Hit & Run

Live from the LP Convention: U-N-I-T-Y

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The LP convention drama didn't end after Bob Barr deep-sixed Mary Ruwart. Steve Kubby made a bid for vice president with the support of Mary Ruwart and Mike Gravel. "It's great for the media, isn't it?" Kubby told me. "A drug warrior and a P.O.W. on the same ticket?" Vintage 2000 "Kubby for VP" buttons started materializing on the floor.

Kubby-Root was a close-run thing, closer than Barr-Ruwart. A few radical candidates had been running for VP for days, and after Root failed to get a majority they endorsed Kubby. Dan Williams, another one of the VP candidates (he'd dropped out of the prez race when Barr entered it), was the only also-ran to endorse Root, in part because of an agreement that he could represent Barr-Root and give lectures against the drug war. Root won on the second ballot by only 30 votes.

"We're watching the Libertarian Party go down the drain!" said comedian and Kubby backer Doug Stanhope, double-fisting Miller Lites. "Glug, glug, glug!"

Outside, more drama: Kubby wanted to speak to angry radicals, and some of them were beseeching him to lead a walkout, or to return to the convention hall and denounce the new ticket. Tom Knapp, the work horse of Kubby's convention effort, told him to speak for unity. So he did, and asked for a show of hands of how many radicals would stick with the LP and build it up. "Almost all of those hands went up," Kubby said. "This party is not breaking apart. This is not 1983."