Who's our man (or woman) in 2012?
The Libertarian Party desperately needs a good candidate in four years, so perhaps it isn't too early to start talking about who that person should be.
Over at Reason's Hit and Run blog, Nick Gillespie has tried to get the discussion rolling by mentioning two people: Michael Munger, a Duke University political science professor who ran for governor of North Carolina this year, and Angela Keaton, identified as a Libertarian Party activist. Both seem initially more attractive to me than Wayne Allyn Root, who already is running for the nomination.
At first blush, Keaton seems to be kind of a performance artist candidate. I haven't seen any sign of a real organization. Then again, she works for the folks at Antiwar.com, so she seems likely to be strong on the peace issue, which will likely be an asset in four years, when the antiwar crowd has had time to become disillusioned with Barack Obama. It's really too early to express an opinion, but I've "friended" her on Facebook. A campaign Web site or blog would be a nice sign of seriousness.
As for Munger, I followed Nick's link to a Reason article about him and found that Munger said he was aiming for a final result of 3 percent to 4 percent of the statewide vote. He finished at 2.85 percent.
This is a big deal, because it bespeaks a Libertarian candidate who actually understands politics -- a 3 percent showing is GOOD for a Libertarian. He's also intelligent and well spoken.
Munger is currently planning to run for the North Carolina state senate in 2010, but his blog seems to refute the idea that he's running for president; in this post, he mentions the Reason post but says Gillespie is "having a little fun." I wrote to Munger, and he confirmed that he's not a candidate for president until at least 2016, and maybe not then. Still, he bears watching.