Bob Barr Looks Back

An exit interview with the 2008 Libertarian candidate for president

(Page 3 of 3)

reason: After this year, and all of the tension and different timelines and goals of your campaign and the Paul campaign, is the libertarian movement stronger or is it more divided?

Barr: Absolutely, it's stronger. Absolutely. The way I look at it, it isn't as if Ron Paul built this foundation over here and our campaign built this one over here, and they're discreet components. We're building one foundation. What Ron Paul did was a tremendous benefit to the Libertarian movement in making people aware of the movement, of our philosophy, of elements people don't usually hear about in a coherent way. The monetary system, and so forth, which Ron talks about very eloquently.

reason: What mistakes were made this year that the LP has to avoid making again?

Barr: We have to not look backwards. If we are serious about being a real political party we have to set political goals, educate people, have a consistent message, organize at all levels, and look for opportunities. You don't wait for opportunities to be handed to you. Where's the Libertarian Party in these debates about the incoming administration? It needs to be there. But what do I know?

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.

  • miche||

    I think a lot of them realized that she was not the great savoir for the conservative movement that she...



    Confusing french lessons and catechism Weigel?

    I wonder if Bob Barr would have left his congressional seat to run as veep on the LP ticket for Ron Paul.

  • ||

    "reason: What mistakes were made this year that the LP has to avoid making again?

    Barr: We have to not look backwards. If we are serious about being a real political party we have to set political goals, educate people, have a consistent message, organize at all levels, and look for opportunities. You don't wait for opportunities to be handed to you. Where's the Libertarian Party in these debates about the incoming administration? It needs to be there. But what I do know?"


    (bold added)

    I'm guessing that "But what I do know?" is a misprint, with one of two likely possibilities.

    1) "But what I do [not] know?"

    This seems unlikely considering the question mark, which leads to what I think is the most likely possibility--transposition.

    2) "But what [do I] know?"

    ...which is the perfect end to the interview.

  • GILMORE||

    Articles about ron paul or bob "looks like a cheap bar mitzvah magaician" barr are so fucking over. Over! Who cares? is it not possible with all the shit going on in the world there's something more relevant in politics other than gossip about or the ruminations of a few political honable-mentioners?

  • ||

    That BobBarr is a fine fella I here.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Well, that was fair and balanced, unlike Doherty's piece last week.

    512,000 votes is not that bad. Not great. But it is 140,000 more votes than last time. Libertarians of all stripes should be encouraged by that number.

    Bottom line: Bob Barr ran the 2nd most successful Libertarian Presidential Campaign of all time. He and Wayne Root (and their staffs and family), should be heartily congratulated for that.

    Thank you Bob. Thanks Wayne.

  • Pac||

    Oh yeah I'm so encouraged

    I knew i should have just written Ron PAul's name in that would have been a better way to waste my vote.

  • ||

    Barr lost because he didn't worship at the Altar of Paul! (at least that's what a few people have told me)

  • ||

    Most of this interview could be summed up in a different blog post: So, Bob, Why Did You Suck?

  • ||

    Fucking douche bag asshat son of a bitch. If I never hear the name Bob Barr again, it will be too soon.

  • Xeones||

    DONDEROOOO!!!
    *shakes fist*

  • The Angry Optimist||

    So productive, Warren. And insightful! The man gives an even-handed, fair interview where he admits mistakes...and still...

    "OHNOES BOB BARR taksesss our precious party!"

    Get off the cross.

  • Ravac||

    So, does Weigel interview Bobarr every week?

    Note: I haven't read any of these interview pieces because I really don't care about Bobarr. But it seems like this headline pops up every coupla days.

  • ||

    Dave is contractually obligated to interview Bob Barr 16 times.

  • creech||

    "We have to not look backwards."
    No, those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Just spin wheels and try to plow forward? No, the LP has to examine everything that has worked (?) and not worked for 35 years, and decide if its strategies and tactics are moving toward its goal or not.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    There are two ways of "looking backwards":

    1. Creech's way, which involves the objective evaluation of goals and the methods to reach those goals and

    2. The LP way, which involves purges, hairshirts, circular firing squads, mindreading and character assassination.

  • ||

    Quick, someone get me a Dramamine, all that spin made me nauseous!

    OK, better now.

    If Dondero likes it then it was a bunch of crap.

    The non-answers bear that out. He admits (without saying it in typical politician fashion) that A) He relied too much on the Paul lists, B) Despite Dondero's ravings to the contrary, Palin was not a factor on Barr, C) Root's fundraising was all hype, D) he wants to make the LP GOP-lite, E) he exalts Cory, proving he doesn't understand the LP, F) Wiggle totally avoids directly addressing Snubgate (which caused A. to fail).

    And yes, Barr, you are a Trojan Horse whether you protest too much to the contrary or not. Some of us saw it in 2006 and gave you the benefit of the doubt. No more.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    raise your tiny fists of rage, Seebeck. go take back your precioussss....

  • ||

    Well said, Seebeck.

    For those of you who think this is about taking something back, or sour grapes, or whatever else, wise up. This is about libertarianism. Some people are libertarians, and some aren't. Bob Barr isn't. There was an opportunity for the Liberty movement to really catch fire this election cycle, so comparing the Barr campaign to campaigns of the past do not hold water. There has never been so much libertarian buzz leading into the general election as there was this past year, and, yes, we can thank Paul for that. Barr dropped the ball.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Bob Barr isn't.

    Please elucidate the issues that makes one "100% libertarian".

    Then, for kicks, grade Barr against it.

    Finally, tell me what grade constitutes passing.

    Or, you can engage in mindreading.

  • ||

    Whining about him not being taken as "100% libertarian" by the group he's trying to champion misses the point. Every group has cutoffs, and libertarians are no exception. George Bush is no libertarian, nor are John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Eric DONDEROOOOOOOOOOO. Some people think Barr falls outside of what they consider libertarian. Such a person can't lead libertarians?

    Unfair? Well, it's politics.

  • ||

    One question mark too many, above: Such a person can't lead libertarians.

  • Thane Eichenauer||

    I'm with The Angry Optimist.

    I have yet to see a complaint lodged against Bob Barr that wasn't based on a belief that Mr. Barr wasn't libertarian in his heart where it counts.

    I think most complaints about Barr and his campaign are from libertarians who are projecting their own lack of accomplishment onto a convenient scapegoat.

    Nothing kept any non-LP Presidential nominee from running for office but how many did? Ruwart? Jingozian? Kubby?

    At least Phillies ran for President and I'll bet he connected with more people than the average "Barr isn't a Libertarian" claimant.

    Thane Eichenauer
    2008 Libertarian Party candidate for Arizona's 1st congressional district

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

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