Politics

02.08.12

Buddy Roemer’s Long-Shot Presidential Campaign Is a Study in Unorthodoxy

The former Louisiana governor isn’t worried too much about collecting delegates, won’t take contributions of more than $100, and leans heavily on social media.

Buddy Roemer isn’t focused on delegates. He’s “running a national campaign.” While the other candidates are focused on eventually accumulating delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, either by trying to take advantage of arcane caucus rules like Ron Paul or by building support through constant bombardment of television ads like Mitt Romney, Roemer has a much more straightforward goal, to “stand up to the special interests” that he believes are turning the United States into an “oligopoly” like “England in 1776.”

Roemer is already excited about the possible Republican candidates in 2016, which he thinks is going to be ‘a fantastic presidential race, unlike this one.’

He has given up on running “a state-by-state campaign” after his experience camping out in New Hampshire for months garnered him less than 1,000 votes in the Granite State’s January primary. Instead, Roemer is focusing on social media. He boasts that he’s “clearly the most active [on Twitter, with the] most tweets and retweets.” “That’s not millions of people,” Roemer admits, “but that’s a growing force in 21st-century campaigns.” He spurns any conception of himself as a “regional” candidate with narrow appeal. Instead, he’s views himself as a national candidate, boasting that “We’re [on the ballot] in about 30 states and just qualified in California.” (Although, he admits that he doesn’t know if his campaign has made the ballot in the Feb. 25 caucuses in the Northern Mariana Islands.)

Despite his focus on campaign finance (he refuses to accept contributions over $100) and his outsider status, Roemer does have one thing in common with the Republican establishment. He, too, is dissatisfied with the GOP field of candidates. He’s already excited about the possible Republican candidates in 2016, which he thinks is going to be “a fantastic presidential race, unlike this one, with some real solid minds thinking outside the box.” In particular, Roemer excitedly mentioned Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal, whose stewardship of Louisiana can “stack up with anybody else in the country” in Roemer’s opinion. But while this less-exciting presidential campaign continues, Roemer is just hoping that he’ll finally be allowed to participate in a debate so that he can “be on the stage and bring a broom to Washington.”

However, despite all the obstacles that Roemer has faced so far, there is still one thing which may distract the former Louisiana governor from his campaign. The self-described “baseball nut” has a weakness for our national pastime. (He even has a dog named after Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver—like the loudmouthed Orioles legend, the dog is “all bark and no bite.”) Roemer admits that had there been a baseball team in Washington, D.C., while he served in Congress, “I might have neglected my duties if there was a game.” But with opening day still two months away, Roemer won’t have any distractions from his crusade to clean up American politics in the near future.