Goode Vibration

Published 3:26 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ROCKY MOUNT – Virgil Goode has thrown his hat into the biggest ring of all.

The former Fifth District Congressman is running for President of the United States, seeking the nomination of the Constitution Party, which will hold its convention in mid-April in Tennessee.

Goode believes the time is ripe for a third party candidate to have a significant impact on the Presidential election because voters are so turned off by both major parties.

Email newsletter signup

“There is more dissatisfaction with Democrats and Republicans than I have seen in a long time,” Goode told The Herald during a Monday interview. “I think a lot of people will look at us as time goes on.”

Goode told The Herald there are five or six candidates seeking the Constitution Party's nomination.

“It could go either way,” he said of his prospects.

“Anything can happen at the convention,” the Rocky Mount attorney observed. “We'll go and see what happens.”

If he does secure the nomination, Goode said he looked forward to renewing acquaintances in the Farmville area he served in Congress.

Goode spoke Monday of a man he'd met moments earlier at a service station who promised to vote for him in November. “He said, 'You just cost Obama a vote,'” Goode said, recounting the conversation. “He wasn't going to vote Republican.”

As for the Goode vibrations, he cited the number of hits on his Facebook page and campaign website as evidence of third party viability this fall.

The Constitution Party, which embraces paleoconservativism (old school conservatism), was founded by Howard Phillips in 1991 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The Party's credo is to “restore our government to its Constitutional limits and our law to its Biblical foundations.”

Goode, who served in the Virginia State Senate from 1973 to 1997 and the House of Representatives from 1997-2009, will have no trouble wearing the hat of the Constitution Party, whose candidates appeared on more than 35 states' ballots in the 2008 presidential election.

He wore three different party hats in Congress.

A member of the Democratic Party during his years in the Virginia General Assembly, Goode was elected to Congress as a Democrat, re-elected as an Independent, and then as a Republican, hitting the political triple play in terms of winning congressional elections and party affiliations.

He lost his final congressional election to Democratic candidate Tom Perriello in a race so close there was a recount.

But it wasn't, as it turns out, Goode's last campaign.

Goode's presidential campaign website will accept donations, but nothing more than $200, the promised limit from those outside his family. And there is an icon for making a $2 donation in what Goode promises will be a grassroots campaign.

“Two hundred dollars, max,” he reiterated on Monday, adding he would also use some leftover campaign funds, as well.

Chief among Goode's campaign issues are strict adherence to the Constitution to create a smaller government, reducing the deficit and debt while creating jobs, and combating illegal immigration, which sees him opposing any amnesty for those in the U.S. illegally.

“As President, I would immediately direct the Attorney General to support and not oppose the efforts of Arizona, Alabama and others to deal with the illegal problem in the states,” Goode declares on his campaign website.

Goode continues to support English as the official language of the U.S.

If he is elected he will also use the White House as a bully pulpit to advocate term limits for members of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

Goode would also limit himself to one term as President.

Term limits “are necessary for a Congress more responsive to the needs of our country and its citizens. Many members focus too much time and attention on raising money for the next election. Term limits will result in members caring more about the general good for the (country). If elected President,” he pledges on his website, “I will serve only one term and not focus on raising money and getting votes for the next election.

“The country,” Goode states, “will be first.”

On Monday, he said that without term limits members of Congress are always focused on the next election.

As for debt, on Monday he described Democrats as “tax and spend” and said a lot of Republicans are “scared to cut.”

He hopes to make the cut with Constitution Party delegates this spring.

The nomination process leading up to the convention, Goode explained, will involve speaking with all 500 of the Constitution Party's National Committee members, in addition state party leaders across the nation.

The deadline for filing as a delegate to the convention has not yet passed but when it does, Goode said, he will “focus primarily on the delegates.”

Goode's relationship with the Constitution Party goes back to 2008 when he was asked to speak to a national party gathering. He had to decline, he recalled, because Congress was in session but he was able to accept a speaking invitation in 2009 and was subsequently offered a seat on the National Committee, which he also accepted.

And now he's thrown his hat into the ring.

In Tennessee he'll learn if enough Constitution Party delegates try it on for size and like the fit.