Perhaps The Best Article About GJ EverSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:23
(GQ) With Gary, and it’s okay to call him Gary, it’s not so much the things he says and does that are spectacularly unusual (or spectacularly misguided, depending on your point of view) for a presidential candidate. It’s the things he doesn’t say and do.
Like now. He’s in a bike shop in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Elsewhere in this fine state, Mitt Romney has been back and forth, back and forth, being his robotic self. Shaking hands, slapping backs, lifting babies, smiling. Sarah came through on her bus tour. Even Ron Paul has been doing the hustle at donor house parties.
Gary? He’s talking about bikes. Weight and tire pressure. He’s telling the guys at the store that he needs to rent one for some race he’s in (a charity race for disabled children). His two aides, Brinck and Matt—who constitute his entire paid New Hampshire staff—give him the look. The one that says: Maybe you should mention you’re running for frickin president. But Gary’s on to pedals now. He brought his own pedals with him from New Mexico. Would have taken the whole damn bike, but it would’ve cost too much to fly it here.
The bike-store guys slip him a form to fill out and ask him for his driver’s license. Gary forks it over. They eyeball it. Not a glimmer of recognition. (“Nobody recognizes me,” he later explains, nonchalantly. “Ever.”) Now they need to put a charge on his credit card, in case he doesn’t bring the bike back.
That does it.
“Uh, you don’t have to worry about me jilting you on your bike here,” he tells them. “I’ll be screwed if I steal your bike. ‘Cause, see…” Brinck and Matt lean in. Is it coming? You can do it, Gary! ” ‘Cause, see…for what it’s worth, I’m, uh…if you want to make a note…” This is painful. “Uh, I’m running for president of the United States.”
“Huh,” says one of the bike guys. It’s New Hampshire! What’s another dude running for president? “I’ll need you to read all the fine print and sign it here,” the bike guy continues. And they still need to charge his credit card.
“Of course,” says Gary. He’s very big on fairness.
The guys send Gary downstairs to have his seat adjusted. Five minutes later, they follow him down the steps.
“You climbed Mount Everest?” Turns out they’ve been doing a little Googling.
“I did.” He’s very Zen about this. “Cool. And you smoked pot?”
“I did,” says Gary.
“I heard you used it from 2005 to 2008.”
“You did,” says Gary. It’s more of a statement than a question. In fact, he wants to legalize marijuana, but not because he still smokes the stuff.
He’s fiddling with the bike. But they want to know more about Mount Everest. And how he plans to fix the economy. And handle the deficit. “This is what I love about New Hampshire,” says Gary, and happily outlines his main—and most radical—position: to slash the federal budget by 43 percent. That’s the number it would take to erase the deficit right now.