The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" offered a sampling of Twitter commentary on the State of the Union, which brought to mind an old New England ice cream stand with two kinds of ice cream, chocolate and vanilla. Or the Fifties-era car dealers in town when the only options were Ford or Chevy. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons remember former adviser Vernon Jordan Biden praises Vernon Jordan: He 'knew the soul of America' The parts of H.R. 1 you haven't heard about MORE's seemed most committee-afflicted: "@BarackObama #SOTU pointed way to an economy that works for all. Now we need to step up & deliver for the middle class." Jeb Bush commented: "We need to create economic opportunity for every American, especially middle class families and those trying to rise out of poverty."

The only real difference here between the Chevy guys and the Ford guys appears to be the hood ornament. Even Kentucky's young 'un senator, Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate confirms Rouse as Biden's top economist Overnight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee MORE (R), took the opportunity to pitch term limits and a balanced budget amendment, old chestnuts of the tricorne hat reenactors.


But former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) stood apart, challenging the president's premise: "We are a country founded on egalitarian principles & should never accept the notion of membership in a defined class — upper, middle, or low."

What Webb has done, as he often does, is start a new conversation, one with open possibilities. Webb treats you fairly. He treats you as an equal. He expects you to treat him as an equal. He expects the president to treat you as an equal.

I spoke to him very briefly when he arrived in New Hampshire to promote his recent book, I Heard My Country Calling. He will engage you in conversation on a very human level.

There is a second politician with whom it is possible to have a conversation: Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonOn The Trail: Making sense of Super Poll Sunday Polarized campaign leaves little room for third-party hopefuls The Memo: Trump retains narrow path to victory MORE, the former Republican governor of New Mexico who ran for president as a Libertarian in 2012. I had a brief exchange with him in Concord, N.H., on the day that then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) came to sign the book to enter the primary season here. There was a swelling crowd outside the statehouse waiting for the arrival of Perry's entourage. I hadn't noticed Johnson, but there he was, standing alone with a friend in a corner. He'd come to sign the book as well.

Johnson was the best fit for New Hampshire of any politician I've ever encountered here, but barely registered in the national polls. He is also considered to be "cool," which he is. It should give him millennial chops and so should his individualist work ethic.

"In 1974," according to Wikipedia, "Johnson sustained himself financially by working as a door-to-door handy man. In 1976 he founded Big J Enterprises, which grew from this one-person venture to become one of New Mexico's largest construction companies."

This is how the best among us live in the north country mountains, north of the urban counties above Massachusetts and west of the wealthy coastal areas.

Here is his response to the State of the Union from his website, Our America Initiative: "Redistributing wealth and designating winners and losers have for too long been the hallmarks of American politics — regardless of which party is in power. Now, President Obama wants to take them to new heights."

In Slate, David Weigel has written that "He was the Tea Party more than a decade before the idea occurred to Rick Santelli." He hoped to be the Ron Paul of 2012, read the article’s heading. "Unfortunately for him, so does Ron Paul."

As former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has retired, Johnson should go again in 2016, pitching to millennials and letting the Ford guys and Chevy guys duke it out for the cameras.

Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at