Buddy Roemer, Your New Third Party Savior

Buddy Roemer, the Republican presidential candidate who’s achieved a Rodney Dangerfieldian level of respect in this race, is taking his ball and (sort of) going home. He’s declared his willingness to be the Americans Elect candidate for president, which – if an “online convention” allows it – would give him the ballot lines that some mysterious donors have kindly purchased. He hinted at it on Monday in an interview with Rachel Maddow – “I’m looking at Americans Elect… I plan on announcing as a candidate for that ticket.” But now it’s official, insofar as anything like this is official.

The announcement:

Today I officially announce that I will seek the Americans Elect nomination as a proud Republican but as an even prouder American.

Our country is on the wrong track and Americans are in search of real leadership. Leadership that isn’t predetermined by lobbyists, political parties, or Wall Street executives, but leadership that is free to do what is right for the citizens of our great nation.

Many Americans are unemployed or without health insurance, or both. Some have been foreclosed on or about to be foreclosed on. Sadly, the list goes on and on. From the Tea Party movement to the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is safe to say Americans have lost faith in their government and neither President Obama nor Congress have put aside politics in order to help their fellow Americans.

I will take my message of ending business as usual in Washington directly to the American people. No other candidate is free from the special interests or has the experience I have. I am a former governor, four-term congressman, successful businessman and Harvard-educated economist. And yet, the Republican Party has not allowed me in the debates. Perhaps they don’t like my message about the corrupting influence of money in politics. But, I believe the American people want to hear the message, so I’m going to seek the nomination of Americans Elect which appears eager to welcome diverse and controversial opinions that may upset the status quo.

I will continue to campaign for the Republican nomination and hope to surprise everyone on January 10 in New Hampshire.

My guess: He won’t surprise everyone. Roemer, having attained a sort of cultish celebrity in 2011 (I did my part!) as the Republican who bemoans loose campaign finance law and endorses Occupy Wall Street, will challenge the conventional wisdom that Americans Elect is a vehicle for consultants to get paid by Michael Bloomberg. Roemer bidding for AE, Gary Johnson flirting with the moribund Libertarian Party, both sideshows probably avoidable if the debate rules in 2011 didn’t mystifyingly exclude two sane niche candidates with electoral experience.