Weld and the Libertarians

The New York Sun reports that Weld is likely to pick up the Libertarian party nomination at its Albany convention this weekend.

This befuddles our rather unsophisticated understanding of third-party mechanics in New York State.

What does Weld get out of it, besides an association that can become a campaign issue?

Mr. Weld rejects one of the party’s main tenets, the legalization of drugs. The Libertarian Party’s candidate in 2002 was Scott Jeffrey, who ran on a platform of legalizing marijuana and won 5,000 votes. A large fraction of New York’s Libertarians are also firmly opposed to the war in Iraq. The party put out a press release six months ago calling for a withdrawal of American troops and urging anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan to run against Senator Clinton.

“You’re not going to be lockstep on every single issue,” a spokeswoman for Mr. Weld’s campaign, Andrea Tantaros, said.

Amen, sister.

Meanwhile, the GOP runs the very real risk of being stuck with these guys for the next four elections.

Libertarian lever-pullers surely don’t make up for losing the conservative line, do they?

Can you help us on this one?

- Tom McGeveran