Gary Johnson hits reddit, reddit hits back with tough questions

Republican turned Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson announced that he will respond to President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address via a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).

Here’s the announcement on facebook:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m EST, Gov. Gary Johnson will host a Reddit AMA or “Ask Me Anything.”

The 60-minute on-line event will give participants a chance to ask the former New Mexico Governor and Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative questions via the popular website, Reddit.com.

Reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web. Users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk.

Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links.

To ask a question, visit www.reddit.com at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m EST, Tuesday, and just search “Gov. Gary Johnson”. Governor Johnson is anxious to hear from you!

Please join us!

Sincerely,

Our America Team

When: Tuesday Feb 12, 2013
Time: 3 p.m. PST | 4 p.m. MST | 5 p.m CST | 6 p.m EST
Where: Online www.reddit.com just search “Gov. Gary Johnson.”

You can easily track Johnson through his account GovGaryJohnson.

One of the questions we expect will be asked is whether he is formally announcing his candidacy for 2016. Considering the official Johnson store has been selling 2016 merchandise for several weeks now, that answer will undoubtedly be “yes”.

Another issue sure to come up is Johnson’s enormous $1.1 million campaign debt that looms over a future bid. It could easily be problematic for Johnson’s finger-wagging at Obama’s loose spending habits.

Oddly enough, when checking out Johnson’s pre 2016/post 2012 campaign site ouramericaninitiative.com, we discovered (using NoScript) that there was a serious technical issue with spam. We hope Governor Johnson’s web team will quickly patch that glaring exploit.

UPDATE: Johnson has finished the AMA, answering 29 of the more than 300 questions. It was a far smaller turnout than the IAmA during the 2012 presidential campaign, which had over 9000 responses.

On the 2016 question he responds, “Yes, 2016 is far off, and we will see what it brings. Right now, I am determined to be a voice of sanity re spending, civil liberties, and putting an end to unnecessary and costly foreign interventions.”

Sounds like the politician way of saying “yes” to me.

For the question of “Where did the money go?” (to paraphrase), Johnson seemed to deflect the issue by drawing distinct comparisons to the millions thrown around by Obama and Romney.

“There are several questions along this line. Let me be clear. We raised and spend 1/1000th of the amount spent by Obama and Romney, and financed substantial travel, grassroots development, social media presence and an aggressive email campaign. We put as many resources as possible on the air in advertising, but appropriately spent much on developing the base that will be able to go forward.”

Unfortunately, the AMA was not so much a SOTU response as just another chance for Johnson to stay relevant to the hivemind of reddit. And Johnson picked probably the worst timing, because all eyes for the past few hours have been focused on the Chris Dorner situation. That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of questions on the subject of Dorner, Johnson simply elected to answer none of them.

UPDATE II: It seems Governor Johnson might have missed out on reaching a lot more redditors when he unwittingly posted in r/AMA (36 thousand subscribers) instead of r/IAmA (2.7 million subscribers).

Johnson’s media folks ought to be slapping themselves on the forehead over this.

UPDATE III: A pointed question about the campaign finance (using the same link to ParaPolitical cited in this post) has hit the most upvoted spot in after-hours discussions. Libertarians have a tendency to publicly piss all over each other for sport, so this AMA derailing certainly won’t bode well for Johnson putting the issue to bed.

posted by vforvandyke · tags: , , , , , ,

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