Georgia on Their Minds

The final hours of Bob Barr's presidential campaign

The call sheet is short and perfunctory, and everyone who uses it puts a slightly different spin on it. "I'm calling to ask you for your vote for former congressman and presidential candidate Bob Barr," goes one version. "Bob Barr opposed the McCain-Obama bailout and McCain-Feingold. According to the National Taxpayers Union, only Bob Barr will cut taxes and reduce federal spending."

Sometimes the call includes verbiage about the Second Amendment. Often, the person on the other end has something better to do.

"He already voted six weeks ago!" says Austin Petersen, a Libertarian Party worker who's been camped out in Atlanta for the Barr campaign. "Where do they hide all these votes before the election, anyway? Are they in a box somewhere? Where's the box?"

Mikael Sandstrom, an LP intern who's shadowing Peterson, has to do battle with a voter fretting that his vote for Barr could help elect Barack Obama. "No," says Sandstrom, in a more lilting, Southern tone than his usual voice, "it would be a vote for Bob Barr." Earlier today, a voter called the office and begged Barr to endorse John McCain. She was told that Barr was endorsing Barr. She wasn't satisfied.

Welcome to the final 48 hours of the Bob Barr presidential campaign. After winning the Libertarian Party nomination in May, Barr opened this office in the sprawling suburb of Smyrna, Georgia, with a view of Atlanta when you step outside for a smoke—something his staffers do every hour or so.

The office is as wide and rambling as the real estate developments that define metropolitan Georgia. A dozen people are at work, but there are almost twice as many full-stocked cubicles than staff. Typically they service the volunteers who come in on weekends to find more voters, but on the day before the election there is the hardcore staff and no one else. A flat screen TV is tuned to cable political coverage. A computer is tuned to Barr TV, which runs videos of the candidate all day long. Two Mr. Coffees churn in a small break room aside a heaving pile of lawn signs, pieces of mail, fliers, and gel bands that twist cyclist Lance Armstrong's "Livestrong" message into "Live Free."

"This is a real campaign," says Stewart Flood, a South Carolina Libertarian Party executive who has taken a three-week unpaid vacation to help out. "There was no headquarters in 2004. It was Michael Badnarik in a car, driving from event to event. They did raise money, but they weren't raising money. They did contact voters, but it wasn't organized."

In one of the most crowded cubicles, Barr communications director Shane Cory has a map of the country divided into seven sections. The states where Barr failed to make the ballot are blacked out. ("Louisiana screwed us," Cory recalls grimly. "We should have gotten on in Connecticut, and we would have, if the lawsuit was filed earlier.") Seven more states have been assigned numbers that indicate where the campaign is placing resources, which mostly consist of the candidate himself doing media and making speeches. Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida—all swing states—are marked out.

As the campaign wound to a close, it was clear that Barr wouldn't get close to the $30 million fundraising goal campaign manager Russ Verney set in May, a disappointment that staffers blame in part on former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). "Paul set the liberty movement back a decade by encouraging people to stay in the GOP," Cory says. "Not that the Republicans planned it, but if they did they couldn't have planned it any better."

Focus in Barr's Atlanta headquarters has turned heavily toward his native state. "Georgia just came onto the map when the polls closed between McCain and Obama," says Cory. "The rest of the states are being turned out by local people," says Verney. "That work has been decentralized."

The candidate spent the last day of the campaign on a small plane to Savannah for a last round of local media interviews. The other day it was Macon. Months ago the campaign purchased data from Barr's old congressional district in the wealthy Republican suburbs, and the office has been pushing those voters with help from phone-bankers on the west coast. According to state party chair Daniel Adams, the candidate is pulling around 5 percent of Republicans in his old district.

This has the potential to be the main story of Barr's campaign. At a brunch for staff on Sunday, Barr acknowledged that the tightening Georgia polls have boosted his media coverage. The final public poll of the state put Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at 49 percent, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at 48 percent, and Barr at 2 percent—down from his pre-Sarah Palin selection peak, but holding steady enough for Obama to potentially win a traditionally Republican state with a plurality of the vote. "If Obama wins this state," says University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock, "it will be in part because of Bob Barr."

There are two main challenges here for Barr. The first is that the tightness in the race is keeping some Republicans from casting protest votes. "We'd be above 5 percent if Republicans weren't struggling now," says Adams. The second is that Barr, like Ralph Nader before him, could become a scapegoat for a party that blew a presidential election. The mighty state GOP might go looking to retaliate. "I'm sure Republicans would like to limit [Libertarians'] ballot access right now," Bullock says. "But it's not easy to do when they play by the rules and score enough votes for regular access every year."

This year John Monds, a black Libertarian and NAACP leader, is one of only two candidates for state Public Services Commissioner. The party estimates his absolute minimum level of support at 25 percent, easily enough to maintain the party's ballot access, paving the way for Barr to do what many of his supporters hope—run for U.S. Senate in 2010.

People in Barr's headquarters aren't wasting their time thinking about this stuff on their final days of work. It just comes up when voters resist their entreaties to vote for the Only Candidate Against the Bailout. In the morning, LP media coordinator Andrew Davis posts Barr's final pre-election column for Townhall.com. In the afternoon, he sees the commenters and e-mailers attacking Barr for having the audacity to run. "Who financed your run this time, huh?" says one commenter from Georgia. "Soros or Barack, himself?"

The campaign brushes it off. When some of the phonebankers place an order for sandwiches, Sandstrom writes an IOU for Flood on a yellow post-it note. "Why don't you just give him a Federal Reserve note?" snarks Peterson. Longtime Barr staffer Jennifer Chambrin makes the necessary calls to cater and decorate Barr's election night party. Media Guru Steve Stinton keeps track of Barr's final run of appearances on a calendar that plans them up through Thursday. Vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root's e-mail blasts announcing his latest radio appearances—"Wayne's on Jerry Doyle!"—are read as they come in. All of the big questions—the million-vote target, Barr's impact on the race, the bitterness of the GOP—will be answered soon enough.

David Weigel is an associate editor of reason.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Guy Montag||

    Dave,

    Are you wearing your Obama stuff in there?

  • Nigel Watt||

    They really have the audacity to blame their paltry fundraising on Ron Paul and not their own incompetence?

  • ||

    "This is a real campaign," says Stewart Flood, a South Carolina Libertarian Party executive who has taken a three-week unpaid vacation to help out.

    Oh really? How many millions of dollars have you raised? How many prime time commercials in major cities?

    That's what I thought.
    This it the first time I had to hold my nose while voting. Give me a wackoloon I can vote for with pride.

  • ||

    Warren -

    You'll note he contrasted it with Badnarik, who had a car for an office and raised (IIRC) a half-a-mil.

    Nigel -

    If YOU think it was a good idea for Grand Master Paul to tell people to stay Republican, that's your own whacked-out belief. I don't mind them blaming (in part!) Paul, because it's the truth.

  • ||

    As an Obama campaigner here in Georgia, I would like to thank you people for siphoning off votes from McCain. Obama may win in Georgia, perhaps by ~1%, and Chambliss may be forced into a run-off. The election is very close. You have done for us what Nader did for George Bush in Florida, in 2000. The difference is that we are going to win anyway, with or without Georgia.

    You have done a great public service.

  • Nigel Watt||


    If YOU think it was a good idea for Grand Master Paul to tell people to stay Republican, that's your own whacked-out belief. I don't mind them blaming (in part!) Paul, because it's the truth.

    I don't know where you've been, but didn't he call a press conference to tell people to vote third-party?

  • TallDave||

    So, are they putting together a transition team over there?

    It's important President Barr hits the ground running.

  • Dave Weigel||

    didn't he call a press conference to tell people to vote third-party?

    He did, then he told people to vote for Baldwin, then he directed most of the Campaign for Liberty's efforts at electing Republicans.

  • jj||

    Guy, the same thought occurred to me. My prediction is that Weigel will end up an ordinary liberal journalist in a mainstream newspaper within the next four years. That libertarian phase will be attributed to his wild, unpragmatic younger years.

  • Nigel Watt||

    He did, then he told people to vote for Baldwin, then he directed most of the Campaign for Liberty's efforts at electing Republicans.

    Most of the C4L people I've encountered wouldn't have voted for Barr anyways. I didn't follow his request to vote for Culberson, for example.

  • Nigel Watt||

    My last post didn't make sense because I was trying to combine two thoughts there: the first was coherent, but as an example of the division between libertarians and the C4L, I didn't vote for Culberson.

  • Joel||

    the Final Hours...

    Thank you, Jesus!
    Thank you, Jesus!

  • ||

    So, are they putting together a transition team over there?

    It's important President Barr hits the ground running.


    Y'know, I don't like most of your comments, but this one was worth a laugh.

  • Guy Montag||

    jj,

    Guy, the same thought occurred to me. My prediction is that Weigel will end up an ordinary liberal journalist in a mainstream newspaper within the next four years. That libertarian phase will be attributed to his wild, unpragmatic younger years.

    Oh, come on now. It will be full-on "street-cred". Lots of people do it, like Arianna Huffington and (IIRC) Ralph Nader.

  • ||

    Nigel - I think it's great that you didn't listen to the C4L's ridiculousness about voting GOP.

    OTOH, I don't see where that invalidates my point that Paul screwed the pooch by remaining in the GOP.

  • Guy Montag||

    TD,

    It's important President Barr hits the ground running.

    No matter what happens, I am still packing my bags.

  • ||

    So, I suppose that when Barr runs for Senate in 2010 with a big "LIBERTARIAN" label above his head, we can all STFU about how he's a faux-libertarian-carpet-bagger-GOP-plant-former-spook-wocka-wocka-wocka.....right? I mean 6+ years of LP activism should be enough to convince the haters.....right??!

    *sigh*. I didn't think so.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Badnarik raised right around a million bucks.

  • Brian Doherty||

    $1,093,013 to be precise, per opensecrets.org. Barr seems to be doing a bit more than 10 percent better. Suffice it to say the difference was meant, to those who wanted the experienced national politician instead of the utterly obscure local activist, to be a lot bigger than that.

  • ||

    I stand corrected.

  • ||

    They really have the audacity to blame their paltry fundraising on Ron Paul and not their own incompetence?

    Its the Audacity of Mope!

  • Guy Montag||

    RCD,

    Its the Audacity of Mope!

    ROFLMAO!!! Thread winner. Almost swallowed tobacco spit on that one.

  • Kaiser||

    I don't know where you've been, but didn't he call a press conference to tell people to vote third-party?



    He did indeed, but as was already stated he then endorsed Baldwin then devoted most of his funding to reelecting the GOP. Not that it matters really because his cult will write him in anyways. Not that he is a bad candidate nor am I specifically endorsing Barr. However if you can vote for someone who is on the ballot already it would be much better.

  • Matt||

    Tried to vote for Barr here in Connecticut. When I found out that he and other libertarian candidates weren't on the ballot, I threw it away. Everyone seemed stunned that I wasn't voting for Obama.

  • Brian Doherty||

    TAO---You might have been thinking of Badnarik's vote total, which was indeed lower than half a million....lower than 400,000 in fact.

  • ||

    Brian Doherty - thanks! I knew that there was a number in there somewheres...it just needed dislodged.

    Of course, not to add fuel to this, but if Barr breaks 1 million votes and the "pure" candidate didn't break 400K, does that count for something? Anyone?

  • ||

    Really, Pennsylvania? I'm a life member of the national party and an LPP member and got one (1) fund raising letter from Barr and no pre-notices of any Barr appearances in the state. Next time around, have the candidate in place by Jan. 1, 2012 and build an actual organization in each state.

  • Low Rent||

    After months of Ron Paul, it was difficult to get excited about the Barr campaign. Not Barr's fault, but Paul's had the feel of Revolution. Barr was going mainstream, so it was sort of a downer.

    The question I raise for myself is what next? Get involved with the LP? Jump over to the Republican Party and pal around with some RLC types? Or just drop out?

  • Brian Doherty||

    TAO---Haven't written much about the Barr campaign because of the book I was writing during most of campaign season, but had I been a delegate at the LP convention, I'd have voted for him. I think he was the right choice given the LP's options then for all the reasons it might seem that an experienced politician with a national rep and an existing fundraising base seemed like a good idea for a struggling third party. In terms of media, fundraising, and membership growth, I have not been impressed so far. If he can more than double Badnarik's vote total, that will be impressive, to be sure. I do wonder what the tone of his campaign and failure to manage the Paul relationship will do for the LP down the line though. I might write more about this after we see what happens today. Just to make an unnecessary potential fool of myself, I'll state my prediction: 550,000 votes for Barr.

  • ||

    Tried to vote for Barr here in Connecticut. When I found out that he and other libertarian candidates weren't on the ballot, I threw it away. Everyone seemed stunned that I wasn't voting for Obama.

    Since I don't vote, I didn't have that experience, but I was wondering if Barr would be on our ballot. So no, then. Makes me even happier that I didn't bother wasting my time just to pump up the LP vote totals, and further reinforces my belief in not voting.

  • Craig||

    A few points about Badnarik: He did have a campaign office, in Austin. His campaign was admittedly very unorganized, but at least libertarians didn't have to think twice about whether they could support him or not. It will be interesting to see if Barr manages to earn more votes than Badnarik did. I'm not counting on it.

  • dhex||

    No matter what happens, I am still packing my bags.

    dear ms. sarandon: i've always been a fan of your work, can you send me an autographed 8x10?

    ps loved you in bull durham!

  • ChrisO||

    Given how badly Barr seems to have underperformed, it will be interesting to see what happens in the LP over the next few years. Not that it will have any impact on actual elections, mind you.

    I can see the LP moving left-libertarian, however, in the next presidential race. I wonder how this impacts down-ticket races, though, where the LP seems to have more juice?

  • cls||

    Barr's people want to blame everyone else for the problems they caused. They ran a dirty campaign to secure the nomination, Mr. Cory knows about that, and they alienated their own party base -- actually I know quite a few people who stopped working with the LP due to Barr and his campaign workers.

    His fund raising is barely above Badnarik's, which says something.

    As for his vote total: considering how sick the country is of these choices it would take a real miracle not to improve. Many third party votes are protest votes not endorsements. If Barr does better it may not have anything to do with positions or personal qualities but it may say how people are disgusted by Obama and McCain.

  • ||

    I think it's safe to say that Ron Paul did more to advance libertarianism by remaining in the GOP than Barr did by leaving it. Just compare the vote totals between LP-Paul/88 and GOP-Paul/08.

  • Jackson Kuhl||

    A news story of why the LP wasn't on the Connecticut ballot can be read here.

    What amazed me was that Barr/Root weren't even "officially designated" write-ins. The polls actually had a list of official write-ins you were allowed to write in! Which means my ballot will be tossed directly into the incinerator.

    There was one LP candidate here in the 4th district -- Michael Anthony Carrano running for rep against Shays. His campaign was beyond shabby (see his website), completely unlike Phil Maymin's two years ago. But it was tougher this time; unlike 2006, both Carrano and Duffee (Green) were kept out of the debates hosted by the League of Women Voters. Said they didn't meet the criteria (what the criteria are, they've never told), which prolly means they didn't garner enough votes by their standards, even though Maymin received 1.5 percent -- an important number, because it meant Carrano didn't have to petition to be on the ballot like Maymin had to.

    Which brings me to a final point: This is exactly why libertarians should go to the polls and vote LP. Doing so makes it easier for candidates to get on the ballots, freeing the time and money that would be spent on ballot access for the actual campaign. If there's no LPers on the ticket, then do as Matt did and toss it.

  • George Dance||

    Earlier today, a voter called the office and begged Barr to endorse John McCain. She was told that Barr was endorsing Barr. She wasn't satisfied.

    She? You mean, it wasn't Eric Dondero?

  • ||

    Just to make an unnecessary potential fool of myself, I'll state my prediction: 550,000 votes for Barr.

    Are you on drugs Brian? If not you need to start right away. Barr generated, wait let me do the math here - nuthin plus nuthin, carry the nuthin - ZERO outside interest in the LP while driving away it's base.

    What do you want to bet he doesn't crack Badnarik's vote total?

  • Geotpf||

    The Angry Optimist | November 4, 2008, 3:41pm | #

    So, I suppose that when Barr runs for Senate in 2010 with a big "LIBERTARIAN" label above his head, we can all STFU about how he's a faux-libertarian-carpet-bagger-GOP-plant-former-spook-wocka-wocka-wocka.....right? I mean 6+ years of LP activism should be enough to convince the haters.....right??!


    The problem some people have with Barr is that he did a nearly instantaneous 180 on some issues (drugs, for instance). What's to stop him from doing another 180 and ending back up with where he started?

    Now, I personally believe his convertion is sincere, but I can completely understand why people are skeptical.

  • Geotpf||

    Warren | November 4, 2008, 5:01pm | #

    Just to make an unnecessary potential fool of myself, I'll state my prediction: 550,000 votes for Barr.

    Are you on drugs Brian? If not you need to start right away. Barr generated, wait let me do the math here - nuthin plus nuthin, carry the nuthin - ZERO outside interest in the LP while driving away it's base.

    What do you want to bet he doesn't crack Badnarik's vote total?


    He'll probably do worse than Badnarik, possibly much worse. In fact, this might be the worst year for third party candidates (overall) since 1988 or earlier, despite the presence of three current or former members of Congress on some state ballots (Barr, Paul, McKinney), plus other well known people (Keyes, Nader). (All of these except Paul are on the California ballot, for example.) Then again, 2004 was pretty bad for third party candidates as well.

  • ||

    I'm holding all you Barr-haters to this:

    397,265 - 2004 Badnarik's Vote Total.

  • ||

    Barr generated, wait let me do the math here - nuthin plus nuthin, carry the nuthin - ZERO outside interest in the LP while driving away it's base.

    Is that fact or is that wishful thinking?

  • ||

    Jackson Kuhl wrote, "There was one LP candidate here in the 4th district -- Michael Anthony Carrano running for rep against Shays. His campaign was beyond shabby (see his website), completely unlike Phil Maymin's two years ago."

    I watched Maymin's campaign from afar (the left coast, courtesy of the internet and C-SPAN), and was more impressed (and thus ultimately more disappointed in his loss) than I had been with any Libertarian campaign in the past 30 years. I wrote to urge him to try again, whether for Rep or for some other office that would satisfy his desire to make a libertarian difference in the political world. But so far, he has demurred. I was recently reminded of him and his campaign when it was announced that the US would pursue getting out of Iraq on a timetable -- something that Shays and Maymin's Democratic opponent flatly dismissed, but that Maymin insisted was the only thing that truly made sense. He then went on to briefly and eloquently DESCRIBE -- on TV, in debate with the other two and under a time limit that he satisfied with time to spare -- WHY that policy made sense. Listening to it, I thought that argument could have persuaded anyone who heard it. Apparently not, as it was Shays who returned to Congress that year. But this year, Maymin and his position are vindicated, showing the Libertarian to have been the true leader in that race: ahead of the crowd and (perhaps unfortunately) ahead of his time.

    I recently acquired a copy of Maymin's book, "Yankee Wake Up," and recommend it to anyone who self-describes as libertarian, has any libertarian sensibilities at all, or is simply curious about libertarianism. "Dr. Phil" is not only a skillful debater, who can think on his feet in front of hot lights and TV cameras, but he is a concise, incisive and eloquent writer, too. The book collects his columns from a local newspaper published near his home. I have found it to be a very good read, and hope that, once he has finished writing books, Maymin will try again for office.

  • ||

    TAO
    What the hell are you talking about? I've been Libertarian all my adult life. I've ran for congress as a Libertarian. This afternoon I voted straight Libertarian, but this was the first time I had to hold my nose while doing it.

    I tell you what;
    If Barr cracks 0.5% of the popular vote I'll refrain from posting on Hit & Run for all of 2009, if he is the FAIL then you STFU for all of 09.

    Deal?

  • ||

    Oh, Warren, how did we get to this sad point?

    I don't want you to refrain from posting, but I'm willing to take the bet that Bob Barr cracks 500,000.

    We'll just call it a gentlemanly wager.

  • ||

    Very good.

  • ||

    And I'll come to the 2012 LP Convention in a bitchin' hat.

  • Alan||

    RE: Since I don't vote....

    What's the difference between voting Libertarian and not voting at all?

    None.

  • ||

    # The Angry Optimist | November 4, 2008, 5:17pm | #

    # I'm holding all you Barr-haters to this:

    # 397,265 - 2004 Badnarik's Vote Total.

    Yeah, that was very disappointing to the purists, with whom I have much sympathy.

    I was deeply skeptical of Barr, back when he joined the LP and this year, when he went for the Presidential nomination. But objectively assessing his actions and performance -- and except for the profoundly counterproductive dissing of Ron Paul in "pressconferencegate" -- I think he has done at least as good a job of fundraising and getting free media as any prior LP candidate I have followed closely (going back to Ron Paul's run for POTUS). Meanwhile, the Libertarians don't seem any closer to losing their souls than they were before Barr. So the best and worst expectations appear to have canceled each other out, and we're left pretty much where we were after the last several runs. If we get better ballot access out of this campaign, some valuable lessons learned, and some new libertarians, then we'll have made some real progress. If Barr significantly surpasses 1M votes, and if he shows libertarian-leaning voters to be a force to be reckoned with (especially by denying Georgia to McCain), that will be huge.

    One thing we will know for certain coming out of this election: the "suit and tie, experienced guy" strategy, while perhaps one of the better tools we can use, is by no means a silver bullet. This may give the "pragmatists" some more humility and the "purists" some respect for their pragmatic fellow-Libertarians. In other words, by doing better than candidates of the past, but not spectacularly better, Bob Barr could bring those wings of the party together, to make us stronger in 2010 and 2012. I can only hope...

  • ||

    I wanted to add that, subjectively, I perceive Barr as having done a much better job of getting free media than any other prior LP POTUS candidate, which is one reason why I opined above that "suit, tie, experienced guy" might be one of the better tools in our box. I didn't have to work hard to catch his media appearances. Often, he was just there. That's definitely the direction we wish to go: if Barr gets a good vote total or proves otherwise significant in this race, he may end up on the media's list of go-to-guys for "point/counterpoint" commentary from a libertarian perspective, as Harry Browne did before him.

  • ||

    Alan | November 4, 2008, 5:40pm | #
    RE: Since I don't vote....

    What's the difference between voting Libertarian and not voting at all?

    None.


    I think there is. I'm doing my bit to change the system. If you did your bit, it might inspire someone else to do theirs.

    Voting for a major party candidate is truly throwing your vote away. They will keep fucking us. To my mind getting fucked from the left or the right is a distinction without a difference.

    Not voting? Well at least your not part of the problem. You ain't helping but in these troubled times, I totally support anyone that ain't bending over and spreading it for the man.

  • ||

    # Alan | November 4, 2008, 5:40pm | #

    # # RE: Since I don't vote....

    # What's the difference between voting
    # Libertarian and not voting at all?

    # None.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk, why so snarky today?

    The BIG difference between voting LP and not voting is that more LP votes usually result in more secure ballot access for the LP and its candidates, allowing them to run more effective campaigns. Maybe that will never help the POTUS/VP ticket, but many "downticket" candidates won't have to devote as many resources to simply getting on the ballot, and can expend them instead on serious campaigning. Local and regional office is where LP candidates have had the most success; an elected Libertarian at that level will have an easier time shooting for higher partisan office if he or she doesn't have to burn resources qualifying for the ballot first.

    I would never advise someone to vote for someone with whom they were not familiar, or whom they didn't want to elect, just to help the party, but unless you are invested in a different candidate or the LP guy or gal is simply unacceptable to you, it seems OK to vote for the LP candidate PRIMARILY to help the party strategically. So please consider it, certainly as opposed to not voting at all.

  • ||

    Badnarik raised as much money as Barr, almost. He also did not need to buy an air conditioning system for a landlord of a building he was renting. He did not need to pay campaign staffers with anti-libertarian track records and multiple third party failures. Badnarik also didn't seem have as much trouble with ballot access.

    In all likelihood, Barr will not earn many more votes than Badnarik. He will raise slightly more money while not spending any more money on actually reaching voters.

    But the only thing that matters is that Barr has a nice office?

    What's interesting if you remember, is in 2006 Badnarik went and got himself an office and a paid campaign manager. They spent ( I think) $400,000 on a Congressional race. They had staff, paid for apartments, office stuff, meetings at Outback, and all that other stuff "real" campaigns do. And Badnarik's vote totals were a joke. His manager became a laughingstock in the blogosphere and Badnarik retired to sell bumper stickers.

    What is this LP obsession with needing "real offices" and dressing up to act and look just like the other guys? It has never worked and there is no indication it ever will. Running uptight disgruntled Republicans and spending a lot of money on overhead is not a winning strategy. An oddball touring the country in a Kia performs just as well.

  • ||

    Your vote for Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr is 'guaranteed' to improve America's future! Also, if he wins at least 5% of the national popular vote in today's election, his party's Presidential campaign in 2012 can receive millions of dollars in voluntary taxpayer funds. It will also automatically qualify to be on all state ballots, thereby avoiding long and costly signature petition drives. So do the 'most patriotic good' with your vote, by helping build a 3rd major political party for America!!!

  • ||

    I was a Ron Paul volunteer and I voted for Bob Barr.

  • John||

    Bob Barr has a campaign? Who'd have known!

  • economist||

    It's time for...
    ELECTION DAY DRINKING BINGE.
    It's going to be a train wreck, anyway, so why not get really drunk?
    Answer: Most everyone has to go to work tomorrow.

  • cunnivore||

    As an LP member in 2004, I seriously considered voting for whoever the Green Party candidate was that year.

    Keep in mind that I absolutely detest the Greens. Badnarik was just that much of an embarrassment.

    I'm curious as to how the people who had to hold their noses to vote for Barr could stand the smell resulting from a vote for a guy who refused to get a drivers license (but still drove) on principle, publicly stated that his first act as president would be to demolish the UN building, and wanted all prisoners to be tied up to their beds so that their muscles atrophied. Really, I'm all ears.

  • Craig||

    If more freedom loving Americans had just said no to the authority of state governments to make the right of peaceful travel a state-controlled privilege, maybe we wouldn't have seen the rise of the gigantic state DMV bureaucracies that add no value but cost us billions.

    As for the UN building and prisoner treatment statements, they were hyperbole -- intentionally flamboyant statements to dramatize how much Badnarik disagree with the US not only belonging to the UN, but hosting and funding it, and to highlight the stupidity of the current penal system giving violent convicts access to weight training equipment.

  • Craig||

    Bob Barr just topped 400,000 votes, but there aren't many left to be counted.

  • ||

    I voted for Obama in VA and paired for Chuck Baldwin in DC who, at least, is a person of integrity. Barr is personally sleazier than Nixon on a bad day - I object to that more than his so-called "ideology" - whatever it is. His and Verney's jihad against Ron Paul is just indicative of Barr's personality. Frankly, the LP is a failed brand and would have had the same number of votes with Babar the elephant as Bob Barr - and the same impact. Well the good news is that the Republicans lost and the bad news is that the Democrats won.

  • ||

    To all Barr supporters,

    Stay in the LP and continue to vote libertarian. Please stay away from the convention in 2012. We don't need you or want you.

  • ||

    Who's Bob Barr?

    Ps
    Reason sucks

  • ||

    worst candidate ever.

  • ||

    It is insane to blame Ron Paul for Bob Barr's failings. Remember personal responsibility? Bob needs to own up to the fact that he wasn't the perfect candidate and needs to stop trying to pass the blame.

    I can't believe I voted for him after this and how he blew Ron Paul off at the press conference a month ago. Ridiculous.

    Bob Barr the converted NeoCon is dead in the water as far as I'm concerned. He talks a fair game but the way him and his staff have acted this election, he is no leader.

  • Regret||

    I now regret rooting for Barr and regret reading reason
    Weigel youre a Bully. But Brave men dont Bully
    Only _______

  • Geprge Phillies||

    David:

    I do not blame you for believing

    *"This is a real campaign," says Stewart Flood, a South Carolina Libertarian Party executive who has taken a three-week unpaid vacation to help out. "There was no headquarters in 2004. It was Michael Badnarik in a car, driving from event to event. They did raise money, but they weren't raising money. They did contact voters, but it wasn't organized."*

    but the claims are wildly false.

    In 2004 Badnarik did have a main office, in Texas. Campaign Treasurer Geoff Neale in addition to handling finances kept things running. If I recall correctly, Badnarik 2006 was at nearly the same location.

    Badnarik had a television advertising campaign that actually ran television advertisements.

    There was an intensive fundraising effort; some of you will remember the day the torch of the statue of liberty fundraising widget ignited. Even though the fundraising drive started in a serious way only after Mike got the nomination, Mike raised more money post-nomination than Browne 2000 did post-nomination.

    Badnarik had a volunteer campaign, with a national leadership and volunteer coordinators in most states. More than 500 volunteers who did work actively interacted with the program. Persons with a wide range of special skills were located and identified to senior staff.

    A systematic program distributed free lawn signs and bumper stickers to state coordinators and activists. The volunteer campaign implemented, within a month, a systematic program that found the contact data and put Badnarik electronic press releases and letters in the hands of most college newsletters in the United States, in addition to the MSM program.

    Of course, there were organizational efforts that Badnarik skipped. For example, unlike Barr, he did not spend $18,000 on limousine services.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

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