Richmond Times-Dispatch Endorses Libertarian Gary Johnson

It was a game of speculation on Saturday after the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced they would endorse for the 2016 presidential campaign on Sunday, September 4 — far earlier than in the past.

Speculate no longer. The Times-Dispatch has tapped Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson as their choice, a break from its string of Republican endorsements that dates back to 1980. It would seem to be a shocking surprise except that the past fifteen months have been a roller coaster of political theater that has shown the best and worst of both major U.S. political parties.

In the midst of all that drama, some turned their attention to former Republican New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. Apparently the RTD feels it can live with him more than Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“In this autumn of our electoral discontent,” the editorial began, “hope springs, as it so often does in the American republic, from unexpected precincts.” Explaining why they looked outside the major parties, they explained:

The Times-Dispatch editorial board began to explore the possibility of endorsing Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, several weeks ago, as scandal continued to engulf the Democratic nominee while the Republican candidate’s statements and behavior daily piled distress upon puzzlement.

In looking at the alternative, they have found peace with Johnson and his vice president candidate, former Republican Massachusetts governor William Weld. It has often been noted that former governors make the best presidents; indeed, in 2016 the Libertarians offer two. Be sure and read the reasoning for the endorsement decision that came about because of the candidates carrying the R and D labels.

Some will wonder why the Richmond newspaper didn’t just stay out of it, not endorse at all, and wait until another year. The editorial board noted in their conclusion, “These are unsettling times.” That, and more, appear to be the reason for the decision. Does it reflect the mood of the electorate? That answer won’t be known until November 8.

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