What About Bob?


Ralph Z. Hallow has the latest on Bob Barr's presidential bid: Republicans are grabbing him by the collar and begging him not to run. Figuratively speaking.

Mr. Barr says even people who have tried to dissuade him understand why he thinks it important to raise issues from what he calls a "genuinely conservative" perspective and to offer alternatives to the positions of the two major-party candidates.

"In the month since we formed our exploratory committee, not a single Republican who has spoken with me to try and convince me not to seek the Libertarian nomination has disagreed with my reasons for considering a run," Mr. Barr told The Times yesterday in an e-mail exchange before leaving London on a flight to Atlanta.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Times yesterday that "Bob Barr will make it marginally easier for Barack Obama to become president. That outcome threatens every libertarian value Barr professes to champion."

I don't see a lot in Gingrich's ever-shifting "real change" agenda (last week, it featured a temporary gas tax cut. Real! Change-y!) to prove Barr wrong. Stacy McCain simply laughs at the re-packaging of John "political free speech is overrated, anyway" McCain as a vessal for libertarian values.

Barr's announcement comes at 11 a.m. in downtown D.C., and I'll have a report afterward.