Gary Johnson is chill.
We had the good fortune to interview him before a fundraiser organized by his former running mate, Judge Jim Gray, hosted at Diane Wattles Goldstein’s home.
We met him on the patio, and as soon as he reached his hand out to shake mine, I noticed his wrist— emblazoned with a Santa Fe-style turquoise and silver cuff bracelet, which he wore with a matching belt…the man represents! The former Governor of New Mexico is as approachable as a southern mom waving you in for iced tea and cookies, and the ambiance of the fundraiser matched. Drinks by the pool, tacos from a cart, and a small, intimate gathering with about 40 people who support liberty and know that they have a third option in November. I tried to picture Trump or Hillary in a setting like this, then laughed it off while imagining the wall street high-rollers, crooked lobbyists, tea-party fanatics, and Imperial Wizards they would have attracted instead…not to mention the logistical nightmare of erecting a wall around the taco cart.
We had a look around, grabbed a beer, and sat down with the governor for what we thought would be an interview— a few minutes in, it became clear that this was more of a casual, yet momentous, conversation among friends…and that is what sets Gary Johnson apart. Speaking to him, in any setting, is more like chatting over a cup of coffee with an old friend, than talking shop with a presidential candidate—and that is simply because he is as genuine as they come.
For most politicians being interviewed, the concern of a “gotcha moment” lurks in an ever-present loop of self-preservation. For Gary Johnson, that gotcha moment does not exist. As he puts it “I tell the truth, and it’s really hard to do any damage to somebody who is willing to tell the truth regardless of the consequences.” With that guard down, it’s easy to sit down with him and get to the meat of the issues that really matter to the American constituency, and we did just that.
We had a discussion about the role that other libertarian leaders would have in his administration, during which he welcomed a role for Ron Paul, but dismissed the probability of Paul accepting it, saying he “has clearly hitched his wagon to the Republican party.” The Governor also used the opportunity to call for Judge Andrew Napolitano to send him his job application for the Johnson White House. Of course, as enlightened members of the media, we also threw out a candidate for White House Press Secretary— Ben Swann— to which Johnson replied with an enthusiastic “Oooooh…I like that suggestion.”
We asked why he has been so critical of Trump and not Hillary, if he would pardon the tens of millions of Americans in jail for non-violent drug offenses, his possible appeal of the Patriot Act; we talked about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama inadvertently putting weapons in the hands of ISIS and the role Saudi Arabia played in the 9/11 attack.
While we discussed many critical policies and issues —the consensus was that our favorite part of the conversation was when the governor realized that our host is Circassian and, in true Gary Johnson fashion, proceeded to tell a story about the time he went to Circassia to climb the highest peak in Europe, Mount Elbrus, had to “take a pee” and attempted to do so outside on the landing strip… he asked Fadi, our host, if the rules regarding peeing outside an airport in Circassia had changed. Like I said— Gary Johnson is Chill.
Check out the interview HERE— you will enjoy it as much as we did, and also learn a thing or two about what the libertarian ticket has to offer in the trying times ahead.
Author: Cielo Villaseñor
Cielo has an eclectic background which includes politics, media relations, academia, and lots of writing.
From Capitol Hill to the university halls, she has kept constant her penchant for the art of authorship and engaging communication.
In her spare time, she likes to paint with acrylic, watch sci-fi series, and is currently struggling through the first stages of mastering the cello.