The LP's Choice: A Media Wrap-Up


Bob Barr's and Wayne Allyn Root's pledge to vacuum up media coverage for the Libertarian Party looks, so far, like a success. Some of the coverage is the expected, post-third-party-convention spike: one of Barr's staffers told me a network declined an offer to move a Monday interview to Tuesday, because "this is a Monday story." The Weekly Standard's Matt Labash, king of the wide-ranging report from the fringe, never showed up to claim his convention credentials but has talked with the Barr campaign about an embedded feature story.

First, the Tiffany coverage: Barr walked on to C-SPAN and CNN to dish about the race.

Robert Stacy McCain has a frantic, breakneck report on the race at the American Spectator.

That some 50 of Root's delegates voted for Ruwart on the sixth and decisive ballot indicates the depth of internal hostility to Barr among some LP regulars. Yet the hard-fought win was enough for Barr, and apparently satisfied LP donors, who contributed a record $64,000 at the party's presidential banquet Sunday evening—more than twice the amount of donations at the 2004 Atlanta convention. At a private reception later Sunday night, Barr campaign manager Russ Verney solicited donations from delegates and the candidate gave a short speech mentioning $40 million as his fundraising target.

James Pethokoukis of U.S. News accuses Barr of being thin on economics:

There are a gazillion think tanks in D.C., including the libertarian Cato Institute, with a gazillion tax reform plans. These are the sorts of broad ideas you would offer if you were at 60 percent in the polls rather than an asterisk. (The Intrade betting market gives a third party just a 1.4 percent chance of winning the election. So far, there's no Barr-Root boomlet.) C'mon on, Libertarians, where are your calls to disband the Fed or put us back on the gold standard or allow citizens to print their own currency? (This is what Ron Paul has called for.) Dazzle us!

The coverage is, if anything, more interesting on the blogs. Defeated candidate Christine Smith lifts up her psychedelic typewriter and rants about the "death" of the LP. Stephen Litau mulls over the future of the LP.