If it is Hillary versus McCain in November, the door is open for an antiwar, small-government third-party candidate. Significant constituencies in both parties may be ready to bolt.
In the Republican par~ conservative loathing of McCain is both widespread and intense. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck will probably fall into line, when push comes to shove; but many others dislike and distrust McCain so much that they’ll look elsewhere. And they may even overlook the antiwar views of a true small-government candidate.
While the hatred for Hillary on the Left is not quite as strong, her nomination will still give ample pickings to a more consistent anti-war candidate. (Members of the “netroots” and Daily Kos internet communities distrust Hillary’s prowar votes and have made noises about seeking out left-libertarian candidates.) An Obama nomination, on the other hand, will greatly weaken the potential of a third ticket. The antiwar left may grumble about Obama’s evasiveness, but it will stick with him.
Should the opportunity arise, Ron Paul can take on the burden of continuing his campaign … if he wants to. But he has said that he will not. Instead, perhaps, he might give his blessing to another, younger, libertarian candidate. A dream choice for libertarians in November, a person who could also appeal to the Left and conservatives, would be former governor Cary Johnson of New Mexico. Johnson is a zealous defender of the 2nd Amendment, a critic of the Iraq War, and a supporter of drug legalization.