The FBI did Gary Johnson's candidacy what would seem to be a pretty big favor Friday by announcing that it is looking into more Hillary Clinton-related emails just 11 days before the 2016 election. Johnson, after all, is dropping in the polls as Clinton has asserted her lead, and maybe some people will now give this third-partier another look?
But as he has in this entire campaign, Johnson turned an opportunity into an opportunity to say weird things in weird ways. During an interview on CNN, Johnson struggled through another sometimes-bizarre interview full of non sequiturs.
Asked about the new FBI announcement, Johnson offered a strange sound.
“I do think that Trump is toast, so Hillary moving forward as president-elect? Four years of this?” Johnson said, before offering a sound that I can't accurately transcribe but is the noise you make when you're disgusted by something you've just eaten.
Then he decided to poll CNN host Brooke Baldwin on whether she thought this helped him.
“I do think there's an honorable alternative,” Johnson said. “It happens to be me and Bill Weld — two former Republican governors that served in heavily Democrat states. Hey, maybe we will still occupy the White House. Maybe it's a possibility here.”
Then Johnson asked the CNN host, earnestly, “What do you think?”
“Uh, that's for you, governor, to get to figure out,” Baldwin replied after a pregnant pause.
Johnson even volunteered to put himself in Clinton's shoes and muse about whether he would do illegal things.
“If I had made a mistake, I'd have been completely transparent regarding the mistake, and if it ended up to be — well, in this case, the conjecture is that it is — criminal, I'd like to think that I would have never engaged in anything criminal, never have engaged in anything criminal in my life,” Johnson said, before saying there is nothing Clinton can do.
It all served as a reminder of the massive unrealized opportunity that the 2016 election has been for the Libertarian ticket. Johnson has never been able to enunciate a clear case for voting for him as an alternative to the unpopular major-party nominees, even as there was a gaping hole in this race for a third-party candidate.