Las Vegas – At the 2008 Libertarian National Convention seasoned party activist Mary Ruwart came up just 48 votes short of Bob Barr on the sixth ballot of voting for the presidential nomination. This time around, Ruwart is backing her former campaign manager, Lee Wrights, in his quest to become the Libertarian Party's 2012 presidential nominee.
During a sit-down interview with Reason outside the convention halls Ruwart expressed concern over the similarities she sees between Gary Johnson and Barr. Even though she is worried about the state of the Libertarian Party, she said sounded an optimistic tone on the future of the greater libertarian movement.
"We aren't gaining anything by having a famous person at the top of our ticket, in terms of votes. We may be losing a lot if that person does not give a strong libertarian message," said Ruwart.
In the off-camera portion of the interview Ruwart declined to say if she voted for Barr in 2008.
"My initial impressions of Gary Johnson are much more favorable than they were of Bob Barr, who endorsed Newt Gingrich for president," she said.
When asked if Johnson is a libertarian, Ruwart said she believed he is.
"I would definitely say he is in the libertarian quadrant," she answered.