Barr for President?


S.A. Miller catches wind of the possible Bob Barr bid for president with the Libertarian Party. What was wishful thinking back in the winter of 2006/2007 and largely ignored during the height of the rEVOLution is now being discussed in high LP circles.

Mr. Barr, a House Republican impeachment manager during President Clinton's administration, yesterday confirmed his interest in running as a Libertarian but said he is unwilling to talk about any "polling we may have done or may do, not at this point."

"There is great deal [of] dissatisfaction with the candidates for the two major parties, particularly among conservatives, but also a great deal of Internet and other support for a candidate like Ron Paul who advocates libertarian and true conservative principles," said Mr. Barr, who is now a Libertarian.

Miller's story focuses on the threat this could pose to John McCain.

GOP presidential campaign pollster John McLaughlin said a Barr bid wouldn't be good for Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. It "takes more points from us than Nader takes from them," he said.

Pollster John Zogby agreed.

"Why should Democrats have all the fun worrying about Nader? Republicans can try to implode, too," Mr. Zogby said. "My gut sense is that Bob Barr can get some votes as a consistent libertarian who opposed the Patriot Act, budget deficits and gun control."

Left unsaid in all is the presence of another maverick Georgia ex-member of Congress in the race: Cynthia McKinney, running for the Green Party nomination. And she's getting zero attention. Barr doesn't have McKinney's problems, but nor does he have Nader's name recognition. He would really need a rEVOLuton-sized uprising to make the money for a go at this.

My original interview with Barr, the week he joined the LP, is here.