- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 9, 2012

Libertarian Gary E. Johnson, who is on the presidential ballot in more than 40 states, successfully got onto Virginia’s last week as well despite a challenge from the state Republican Party.

But the former New Mexico governor was rather hard on himself when describing the evolution of his thinking on getting on ballots across the country, as he now faces similar challenges in other states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa.

“I feel really naive looking back,” he said. “I guess I had a kind of Pollyannaish belief. Santa Claus is not coming. My tooth is going to go unclaimed. I can’t believe.”

He pointed to a recent Zogby poll that gave him 4.3 percent of the national popular vote, saying national media would almost be forced to cover his candidacy — at least on Election Day — if he pulled 5 percent of the vote.

“Let’s just say I got 5 percent on general-election day,” he said. “If that really happens, can you think of 5 percent going unreported?”

“We keep plugging away with the amount of money that we have,” he added. “If we just had money to compete with these guys for one week, you’d see a gigantic bump.”

For now, though, Mr. Johnson is willing to play the role of the happy warrior. He pulls no punches with either party (“The debate about Medicare shouldn’t be about which party’s going to spend more on Medicare”) and expressed particular disbelief that the war in Afghanistan essentially flew under the radar at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., last month.

“It is hilarious in a really bad way,” he said. “It’s an indictment on all of us. Are we that stupid? We can’t be that stupid.”

Statehood karma?

Back in February, New Hampshire state Rep. Tony F. Soltani decried a resolution in support of making the nation’s capital the 51st state. He said his colleagues should save the parchment — not that it cost much — and wondered why Puerto Rico didn’t want a piece of the action.

In the end, the Granite State should leave the issue up to the feds.

A couple of months later, Mr. Soltani, a Republican, was criminally charged with interfering with a high-speed police chase, although he argues a state law that allows him to protect or others gives him immunity, according to the Concord (N.H.) Monitor newspaper.

See what happens when you mess with the District?

•Tom Howell Jr. and David Sherfinski contributed to this report.

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