Late Returns: Gary Johnson Looks For Room To Run

We have another official candidate for President -- by which we mean: past the "testing the waters" and "exploratory committee" stages into a full-blown "formal announcement." And it's former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. The libertarian-leaning, pro-pot-legalization Republican jumped into the race today -- one day after you probably thought he would. Here he is, chatting up Dylan Ratigan about his candidacy:

Why would a former governor with an impeccable small-government record get next to no attention? Two words: Ron Paul.

When Johnson first emerged as a potential candidate in December, he was billed as the "next Ron Paul." In the first article about Johnson's 501(c)(4), Our America, Politico's Jonathan Martin speculated that "Johnson may better positioned to ride the populist wave than the longtime Texas GOP congressman," because anger against the political establishment had metastasized since 2008, and Johnson is "telegenic, is media savvy and, equally important, has twice been easily elected to statewide office."

"The problem," Weigel notes, "is that Paul still wants to run for president."

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President Barack Obama was criticized as "the only permanent candidate we've ever had in the White House," by Newt Gingrich, the only permanent candidate we've ever had outside of the White House. [Politico]

Donald Trump is now desperately trying to get away from the birther-nonsense he's been stoking. Says Trump: "My concern lies with people like the single mom who recently wrote to me that she now works a third job to pay for the gas to get to the other two." Trump will probably send out "investigators" to figure out what is going on with this single mom. ("Everyone appears to be unemployed," the investigators will report back, along with an invoice for reimbursable expenses totaling $439,287.) [TPMDC]

In other Trump news, the Donald was interviewed by Meghan McCain for the Daily Beast, in a meeting of political thinkers that will one day be made into an Academy Award nominated movie that expertly depicts what America was like in 2011. (It will be directed by Lars Von Trier, probably.) McCain, in offering "advice" to Trump, tells him not to hire political strategist Steve Schmidt, because everything that went wrong with the McCain/Palin campaign was entirely his fault. [The Daily Beast]

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) says that "maybe someday" he'll want to run for president. But voters are unenthusiastic about the GOP field RIGHT NOW, BOB! Clearly, Corkermania is the answer everyone is craving! [Taegan Goddard's Political Wire]

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