Sunday, May 25, 2008

Barr wins LP nomination

Bob Barr has just won the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in the "Denver Dogfight." Complete coverage of the six rounds of balloting at the American Spectator.

UPDATE: Just enjoyed celebratory refreshments with Barr operative Stephen Gordon. Gordo managed Aaron Russo's 2004 Libertarian campaign, which lost on the third ballot at Atlanta, and today's victory for Barr was a major vindication for Gordo. The fact that it took six ballots for Barr to win (with just 54% of the vote in the end) should stand as a permanent rebuke to those MSM outlets that seemed to believe that Barr's LP nomination was a done deal.

I'll try to get up some photos later. I'll have to write a story for Tuesday's Spectator Online. The agenda for this evening? The Barr campaign staffers say tonight they're planning to put the party back in Libertarian Party. And I have to cover that story. Work, work, work.

UPDATE II: USA Today's political blog relies on Associated Press coverage of the convention, which erroneously describes Mary Ruwart as having previously been the LP's presidential and vice-presidential nominee. Jim Antle corrects.

Exhaustion begins to overtake me, after hustling to cover such an exciting story all day. My first post at the AmSpec blog was filed before 9 a.m. MT, the second post two hours later, then about noon, I began reporting the six rounds of balloting, which continued until almost 4. All of that on about five hours' sleep.

I don't mind the hours, but it hacks me off to see people relying on the AP, which can't get the story straight, when I've been covering this story for more than three months. God forbid USA Today should bother linking the guy who first reported the beginning of the "Draft Barr" movement in February.

UPDATE III: Memeorandum links, with links as well to Weigel, Vox Day and Radley Balko. Instapundit links my Spectator blogging as well as Weigel. Noting the accusations of a "neocon" takeover of the LP, Insty says: "Funny, Barr doesn't look neoish."

Jason Pye has a good chronological liveblog of the Sunday action, including the vice-presidential balloting, where it appears that the radicals wanted to get California marijuana activist Steve Kubby for the No. 2 spot. Actually, Kubby is a funny and engaging guy, although I'm sure he'd be viewed as a liability in the general election campaign, where Mr. and Mrs. Middle America wouldn't get it. But it looks like Wayne Allyn Root will get the running-mate gig. And Lord, can he run! That man is energy personified.

UPDATE IV: The VP race was razor-close, Root winning with just 50.6% of the vote. Many delegates had left the convention floor after the presidential race, and Barr came within an eyelash of ending up with Kubby as his running mate.

Afterward, Kubby told his supporters, "Spark up!" No ... wait. No, that's wrong. What he actually told his supporters was, "Please, I don't want anyone trashing this ticket." So he's apparently an LP loyalist, uniting behind Barr and Root.

On the sidewalk out front of the Sheraton, I happened to run into Jim Burns, one of the third-tier candidates who didn't qualify for the presidential debates. I asked Burns how he felt. "I'm a Libertarian -- I'm used to losing. And we're going to keep on losing until we win!"

Team Barr is now getting organized for the general-election campaign. I spotted Russ Verney at the Barr exhibition booth, making phone calls to delegates who'd donated to the campaign, inviting them to a private reception that starts in a few minutes. Work, work, work.

UPDATE V: Daniel McCarthy calls Wayne Allyn Root "the poster child for ADHD." That's unfair. Root is extremely high-energy -- someone said last night, "I feel like he wants to sell me Ginzu knives" -- but he is also very focused.

Tim Lee is nervous. Brendan Loy notes the child-pornography issue that damaged Ruwart. And perhaps the damage was unnecessary. It would have been the simplest thing in the world for Ruwart to have said (about a book she wrote in 1999), "No, I don't believe child pornography should be legalized. What I really meant was ..." blah, blah blah. Or else say she'd changed her mind, realized that her argument could be misconstrued as an endorsement of things she hadn't meant to endorse. But she didn't do that; she just cried "smear," which won't work in such a circumstance.

Stephen Littau offers parting thoughts on the LP convention.


  1. Hi, Robert. I met you a few weeks ago at the NC LP convention here in Burlington, along with Barr, Gravel, Ruwart, Phillies, et al. I enjoyed watching the balloting today, but I was frustrated with the "pristine" wing of the LP. I know this is their party and not mine, but this year they have the opportunity to expand beyond doctrinaire libertarians because so many other people are yearning for an alternative from the policies of welfare and warfare neither major party is willing to break from. Concentrate on those two issues and leave abortion, gay marriage and legal marijuana for another day. If Bob Barr follows that path he will build the LP into something it has never been before - a vote getter.

    I saw Steve Gordon behind Barr during his speech today and was reminded of you. Then I checked your website and realized my mistake - you're clean-shaven and much better looking! ;-)

  2. i've written a post about the nomination you might find interesting. would love your thoughts...