The Libertarian National Convention may have reminded a few observers of Sartre’s “No Exit” – each faction selected the candidate that would deny their rival faction victory, producing a nominee with little broad-based support. Or maybe it was more like the 1969 blaxploitation classic Putney Swope, in which a wildly unlikely darkhorse emerges out of similar circumstances at an advertising agency’s board meeting. At any rate, the Convention certainly produced an unlikely candidate, Texas-based computer guru Michael Badnarik.
Badnarik entered the convention as a distant challenger to two better-financed candidates, Hollywood producer Aaron Russo and Ohio-based talk show host Gary Nolan. But acrimony between Russo’s and Nolan’s camps led Nolan, who fell behind in early balloting, to withdraw and endorse Badnarik, with the intention of tilting the election away from Russo. Badnarik finally carried a majority on the third ballot and became the LP’s unlikely nominee.
Badnarik’s campaign website, as of the time of this post, apparently has not been updated in ‘weeks’, as you are greeted with this message on the home page:
With the National Convention mere weeks away, we owe it to you to finish up our drive to the presidential nomination in style. Please consider NOW to be the optimum time to make a difference! (emphasis mine)
Moreover, it appears that Badnarik has not raised much money to date, and has not even had a professionally managed campaign, although I understand that a team is being mobilized rapidly. Candidate websites can be powerful fundraising tools, but right now, the only way to contribute online is (egad) via PayPal.
Badnarik’s website also contains a link to a speech given at Washington University in St. Louis that contains, well, comments about the United Nations that he would probably rather have back. But there they are, out on the web for the whole world to see. (Scroll down toward the bottom, or just do a Ctrl-F search for “detonate.”) Astute readers may find other causes for concern as they read through his position statements.
The election is still five months away, and Badnarik will have time to refine his campaign between now and November. I will keep an eye on the situation and provide updates (with the best intentions of objectivity.)