Late Night Open Thread: Bill Weld Steps Into the Arena

I’ll admit to a having a soft spot for ol’ Bill — and not just because, when he was Governor, he sent us a nice letter granting the required permission for an old friend to perform our wedding ceremony. He’s not gonna be the Republican nominee, but I might send his NH campaign a few bucks, because if Fox News is ever required to acknowledge Weld’s candidacy the Oval Office Squatter will burst a blood vessel flexing his little thumbs on twitter.

(Also, the Airport Diner featured in the clip does an excellent fried chicken livers & mashed potatoes plate — I try to eat there the once or twice a year when we go to Manchester for a Currier exhibit or a quilt show.)

Check out his comments on the Mueller report, at approximately 2:20 below:

[I]f Weld’s campaign did somehow get traction, it could present a headache to the Trump operation, and history has demonstrated the effect of such challenges.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush faced a troublesome run from the right from commentator Patrick J. Buchanan, who embarrassed the incumbent by winning 37 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary and fighting Bush until the national convention. The weakened president lost to Democrat Bill Clinton.

Similarly, President Gerald R. Ford had to fend off a Republican challenge from Ronald Reagan in 1976 before losing in the general election to Democrat Jimmy Carter…

46 replies
  1. 1
    Ruckus says:

    When does the scarecrow get into the act, we’ve got everyone else from every fairy tale ever.
    Maybe I should enter.
    Little charisma, old, swear like a sailor, have zero political record and am not in any way wealthy.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Kind of damaged goods after teaming up with Gary Johnson last time. Also too, he’s 73.

    Fuzzy on the details, but didn’t he also run for governor of New York and drop out before the primary?

  3. 3
    Ruckus says:

    Dropped out, the details of timing are not fully clear, he was nominated by the rethugs Dec 05 and the libertarians in April 06 and was asked to drop out by repubs in June and did. Makes little sense to me, run for two parties, how does that work?
    ETA, But you know if he runs and sucks 12 votes from DT that’s a positive.

  4. 4
    MomSense says:

    I think he was my only vote for a Rephblican. In my defense, the choice was between Weld and Billy Bulger.

  5. 5

    @NotMax: I mean, on one hand, yes, but on the other hand, he was literally saying “Don’t vote for us; vote for Hillary” in the past several weeks of the campaign (not in those exact words, but pretty close). I’ll give him something of a pass for that. Obviously it would’ve been better if he hadn’t legitimised the “Libertarian” Party’s horseshit in the first place, but hindsight, much like the year we’re all desperately looking forward to, is 2020.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: If you run, I will vote.*

    * If you don’t run, I will vote.

  7. 7
    eemom says:

    Why do I keep thinking Tuesday?

  8. 8
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    I know nothing about Bill Weld but as a person with eyes I feel qualified to weigh in—he has exceptionally presidential hair.

    May Mr. Weld and his shiny-locks make Il Douche look even more ridiculous in comparison.

  9. 9
    Tim in SF says:

    In my lifetime, only two incumbent presidents lost: Carter and HW. Both had two things in common: a credible primary challenger from their own party (Ed Kennedy & Pat Buchanan, respectively), and a third-party spoiler who gave unhappy moderates another option besides the incumbent (Anderson & Pirot, respectively).

    Now, Trump is getting a primary challenge from someone in his own party, and from someone credible: Governor Bill Weld. I’ve been a fan of Bill Weld since the early nineties, when, as Governor of Massachusetts, he took action to help gay and lesbian high school students, which *nobody* was doing anything for at the time. He was the first Republican I ever liked. Still one of the few.

    Weld’s entrance into the race gives us the first half of that equation. I’ve already contributed to his campaign.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Mike J says:

    The media are going to pee their pants in glee. Even when he’s polling at .00005%, the Times will be telling us about how sanity has returned and people are flocking to the opportunity to not have a crazy man as president without the need to vote for those icky Democrats.

  12. 12
    Jay says:


    Who’s the Tin Man,

    Or the Flying Monkee?

  13. 13
    LosGatosCA says:

    Weld ran as Gary Johnson’s VP that got 3% of the vote in 2016 – fuck him

  14. 14
    LosGatosCA says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Weld is not credible to Republican primary voters.

    At all.

  15. 15
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mike J: The media will probably ignore him like they’re pretty much ignoring Democratic contenders now. Weld can’t compete for the Deplorables against Trump (who will be calling him derogatory names in the near future). This feels like a vanity run.

  16. 16
    Kathleen says:

    @NotMax: I caught a couple of episodes on You Tube and was amazed at how well the comedy has held up. (“Work”?????)

  17. 17
    Jay says:

    “A few years ago I travelled around the country visiting a number of historic plots for a book project. It quickly became apparent that there had been four major surges in allotment creation. The oldest sites were all in the countryside and were created around the time of the enclosures in the 18th and 19th centuries, as the stripping of common land from the rural poor led to great hardship; kindly parsons and their ilk stepped in and secured small parcels of land that would just about fend off starvation. The second wave was in inner cities and created at the time of the industrial revolution, as people packed into the expanding urban areas and lived in squalor with little access to fresh air and fresh food; these were mostly created by apparently philanthropic capitalists keen to keep their work force alive and to provide a safety valve against potential rioting. The third and fourth waves all took place in the suburbs or what were once the suburbs, the third surrounded now by 1920s and 1930s housing and the fourth by 1950s housing: these were created during the first and second world wars as German U-boat blockades slowly strangled our access to imported goods. The enclosures, the industrial revolution and two world wars: allotments were created during moments of great national upheaval.”

  18. 18
    Chetan Murthy says:


    Weld is not credible to Republican primary voters.

    Oof. I hadn’t thought about this, and upon reflection, I think you’re right, and Weld may actually draw away votes that would have gone to the Dem candidate. Over at Crooked Timber, a good while ago a commenter pointed out that one thing Shitler is doing, is … corrupting the moral fiber of GrOPer voters. Step-by-step, he’s forcing them to make moral choices (and take the immoral choice each time) so that eventually they can’t back out, and they’re committed to him. Kind of like the way that gangs initiate new members by having them commit some heinous crime. By Nov 2020, GrOPer voters will have a hard time backing out, is his contention, and I think he might be right.

    Yeah, I fear you’re right.

  19. 19
    plato says:

    I give him props for standing up to the traitorous thug, the traitorous party and the traitorous batshit crazy bigots ‘base’. Twice.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    Weld may actually draw away votes that would have gone to the Dem candidate.

    That only matters in a general election.

    As for moral fiber in the GOP, that has been waning since the southern strategy was first implemented.

  22. 22
    Jay says:


    The ReThugs have been so lacking in moral fiber, that they buy Metamucil by the case load.

  23. 23
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Isn’t Weld likely to get a lot of support from prominent never Trumpers with platforms like Rubin and Wilson?

    That will give him a public profile and possibly gain him votes from business friendly Republicans worried about Trump’s trade wars and suburban Republicans put off by Trump’s general crass behaviour.

    When he inevitably loses the Primary some percentage of those voters will either sit out the General or hold their noses and vote for the Democratic nominee. That’s got to help the Dems.

    Plus there’s a chance that Trump will be so angry at this lese majesty that he’ll stroke out!

  24. 24
    Jay says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    check out the LGM link.

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay: I gotta say I’m not buying the whole “A lot of Trump supporters are people who have never gotten over how Nixon was driven from office.” I would bet most trump supporters were every bit as politically unaware as my 60+ yr old ass was in 72-74. Yeah, I remember it, kinda, sorta, GIRL!!! But did I care? No. And neither do they, except to the extent they are told to.

    IOW, I’m going with Incontinentia Buttocks:

    A motivating feeling that a powerful Other is looking down on you and trying to take advantage of you is built into the American right. And it will find its vessels whatever the left does.

  26. 26
    Kdaug says:

    Let the games begin.

  27. 27
    Jay says:


    The posit is the LGM post is not talking about the teabaggers or the QAnon, folks, but the movers, funders and shakers.

    One of the bugaboos of Canadian Politics, is the Party, Federal, Provincial, Munincipal, get’s to decide who is the nominee, often over riding local members and the process.

    Even amongst the “lefties”,

    Nelson/Revelstoke nominated Singh, in 2015. The Federal NDP said nope. Put Calloway on the ballot. Calloway got 15% of the vote. Singh was projected to get 68%.

    Singh wasn’t pure enough on some issues, too pure on others.

  28. 28
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Jay: This (LGM) assessment makes sense. I just think that even beyond that, Shitler will so implicate GrOPers, both rank-and-file and movers-and-shakers, in his moral iniquity that they can’t go back. I mean, once you’ve signed-up for caging children, and heck, on having some number of them raped and killed, you can’t really go back, can you? You’re in this for the long-haul, even if means the end of the Republic. I think that’s his gambit.

    Re: Weld, yeah, I forgot that this is just for the primary. I guess it can’t hurt, regardless. Heck, maybe there are some folks who will be disillusioned by Littledick and sit out the general. Maybe I’ll get a pony too, but hey, I don’t gotta do anything for the either wish.

  29. 29
    Jay says:

    @Chetan Murthy:


    Cleeks Law + the Good German,

    Sgt. Schultz

  30. 30
    swiftfox says:

    A Deborah Norville sighting! Before she sandbagged Jane Pauley and John Palmer. After that kerfuffle I stopped watching that stuff.

  31. 31
    biff murphy says:

    I am a lifelong dem. but I,m for anybody who can come out and immediately get under the orange man,s skin.

  32. 32
    trnc says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    Isn’t Weld likely to get a lot of support from prominent never Trumpers with platforms like Rubin and Wilson?

    Do you expect their Never-Trumping to be more effective now than it was in 2016?

  33. 33

    Given that Weld resigned in protest from one R administration and now opposes another, you’d think he might question his party affiliation.

  34. 34
    different-church-lady says:

    @MomSense: I think you probably mean John Silber?

  35. 35
    khead says:


    Good luck with that, dude.

  36. 36
    chopper says:


    IOW, I’m going with Incontinentia Buttocks:

    i love how the internet makes people write sentences like this one.

  37. 37
    karen marie says:

    @NotMax: I swear, I want to break things when Weld’s name comes up. I am astonished that somehow he and that massive shitshow Gary Johnson are disappeared from everyone’s massive 2016 memory hole. Jill Stein gets a ton of hate hurled her way (deservedly so) yet Weld and Johnson get to walk back in as if they did not get more than 2x as many votes than Stein and at least as responsible for throwing the election to Trump as Stein.

    Weld should be a laughingstock, a figure of derision, yet apparently because he is a white man and a former Republican, he’s allowed to come back two years later, introduced as brave for taking on Trump, and seriously discussed as if 2016 never happened.

    Excuse me, I have to go throw up.

  38. 38
    karen marie says:

    @Ruckus: Fucking Bernie Sanders has no problem being Schrodinger’s politician, why not Weld?

  39. 39
    karen marie says:

    @Tim in SF: OMG, you cannot be serious. Please tell me you’re not.

  40. 40
    karen marie says:

    @Mike J: Are you fucking kidding? All Trump has to do is pull video of the man Weld was running to be VP for – Gary Johnson – blowing saliva bubbles when he ran out of things to say in a TV interview.

    Are all you Weld fans high? I mean, seriously, WAS EVERYONE IN A FUCKING COMA THROUGHOUT 2016?

  41. 41
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @karen marie:

    Jill Stein gets a ton of hate hurled her way (deservedly so) yet Weld and Johnson get to walk back in as if they did not get more than 2x as many votes than Stein and at least as responsible for throwing the election to Trump as Stein.

    I think the more common argument is that by running they took votes from Trump, not from Hillary Clinton, and if anything helped her. Anti-Democratic-Party leftists sometimes argue this to absolve third-party voters: that if neither Johnson nor Stein had been in, Trump would have beaten Clinton anyway, so it’s not fair to say that in some sense she was cheated of a rightful win by Stein.

  42. 42
    stinger says:

    @Jay: How Republicans feel about Brett Kavanaugh is NOTHING to how I feel about Merrick Garland.

  43. 43
    Ruckus says:

    @karen marie:
    Weld seems to be a lost soul, not really sure what’s what, he’s tried what may be his best not to be horrible and I think, as little as I think about any republican, that may be his only redeeming quality. He didn’t succeed in not being who he is, rarely does anyone, but at least he may recognize that what the republican party is today (and actually has been for my lifetime) is horrible. But he can’t see anything past that.
    IOW I don’t disagree with you, we are in a fight for reality or destruction of a better way of life and republicans aren’t the way, no matter what they do or say. Rick Wilson is a prime example. He hates DT but if you read more than the anti DT tweets he’s a republican through and through and thinks that the rest of them are the best. Bet he’d love a Jeb/Sara Palin ticket. But so many people have bought into the crap of the last 50 yrs, that democrats want to take away everything, not realizing that it’s all as it is every second with republicans, it’s projection.

  44. 44
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Thank you for your support!

  45. 45
    amorak says:

    A credible primary challenger embarrasses Trump. Embarrassed Trump lashes out at his own people for not preventing his embarrassment. Bill Weld’s not a threat to anything but Trump’s ego and his minions’ jobs. Let him have his fun for now.

  46. 46
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    He’s not gonna be the Republican nominee, but I might send his NH campaign a few bucks, because if Fox News is ever required to acknowledge Weld’s candidacy the Oval Office Squatter will burst a blood vessel flexing his little thumbs on twitter.

    Which is why I just sent him $25 bucks, too.
    A. I want so desperately to be able to contribute to pushing The Orange Twatter into hemorrhagic territory. Or even better, into “President Donald J. Trump was escorted to Bethesda Naval Hospital where he is under involuntary hold in their Psych Unit for attempting to choke an unnamed White House Aide” territory.

    B. Weld’s simply a straightforward, reasonable and decent guy and I’d like to see those kinds of “conservatives” come back into political power—even if he’s a bit delusional if he thinks there’s still a “Republican” party left that has any semblance to the one I remember from my years growing up in the 60’s and early 70’s in an upstate NY “liberal Republican” family.

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