(And I’m not sure whether it should be routed through the Self-Delusion Agency or Committee on Unwarranted Optimism…)

Bob Barr has just announced his candidacy for President on the LIbertarian ticket.

“My name is Bob Barr and I’m a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America,” he told a small room of reporters, pre-empting them by raising the obvious question himself: “You might say Bob Barr, why are you running for president?”


“Look, I’m in it to win it,” said Barr. “I’m not getting in this race to make a point. … I’m not getting into this race to be a spoiler — I’ve got better things to do.”

Well, apparently not.

This is the counterbalance to Ralph Nader that, I’m sure, Democrats have been waiting for.  But Barr, while he has name recognition going for him, is dropping another name that may make some folks wary of voting for him.

remains a candidate for president even though Sen. John McCain has surpassed the minimum number of delegates to win the nomination.

"Ron Paul tapped into a great deal of that dissatisfaction and that awareness," Barr said on the website. "Unfortunately, working through the Republican party structure, it became impossible for him to really move forward with his movement. But we have to have … a rallying point out there to harness that energy, that freedom, in this election cycle."

Of course, that name could also tap into a constituency that has been trying to "revolt" against the presumptive nominee, to little or no avail.  My hunch (and that’s all it is) is that Barr could indeed become a real spoiler for McCain if he can successfully get the Paul supporters on his side.  For now, they’re rather busy, so the extent of this support will probably only be known after the Republican convention. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution article notes that the Libertarian candidate in 2004 got a little over 3% of the vote with no name recognition.  (Anyone know who Michael Badnarik is?)  Barr could easily do better.

Filed under: DougGovernmentPoliticsRepublicans

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