that really had anything to do with it. This is a very different crowd. The debate was not the same crowd as what’s going to be at tonight’s debate. That debate was all the more liberal candidates of the Libertarian Party.
I was the only candidate that is perceived as a conservative that had the chutzpah to show up and face down that crowd and I think they loved it. And I think I will be everyone’s second and third choice in that room. In matter of fact I know I’ll be lots of first choices, I got a whole bunch of tokens there but more importantly I have everybody’s second and third choices and that’s what’s going to win this nomination. No one’s going to win it on the first ballot.
Its going to be won more between the second and the sixth through eighth ballot. And I believe the likeability factor as a second or third choice of conservative Libertarian delegates will absolutely determine the final one. I’m very confident that I’m everybody’s second or third choice, because I’m friendly with everybody and I’m a good guy. And I think that’s very important. I know the issues, I’m the best communicator by far, I’m the best guy to put on national TV. I can put a positive face on this party’s vision and image.
I think everyone knows now for sure that I’m in no way, shape, or form [that I] am really the conservative candidate. I’m actually a moderate, mainstream, Libertarian who’s both right and left. I’m not threatening anyone to the left. I think before last night there were a lot of people who weren’t quite sure which camp I was in. Maybe they were worried I was in Bob Barr’s camp but its pretty obvious I’m not.
Portland Sentinel: How are you different from Bob Barr’s positions?
Root: Well, lets start with a different issue because, I’m not being a typical politician trying to dodge your question but I really mean this. It’s not issues that are going to determine the race. It’s going to be personality that determines the race. And that’s the most important thing you should look at besides the issues. I’m not saying the issues aren’t important but personality is 60% and issues are 40%.
Personality, the proof of that I’ll give you great examples from both the right and the left.
From the right: Barry Goldwater was the original founder of libertarian thought. Lot’s of the people in this party were disciples of Barry Goldwater in ’71 when this [Libertarian] party was founded. They based it on his philosophy. Now I know that there’s also Ayn Rand, Murry Rothbard, and it goes on and on, but the founders of this party, that circle were all Barry Goldwater disciples. Barry Goldwater was a great guy with a great message but he lost in a landslide. Sixteen years later Ronald Reagan took the same message and won in a landslide. Same message.
On the left: George McGovern had a liberal message and lost in a landslide. All these years later, who has the exact same message as George McGovern? Barack Obama, the most popular politician in America. He happens to be my college classmate, class of ‘83 at Columbia University. Barack has a great personality.
So whether you are from the left or the right you have to grudgingly admit it has nothing to do with the message it is the sales ability of the messenger. We are a nation that likes to hear positive message. Ronald Reagan would say things in a positive way and Barack Obama says a liberal message in the most positive way I have ever heard. Most liberals speak in a negative, angry, way. Barack Obama speaks in a happy positive way. He’s the Ronald Reagan of liberals and I’m the Ronald Reagan of libertarians. I did great at every part of the debate except when I brought up Reagan’s name. Mike Gravel went into a tirade about Reagan and blah, blah, blah.
He totally misrepresented my words! I went out of my way to say “I’m not talking about Ronald Reagan’s politics.” I’m not saying I defended what he did in office. I’m just saying that as a communicator, you have to grudgingly admit that the guy was fantastic and that’s the reason he won. It had nothing to do with his views, America liked him.
That’s my message. I can be the Ronald Reagan of this party. Not to say I agree with all of his politics, forget about the politics. Maybe I’ll want to change that for this crowd: I could be the Barack Obama of this party.
Liberty Papers: But are your policies the same no matter what your crowd is? » Read more
Half of candidates vying for nomination cross threshold for debate participation at the 2008 Libertarian National Convention
Denver, CO – Half of the candidates vying for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president have qualified to participate in tonight’s presidential debate at the 2008 Libertarian National Convention.
Since the beginning of the convention on May 22, the 12 presidential candidates who made the trip to Denver for the National Convention have been petitioning Libertarian delegates for their support in the form of delegate tokens, which go towards qualifying candidates for certain events at the national convention. Candidates must collect 30 tokens in order to qualify for a 16-minute nominating speech to be given on Sunday before the voting begins. For the presidential debate, candidates had to collect 10 percent of the delegate tokens available by Saturday morning. That number was 57.
The candidates who qualified for Saturday’s debate are as follows:
Bob Barr (94 tokens)
Wayne Allyn Root (94 tokens)
Mary Ruwart (94 tokens)
Mike Gravel (67 tokens)
Mike Jingozian (63 tokens)
George Phillies (62 tokens)
Steve Kubby (60 tokens)
“We’re very excited to have a healthy number of candidates involved in tonight’s presidential debate,” says Libertarian Party National Media Coordinator Andrew Davis. “The competition that it will bring will only improve the political discourse at our convention. Republicans and Democrats could learn a thing or two about the inclusion of multiple voices in presidential debates, which ultimately is better for the nomination process and helps delegates choose the best candidate for the party.”
The debate will take place tonight at 7:00 PM (MST), and will be moderated by Fox News contributor James Pinkerton. The debate is scheduled to be broadcast live by C-SPAN.
As of noon on Saturday, more than 620 delegates had registered for the convention.
A nominee will be selected by delegates on Sunday afternoon.
The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.
For more information on the convention, or to arrange a media interview, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 333-0008 during normal business hours, or at (202) 731-0002 during any other time.
This first day of covering the Libertarian National Convention has been very exciting so far. I haven’t had an opportunity to spend much time at any of the events but I have been talking to delegates and presidential candidates (interviews will be posted later). Jason Pye has been busy posting his experience and insights at the convention at JasonPye.com.
Booths at the convention
Libertarian Presidential Candidates George Phillies and Mike Gravel
Presidential Candidate Steve Kubby
Presidential Candidate Christine Smith – I spoke to her briefly before the pre-debate tokens were counted. Smith is not a fan of Bob Barr or Wayne Allyn Root; she thinks they are Republicans running as Libertarians. She did not receive enough tokens to participate in the C-Span debate but she is still technically running.
Libertarian Party platform debate winding down
Stage set for the C-SPAN debate; the last debate of the Libertarian Convention and the 2008 campaign.
“Blog Row” – Spot set aside specifically for bloggers throughout the convention. This was taken during the debate (left to right, myself representing The Liberty Papers, fellow Liberty Papers contribuer Jason Pye, Dave Weigel from Reason, and Drew Ferguson from Liberty magazine.)
Post debate press conference (Left to Right: Dr. Mary Ruwart, Bob Barr, and Wayne Allyn Root)
Barr campaign’s hospitality suite after the post debate press conference
Bob Barr’s first press conference as the LP’s nominee
The Libertarian Convention of course! Which convention did you think I was talking about? The Libertarian National Convention will run this Memorial Day weekend beginning on Thursday, May 22nd and ending on Monday, May 26th. I plan on attending the convention representing The Liberty Papers as a citizen journalist on Saturday, Sunday, and possibly Monday.
My press pass will give me the same access as the MSM outlets (though some events will be reserved for “invited media only”). The events which I believe I will be able to get into include the platform debate, the presidential debate, national chairs debate, presidential nominating speeches, presidential election roll call with acceptance speech, the first press conference with the LP Presidential Nominee, and much, much more.
Fellow Liberty Papers contributor Jason Pye will also be attending the convention as a delegate.
Usually, The Liberty Papers does not have a great deal of activity on the weekends as far as posts are concerned but this weekend will be much different. Expect periodic reporting from the convention beginning Saturday. I’m going to try to score some high profile interviews, will post lots of photos, and possibly post some video for your consumption.
It’s my goal to bring the convention to The Liberty Papers’ reader. Any suggestions for what you would like me to cover, who I interview, and what questions you would like me to ask would be greatly appreciated!
**UPDATE** Jason Pye will also be adding content to The Liberty Papers throughout the weekend:
I am taking a video camera and a laptop and will be updating daily both here and The Liberty Papers. You may even see a post or two over at Red State.
There will be a few battles between moderates and anarchists, mainly over the platform and Bob Barr. Over a beer not too long ago, I told Daniel Adams, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, that I expected a walkout of different factions at some point during the convention.
Pye has much more insight to the inner workings of the Libertarian Party than I do, so I think his take on the event will be very interesting. Between the two of us, I think we will have the convention covered quite well.