Thursday, April 3, 2008

Barr to announce?

Former Rep. Bob Barr could announce his Libertarian Party presidential bid as early as this weekend, The Washington Times reports:
A source familiar with Mr. Barr's thinking says he likely will announce his bid this weekend, at the Heartland Libertarian Conference in Kansas City, Mo., where he is scheduled to speak.
Mr. Barr declined to say whether he would make an announcement, but told The Washington Times, "I will be there certainly, and will be addressing the convention."
He said he has detected "significantly deep dissatisfaction with particularly the Republican Party and the Republican likely nominee," and that leaves an opening for someone with his views. . . .
Mr. Barr said he could appeal particularly to voters in libertarian-minded places such as Vermont, New Hampshire and the Rocky Mountain states, and said he would have a broader appeal than Mr. Nader's candidacy -- partly because the Libertarian Party is already qualified for the ballot in 48 states, and partly because of the principles he would espouse. "The message that I would bring is definitely not a fringe or an extremist message, it's a basic, mainstream message that will have a very broad appeal," he said.
The interesting thing about this is how some conservatives Republicans are reacting:
[A] third-party candidate on the right who did well enough to tip the election to the Democrats wouldn't do much for his reputation among conservative Republicans.
Why should Bob Barr, who left the GOP and joined the LP three years ago, care about his reputation among Republicans? More importantly, why should conservatives support John McCain? Why is electing a liberal Republican better than electing a liberal Democrat?

UPDATE: The New Republic's Jamie Kirchick has Barr running not as a Libertarian but as an independent, provoking much mirth from my Libertarian friend Stephen Gordon. Jamie, trust me: Gordo knows what he's talking about.

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