Barr for President: A Smaller Question Mark This Time

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Bob Barr talked to AntiWar.com's Scott Horton yesterday and stoked the rumors that he might run for president.

On a presidential run, Barr said:

"There's been a tremendous expressed to me both directly and indirectly on the Internet. I take that support very seriously, and I think it also reflects a great deal of dissatisfaction with the current candidates and the current two-party system. So it is something, to be honest with you, that I'm looking very seriously at."

Barr said a Libertarian candidacy would essentially be an extension of the Ron Paul campaign.

"Ron Paul tapped into a great deal of that dissatisfaction and that awareness. Unfortunately, working through the Republican party structure, it became impossible for him to really move forward with his movement. But we have to have ….a rallying point out there to harness that energy, that freedom in this election cycle," Barr said.

The ball has moved just a little bit further downfield since last week. Has the Gravelanche had an effect? No, not according to what I'm hearing. In order to have a chance at the LP's Denver convention, you need to collect tokens. Every delegate has five of them, and you need 30 to get a speaking slot at the convention. And it's not at all clear that Gravel could get 30 tokens. From what I'm hearing (big hat-tip to the plugged-in Steve Gordon), Mary Ruwart's recent entry into the race makes her the slight favorite: Barr, if he entered, would be the slight favorite, drawing much of his support from Wayne Allyn Root.

In other third party news, see if you can guess who wrote this.

There is a real desire, a belief that some alternative must be developed. We can no longer be enslaved by the existing party structure. On the contrary, if things aren't representing you, there needs to be something else. My experience [is] a period of serious reflection with what I can do.

Yes, it's Alan Keyes.

NEXT: They Want to Buy Our Crappy Assets. Run For Your Lives!!!

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  1. Why does Keyes feel unrepresented? There’s always the Natural Law party.

  2. Feel the Barrmentum!

    Seriously, this would be an excellent thing if only because I assume it would piss off Donderoooooooooooooooo!

  3. Shouldn’t Keyes be looking at the Constitution Party instead?

  4. I need Barr to totally disavow the whole WOD thing. Has that happened yet? Or is he in the comfy “leave it to the states” camp?

  5. I’d even accept “The WOD is a terrible thing, but it shouldn’t be a federal issue.”

  6. Well well well. 2008 is shaping up to be the most interesting election for the LP that I can recall.

    Paul got huge support, but fizzled at appealing to Republican primary voters. If the Paulites are mainly small-government personal-freedom types. They might very well coalesce around a strong LP candidate. Anti-immigrant and white-supremists, not so much.

    If the LP can pull double digits in the general, it will be a much bigger deal than Perot or Nader. The LP is not a ‘cult of personality’ (understatement of the year), it’s the largest and oldest “third party” in the US.

  7. Did Barr write any newsletters?

  8. It’s good to see that 59 year-old Mary Ruwart has finally stopped using that picture of herself of when she was 23.

    Sorry, but the Alan Keyes thing just seemed like a non sequitor. Why is he relevant? Would he even be relevant if he had said something less fortune cookie-ish?

  9. Barr’s reputation won’t lend himself to getting the same kind of following that Paul got. Paul was an unknown quantity whose charming rigidity to his principles made him a very likable candidate. Barr, especially among libertarians and leftish anti-war people, has a reputation as a social conservative who’s part of the Republican establishment. That’s how he was portrayed in Borat, at least, as a member of the “ruling regime.”

  10. If the LP can pull double digits in the general,

    If I had a nickel for every time I heard that phrase every four years, I’d have a shitload of nickels.

  11. Citizen Nothing,
    Barr has backed down as a drug warrior. But mostly around the edges. I believe he’s taken the federalist approach on Med MJ. I haven’t heard him call for anything like legalization of all drugs. He has take a very aggressive stand on prescription drugs, denouncing the prosecution of doctors and the “demonetization” of pain management. Some of this has the appearance of shilling for Big Pharma.

    What he hasn’t done, is give a mea culpa for all the damage he did as a sitting congress critter.

  12. And don’t forget, Rimfax, those nickels now contain seven cents worth of metal. Of course, it’s illegal to melt them down.

  13. Of the few people who have ever heard of Bob Barr, most probably know him from Borat rather than Congress.

    Whether that’s an asset or a liability is open for debate…

  14. You can take care of the Borat problem by having Sacha Baron Cohen film a Barr for President commercial.
    If that happens, I’ll definitely vote for him. (Or maybe for Barr, even.)

  15. I’d vote for Barr in a heartbeat. Barr and Root, or Barr and Paul on the same ticket would be fantastic to me.Mary Ruwart is just a bit to “New Age” for me. But, I’m a Libertarian, not a Libertine, like most people on this site, as well as it’s writers.

    Funny, David, you were just gushing over Gravel jumping on board the LP train, and Barr starts adding fuel to his run, and you aren’t to happy in your tone. Just come out and say you want Obama and Frank on a “Government control of everything, but you keep your Civil Liberties untill we say so” ticket. Atleast Balko is honest about that.

    Again, where the Hell is Brian Doherty?

  16. Funny, David, you were just gushing over Gravel jumping on board the LP train

    Yes, gushing.

    I’m skeptical. I’ve seen how little attention Cynthia McKinney has garnered in her Green Party presidential bid. And if Nader runs a bid separate from the Greens, as he did in 2004, you’ll have three candidates slicing an outsider, anti-war protest vote that was thin to begin with.

    Feel the gush!

  17. That’s how he was portrayed in Borat, at least, as a member of the “ruling regime.”

    I know I voted for Alan Keyes based on how he was portrayed in Borat! Surely other people will do the same for Barr!

    Okay, not so much. I don’t think Borat is an indication of anything other than Sacha Cohen is an incredibly rude, but incredibly funny, bastard.

  18. Dave W.,
    You shouldn’t let illiterates pull “you’re” chain.

  19. Bob Barr’s appearance on Borat is an asset. When some real weirdo from beyond the sea sits down in the oval office and foreigns all over the president – we know that Barr is a man that can keep his cool.

  20. Before losing his congressional seat, Barr was one of the most extreme authoritarian social conservatives in the RP. Nominating him as presidential candidate would just confirm the LP’s status as a total joke.

  21. I’d take Barr to reach out to the Paulites asnd Ruwart as VP to shore up the LP base as much as it exists as she is well known and respected even anoung those rare libertarians who don’t have a lot of emotional intelligence and are not slightly new agey 😉 …basically she’d even things out a bit and would get veery little mainstream press like all past LP VP candidates — Barr would and could do a fair job especially compared to Root or that gimp from Massachusetts.

    The big question is where ballot access stands at this point — are they on track for 50ish states or 30 — if its more towards 30 than let the Mass gimp have the moniation and Barr can try again in 2012 with a lot of advanced effort.

  22. The big question is where ballot access stands at this point — are they on track for 50ish states or 30 — if its more towards 30 than let the Mass gimp have the moniation and Barr can try again in 2012 with a lot of advanced effort.

    Courtesy of Ballot Access News, the LP is currently on the ballot in 27 states:
    http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/020108.html

    And it looks like, as of February, they have enough to get on three more ballots, so 30-40 might be the range.

  23. And it looks like, as of February, they have enough to get on three more ballots, so 30-40 might be the range.

    hopefully if Barr gets the nom and Ron Paul still has any ability to rally his rEVOLutionaries, we could get closer to 50 state ballot access… those were the days.

  24. “Why does Keyes feel unrepresented? There’s always the Natural Law party.”

    Maybe Mike Love will run on that party and raise money with his Beach Boy performances.

  25. “hopefully if Barr gets the nom and Ron Paul still has any ability to rally his rEVOLutionaries, we could get closer to 50 state ballot access… those were the days.”

    It would also be great if Barr takes enough votes away from the angry warmonger and causes him to lose the election.

  26. Paul got $1,500 from me, after what Barr said on the floor I wouldn’t give him a dime.

    “Mr. Chairman, this piece of legislation says that basically the District of Columbia should not and shall not make marijuana a legal ubstance. Of course, marijuana federally is an illegal substance. This is a Federal district. I think that is just logical.

    Let us talk a little bit about what marijuana is and what it does. If we think that kids should not smoke tobacco, then I think it is a logical step that probably we should not make this available for kids or anybody to be smoking marijuana.

    A lot of people say marijuana produces no ill-effects to the people that use it. That is a fallacy. We find that marijuana affects motor coordination, reasoning and memory, and marijuana has a much higher level of carcinogens than tobacco.

    Some people say marijuana is not a dangerous drug. Let me tell you, a study of patients in shock trauma who have been in automobile accidents found that 15 percent of those who have been in a car or motorcycle accident have been smoking marijuana. Seventeen percent have been smoking both marijuana and drinking. When the City of Memphis, Tennessee, tested all reckless drivers for drugs, it was discovered that 33 percent showed signs of marijuana use.

    Now, I think this is just a logical step. If we want a drug-free America, if we want a drug-free workplace, if we want drug-free prisons and drug-free schools and drug-free highways, we probably ought to have a drug-free capital, to say to prohibit the legalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia, where millions of our constituents come, year in and year out, day in and day out, week in and week out. They ought to be safe.

    We ought to do our best, not just for the safety of the citizens of the District of Columbia, but for the safety of our constituents who come here to visit, to come here to learn, school kids that come through this Capitol, and certainly people who come here to do business, the country’s, the Nation’s business, day in and day out.”

    All I need to hear out of FuBarr. Just another endless war, nanny government nitwit.

  27. yeah, but now Barr is an advocate for medical marijuana, at least…

    even nitwits see the error of their ways now and then…

  28. Bob Barr or Mike Gravel as the LP nominee would be an absolute joke. If either of those guys wins the nomination, I’ll probably drop my support for the LP altogether. The LP is supposed to be the “Party of Principle” not the “Party of washed-up, non libertarian, former democrats and republicans.”

  29. “I need Barr to totally disavow the whole WOD thing. Has that happened yet? Or is he in the comfy “leave it to the states” camp?”

    He’s now a lobbyist for the marijuana policy project, so there has been at least some turnaround in his viewpoints. I’d be happy with it being a state issue.

  30. “The LP is supposed to be the “Party of Principle” not the “Party of washed-up, non libertarian, former democrats and republicans.”

    St Paul started his career by persecuting Christians. Having someone state that ‘I’ve learned the error of my ways’ might actually give weight to Barr’s campaign. Gravel, due to his policy positions, would indeed be a joke though.

  31. Has Bob Barr every denounced his former campaign against Wiccans in the military ? If he doesn’t believe in religious freedom for ALL religions how can he call himself a libertarian.

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