Gaining visibility at the national level

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — Former Gov. Gary Johnson is confounding national political leaders and pundits just as he did in New Mexico for a decade.

Since leaving office in 2002, Johnson evidently has had enough adventures climbing mountains, skiing and hang gliding to want to try another political adventure. This time, he’s behaving very much like a presidential candidate.

For several months, Johnson has been traveling the nation, attending political events, making speeches and doing interviews. Instead of forming an exploratory committee, he is the honorary chairman of Our America Initiative, a Web site that publicizes his views.

The group’s tax status is such that Johnson cannot declare his candidacy. That very likely is intentional. His campaign is extremely fluid right now. This allows him to duck the candidacy question while playing around with all his alternatives.

Johnson says he is running as a Republican but most of his Libertarian views are poison to current Republican philosophy. He says he doesn’t see it that way.

In a recent interview with Salon.com Johnson argues  that the GOP is a broader coalition than it is commonly portrayed. “I haven’t found the Republican Party to be exclusive as much as inclusive,” he says.

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