Today’s Washington Examiner has an interesting profile of Cato Institute President and founder Ed Crane in which he gives his assessment of the Presidential field:
“I’m amazed that people take a candidate like [Mike] Huckabee, who doesn’t believe in evolution, seriously,” said Crane, who presides over a Washington think tank famous for telling the government to butt out of people’s lives.
Rudy Giuliani’s approach to civil liberties “scares the hell out of me,” Crane said, and Mitt Romney doesn’t know the difference between being a president and being a dictator. Ron Paul is a friend, he added, but “I mean, he wants to build a wall. How can a libertarian be anti-immigration?” John McCain “is disdainful of free speech” and “hawkish,” Crane said, “and there’s a certain pomposity about the guy I find unattractive.”
On the Democratic side, he derides John Edwards for posing as “the candidate of the downtrodden and getting $400 haircuts, the hypocrisy reeks.” Hillary Clinton, Crane said, is “dishonest and shrill … calculating, manipulating.” Barack Obama “seems like a nice guy,” but then again, “do you want this guy standing up to al Qaeda?” If he absolutely had to vote, which he wouldn’t and never does, Crane said, “I guess I’d vote for Ron Paul, because he’s for the market and against the war.”
First, isn’t it interesting that the guy who runs the Cato Institute — which some on the paleo-wing of the libertarian movement have accused of being part of a statist conspiracy — finds Ron Paul to be the only nearly palatable candidate in the race ? I’d also note that Crane’s admission that he doesn’t vote and never has would seem to contrast with those who say that Cato isn’t “radical” enough, whatever that means.
Second, doesn’t it say a lot about Ron Paul that one of the founders of the libertarian movement can’t bring himself to whole heartedly endorse him ?