The Road Ahead:
A Message from Wayne Allyn Root –
2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee
It has been an honor and privilege to serve all of my many
friends, fans, voters, contributors and most importantly, the
Libertarian Party as the nominee for Vice President of the
United States in 2008.
I owe so many of you a debt of gratitude. Without your support,
a Las Vegas oddsmaker, small businessman and home-school
dad could never have become the nominee for Vice President of
the United States for ‘America’s Third Party.’
I can think of so many friends who have voted Republican or
Democrat their entire lives, yet immediately embraced my
candidacy out of pure friendship and love.
I can think of so many close friends who called after stepping
into the voting booth — friends who are ultra successful,
impressed by very little in life — yet called to say how amazed
they were at pulling a lever in the voting booth for a Vice
Presidential nominee they actually knew for the first time in
their lives. I got such a kick out of your comments!
To name a few special friends and contributors: Joe Sugarman,
Mancow Muller, Rita Cosby, Doug Fleming, Phil Gordon, Dr.
Loring Jacobs, Gino Nardone, Art Tuma, Richard Bronstein,
Ralph Hake, Don Cowles, Greg Raymer, Wil Rondini, Greg
Ladanyi & Starr Andreeff, Danny Goldberg, Steve Dempsey, Tim
Claiborne, Tim Keating, Roy Pomerantz, Kevin Hogan, Petar
Lasic, and Mike Costache. And my dear friends who provided
counsel and advice every step of the way: Doug Miller, Roger
Harrison, Hollis Barnhart, my accountant Allyn Moskowitz, my
publicists Sandy Frazier and Bruce Merrin, my book agent
Nancy Ellis, and my attorney Lee Sacks.
I can think of so many in the Libertarian Party who took me
under their wing and gave me their heart and soul and precious
time. To name just a few: Aaron Starr, Manny Klausner, Kevin
Knedler, Lou Jasikoff, Travis Nicks, M Carling, Mike Ferguson,
Kevin Takenaga, Scott Lieberman, Dana McLorn, Bruce Cohen,
BetteRose Ryan, Richard Winger, Penn & Teller, Allen Hacker,
Jason Peck, Brian Holtz, Jake Witmer, Bob Sullentrup, Pat
Dixon, Bill Wood, Rowan Wilson, Stewart Flood, Dan Williams,
Steve Kubby, Ron & Marcia Nicks, and of course our LP
Chair Bill Redpath. I want to thank each and every one of you
from the bottom of my heart. I’m sure I’ve missed someone —
and for that I am sorry. Please know that I wish I could name
everyone who ever offered me a hand.
Then there was my TEAM ROOT staff (when running for the LP
Presidential nomination) of Mark Schreiber, Martha DeForest,
Jeff Dimit, Richard Burke, Sam Goldstein and Peter Beary.
Also a special thanks to political consultant Chuck Muth. And
the brilliant policy experts who helped formulate my opinions –
Doug Bandow and Jerry Taylor of The CATO Institute. Thanks to
all of you for giving so much. I can never hope to repay you for
all you did on my behalf.
Then there are the many volunteers who picked me up at
airports (I immediately think of Beau Cain), drove me around,
wrote me letters and emails filled with advice (that must have
taken you hours to write). And all of the executives and staff
at the Barr campaign, Libertarian Party Headquarters and the
LNC. Thank you so very much for your time, your thoughts,
And finally there’s Bob Barr — who took me under his wing and
treated me with love and respect. Bob, we are friends for life.
You are a true American patriot and hero.
But it is my family that deserves the biggest thank you of all. My
wife Debra and the “gang of four”- my 16 year old daughter
Dakota who gave my nominating speech at the LP Convention;
my 8 year old son Hudson; my 4 year old son Remington
Reagan; and my new baby girl Contessa. I love you all.
I thank you for your love and support. But most of all, I
apologize for all the time away from you over the past 18
months. You are the reasons that I sacrifice so much for
the cause of freedom. You are the future I’m fighting for.
As a complete newcomer and outsider to Libertarian politics
and the actual LP, many of you in the party welcomed me
immediately and made me feel at home. Some of you
recognized the potential I had to offer this movement and
took the time to educate me in areas where I needed it (and
I’m sure, still do). My knowledge grew tremendously and in
many cases, my views changed dramatically. Many of you
told me that I won you over as a result. I really appreciate the
honest hearing you gave me and your willingness to bring me
into the Libertarian fold. I’m in this for the long haul and it’s my
hope that I will eventually win over the few skeptics that remain.
Thanks to all of you for your support and
contributions to my campaign.
The results of this election were both positive and negative.
The Barr/Root Presidential ticket received about 500,000 votes.
That is the 2nd highest vote total in LP history (37 years).
And we achieved that success under perhaps the most difficult
circumstances ever — a media PERFECT STORM of interest,
hype and adulation for Obama. And on the other side…a record
level of hype, fear and panic by Republicans and conservatives
towards Obama. Third party candidates were literally shut out
of this election. Yet within that 2-party tsunami, Barr/Root still
scored the 2nd highest vote total ever.
Perhaps most significantly, Libertarian Party membership levels
are up dramatically across the country. LP membership grew by
30% to 50% in many states during this election. That is no
surprise considering the record level of mainstream media
coverage generated by the Libertarian Presidential ticket. I’m
proud to report that Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root have built
a foundation of credibility for the Libertarian Party.
On the other hand, despite that success, I was personally
disappointed. I set my goals high — as I have always done as
a businessman, CEO and entrepreneur. I was aiming for the
one million vote threshold. Back in August when Barr/Root
had 6% in the national polls it looked like it was possible to
attract millions of votes. That 6% was the same number Ross
Perot polled back in 1992, when he was invited to participate
in the Presidential debates. That exposure to millions of voters
allowed Perot to finish with 19 million votes and just under 20%
of the vote for President of the United States.
Bob and I were not invited to the national debates, damaging our
chances of becoming a credible third party threat to the GOP
and Democrats. I can only imagine the results had I been able
to stand on a national stage with Sarah Palin and Joe Biden
and call them both sell-outs for supporting the bailout- the
greatest taxpayer rip-off in American history.
I can only imagine the final vote tally if I’d been able to show
American voters how it was the federal government that caused
our current economic crisis…how big government doesn’t have
the solution- they are in fact the problem.
If I’d had the opportunity to stand on that national stage and
point out factual examples of the damage done in the past by
big government, and proven that both major parties support
ever bigger government. If I’d been allowed on the national
stage to call the GOP and Democrats “big and bigger, dumb
and dumber.” I believe Barr/Root would have surpassed Perot’s
modern-day third party record of 19 million votes.
But alas, it wasn’t to be.
So, what did we learn? As I see it, there are two important
lessons we can take from this campaign.
The first is that ideas alone are not sufficient. Yes, good ideas
are critically important to us libertarians, but good presentation
skills trump all when it comes to the voters’ decisions. Obama’s
election proves a good communicator can change everything.
Barry Goldwater had great ideas, yet still lost in a landslide.
Reagan took many of the same ideas and won in two landslides.
The only difference was his ability to communicate, educate
and motivate voters.
The same storyline holds true from the left. George McGovern
lost in a dramatic landslide. Yet Obama, who is to the left of
McGovern, won with his McGovern-like socialist ideas. Why?
Because of his ability to communicate, educate and motivate.
Obama is the Reagan of the left. The message did not win this
election- the messenger did. Obama excited and motivated
voters- and then built one heck of an organization to get them
to the polls.
By the way, exit polls prove that a majority of Americans saw
Obama as the tax cutter of this election. This election was NOT
a repudiation of conservative or libertarian free-market fiscal
policy. To the contrary, the candidate who made the case that
he’d cut the tax burden of the American middle class won.
That was Obama.
America may not realize it, but they just voted for four years of
socialism…or at best, Europe’s version of big government
‘social capitalism.’ But here’s the good news: Even after a
‘perfect storm’ of media hype, adulation and bias towards
Obama, 55 million Americans still voted against Obama.
That’s a heck of a base to build from.
After four years of dramatic tax raises for the people creating the
jobs and risking their money on businesses and investments…
while redistributing their earnings to people looking for handouts…
I believe America will be looking for a 21st century Barry
Goldwater by 2012. That base of 55 million will grow by millions
when they see the damage Obama’s brand of Big Brother
socialism will do to the American economy.
But being a good communicator is only half the battle for our
party. To succeed we must (while being friendly, respectful and
professional) be loud-mouthed, aggressive, opinionated and
colorful — literally oozing ENERGY to catch the media’s
attention — to rise above the millions of voices out there. I did
that as our Vice Presidential nominee and I intend to continue
doing that for our party in the future.
I’m proud to report that I attracted national media that no LP
Vice Presidential candidate ever has before — FOX News
Channel (numerous times), FOX Business Network (numerous
times), The Mancow Show (numerous times), TIME magazine,
Newsweek, the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN/Money,
The Financial Times, Comedy Central, Slate, Reason,
American Spectator, New Republic, Columbia magazine,
dozens of poker and gaming publications, and hundreds of
radio shows across the USA.
I was even interviewed on numerous occasions by the biggest
national radio shows of England and Canada to explain the U.S.
elections and the role of the LP. I made numerous appearances
on the BBC — broadcast worldwide.
Those appearance were all as a third party V.P. candidate.
Usually a third party V.P. is as lonely as a Maytag repairman.
I dramatically changed the role, exposure and media credibility
of the V.P. Can you imagine the publicity I can generate in
four years at the top of the ticket?
The second lesson is that it is critical we start earlier during the
election cycle. We do not have the luxury of starting with a
recognized brand name that people will choose at the ballot
box at the last minute, without having to weigh the alternatives.
As a candidate, I wish I had started four years ago. With that
in mind, I’m busy writing my Libertarian book:
The Conscience of a Libertarian:
Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God,
Gambling, Guns & Tax Cuts
My book will be released in May 2009 by one of the world’s
biggest publishers — accompanied by a major media campaign.
And I now have serious interest for my own nationally syndicated
political radio show called ROOT FOR AMERICA.
With your support I will continue to work hard for our party and
our principles. I plan to hit the ground running with four years of
nonstop media appearances…four years of serious fundraising…
four years of contrasting our ideas for smaller government with
those of our new President Barack Obama, my college classmate.
With your support I will present the perfect polar opposite to the
new President that will be running the country for the next four
years. We will put forward a high-profile vision in contrast to
Obama’s big government agenda. We will offer all of America
the libertarian alternative of the low taxes, economic freedom
and personal freedom offered in my adopted home state of
Nevada; and contrast that with Obama’s attempts to impose
upon us the big government, high taxes and Nanny State
philosophy of his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
Now is not the time to stop. Now is the time to turn up the heat.
The campaign continues from here. This is not the end.
This is just a small beginning. I am excited, PASSIONATE,
and ready to get to work today toward 2012 and beyond.
I hope to have each of you by my side.
As Yogi Berra would say, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
This isn’t your father’s LP. The future is bright.
I can hardly wait!
Wayne Allyn Root
Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee