With Pat Buchanan now hovering between 1 and 2 percent in the polls, you'd think he'd jump at the chance to write an op-ed touting his candidacy for the Wall Street Journal. But when the Journal ran an editorial-page roundup by third-party candidates on Oct. 25 under the rubric, "The Other Choices," Buchanan was missing in action. Tucked among the pieces by Libertarian candidate Harry Browne and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader was the following Editor's Note:
The Wall Street Journal asked the three minor-party nominees to write articles making the case for their candidacies. Reform candidate Patrick Buchanan was unable to accept the invitation.
Chatterbox called the Buchanan campaign to demand an explanation. "He was in Alaska at the time, and he wasn't able to complete it," said Buchanan's press secretary, Brian Doherty. "However, I did submit it today. They may be running it, they may not be." Wasn't able to complete it? Isn't this what Buchanan does for a living when he isn't running for president? How long did they give him? "It was about five or six days," Doherty said. "But he was on the road for the entire time. And Mr. Buchanan feels most comfortable writing in front of his computer at home." Of course, this seeming display of writer's block may in fact be a crafty way to get onto the Journal editorial page as a solo act as opposed to getting on as a member of a multifringe-candidate forum. Was that the play? "That's pretty good," answered Doherty. "But no, we weren't thinking in that frame."