Savvy. Very, very savvy move from our man Gary.
If we’ve learned anything from Donald Trump this last year or so, it’s that intellectual capacity and knowledge on matters of foreign and domestic policy don’t actually matter. You don’t win friends with salad, and you don’t win elections by proving your political competence. This is an eyeballs game. The more times your name is in the news the better. There’s a reason Harambe polled at 6% until a month ago and it’s the same reason a reality television star is one Hillary Clinton live television seizure from the presidency. The more that people see you, the more comfortable they become with you in the public eye.
You know how many people care if Gary Johnson names a foreign leader? None. You know how many people change their vote if Gary Johnson says one single name last night? None. You know how many news reports have Gary Johnson in their headline for remembering the names of foreign leaders? None. But who pays attention if Gary Johnson looks like a deer in the headlights at one of the simplest questions of foreign policy imaginable? EVERYONE.
So it’s for a bad reason, who cares? By next week nobody will remember why his name was in the headlines… they’ll just remember it was there.
Today it’s “Wow Gary Johnson didn’t know a SINGLE foreign leader?” Tomorrow it’s “Remember when Gary Johnson fucked up yesterday? I can’t believe he thinks he’s still in therace” The day after that it’s “What did Gary Johnson do again? Is he still running” And by next week it’s just “Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson.” That’s how the news cycle works.
This… this is just Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson finally figuring that out. He’s finally starting to understand how elections work these days. And I for one was thoroughly impressed with his ability to hold out on naming a single living person, no matter how awkward it got.
Maybe a third party guy has a chance after all, huh?
P.S. I don’t wanna brag but I named all these foreign leaders in a minute. Only picked one dead guy and two who aren’t in power anymore and yeah okay I forgot Justin Trudeau’s name. Whatever. Still impressive af.