Weld’s High-Minded Politics


A couple of weeks ago I saw Bob Woodward on TV, all a-twitter about how the Libertarian ticket should drop out of the race immediately and back Clinton for the presidency. I thought this was one of the most ridiculous displays of establishmentarianism I’d ever seen. It was as if one of the elite parties were a magnet to which all worthless metal filings must be drawn.

But now, if reports are true, LP vice-presidential candidate William Weld is following Woodward’s advice. Although the former Republican governor of Massachusetts swore to be a Libertarian for life, he’s now saying that, uh, er, he guesses he won’t “drop them” (emphasis added) until the campaign is over, while suggesting that as far as he’s concerned it’s over now.

Weld indicated that it would be “fun” to be one of the wizards who worked, post-election, to put the Republican Party back together again.

Weld indicated that he planned to spend all his time from now on attacking Donald Trump, because of his foreign policy ideas. But despite the fact that this year the LP has waged a vigorous and effective advertising war against both Republicans and Democrats, and polling shows that the LP is taking more votes from Clinton than from Trump, Weld seems to have no plans to continue the critique of Clinton. Quite the contrary. Of the Platonic form of establishment politics, Weld now says he’s “not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States.”

I can think of a few that are more qualified. Start with all the Disney characters.

And remember that Weld got the platform from which he says such things out of libertarian money and libertarian zeal.

But speaking of establishmentarians, Weld indicated that it would be “fun” to be one of the wizards who worked, post-election, to put the Republican Party back together again, ruling the Grand Old Party in concert with (guess who?) Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour.

William Weld, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour . . . “O brave new world, that has such people in it.”

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Why ANY libertarian candidate would find something nice to say about Hillary Clinton is beyond comprehension. If for no other reason, it's simply not necessary to find nice things to say when good politicking requires the opposite, and -- believe me -- there are plenty of bad things that NEED to be repeated about Clinton.


L. Neil Smith's old example of the snake and the old lady (you knew what I was lady when you let me in here." "I'm a snake.) come to mind when I think of Weld who is not and has never been a Libertarian. He used the LP (twice) and once he was done he tossed it aside like a used Kleenex. I just hope that the rank and file of the LP learns something from this and look at what a person really stands for instead of how many votes he or she can pull in.

Jon Harrison

Weld flits with the wind. I was delighted when he was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1990 (I lived in Mass at the time), ending many years of Democratic control of the executive in our state. When he ran for a second term he promised to serve out that term, only to leave us in mid-term to pursue the odd goal of becoming Bill Clinton's ambassador to Mexico. When that failed he left his wife for a younger woman and took a job at some investment bank in New York City. Years later he emerged as a self-proclaimed libertarian, though he's a moderate Republican through and through -- always was, always will be. He's become a rather ridiculous old man, and Johnson's selection of him as his running mate only reinforced the impression of Gary as a lightweight with poor judgment.

The LP has simply got to get out of the business of pretending that it's a major force (or a potential one) in electoral politics. It needs to grow up and become an advocacy group pushing the freedom agenda. The latter is less fun than playing politics, but it's the grownup thing to do.

Paul Thiel

I suppose running more-or-less establishment politicians as Libertarian Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates was worth a try and might yet translate into 5%+ of the vote. But overall this has been a failure and an embarrassment. We must do better in 2020.

Thomas Knapp

Are you sure it wasn't Carl Bernstein, Woodward's partner on the Watergate exposes, who you saw suggesting that Weld drop out? I saw Bernstein myself, but a quick Google search didn't turn up Woodward saying similar things.

Luther Jett

According to Snopes, these reports of Weld dropping out are not entirely accurate:



Weld has been a repulsive insult to freedom lovers since long before delegates at the Libertarian convention barely approved him as candidate for VP (at Gary Johnson's request.) I can understand the Johnson campaign's attempt to increase their polling numbers by courting Democrats who dislike Hillary, but Weld's never ending compliments of Hillary's resume while ignoring all her unethical, arguably traitorous, actions displays to all that Weld is more statist looter than libertarian.

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