Reason on Bob Barr, Mike Gravel, Alan Keyes

I ran into Reason’s Dave Weigel at an event last night in DC. He asked the usual questions about Mike Gravel that I was getting from other members of the media yesterday, but he was insightful enough that we went into a greater level of details about the actual convention process than I generally do with other reporters.

In today’s blog entry, he covered Barr’s recent statement at AntiWar Radio with this quote:

On a presidential run, Barr said:

“There’s been a tremendous expressed to me both directly and indirectly on the Internet. I take that support very seriously, and I think it also reflects a great deal of dissatisfaction with the current candidates and the current two-party system. So it is something, to be honest with you, that I’m looking very seriously at.”

Barr said a Libertarian candidacy would essentially be an extension of the Ron Paul campaign.

“Ron Paul tapped into a great deal of that dissatisfaction and that awareness. 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,” Barr said.

On the convention side, he covered my opinion that I believe that Mary Ruwart is currently in the lead for the LP nomination:

And it’s not at all clear that Gravel could get 30 tokens. From what I’m hearing (big hat-tip to the plugged-in Steve Gordon), Mary Ruwart’s recent entry into the race makes her the slight favorite: Barr, if he entered, would be the slight favorite, drawing much of his support from Wayne Allyn Root.

I’ll add that while I consider Ruwart the current frontrunner, her lead is but marginal. I hope to conduct a new survey next week, and will be doing head-to-head matchups among the key contenders in order to test potential final round convention voting results.

He also covered the potential for Alan Keyes to follow Barr’s and Gravel’s lead and swap parties, too. Additional coverage of a potential third party race by Keyes here, here and here (and more).

12 Responses to “Reason on Bob Barr, Mike Gravel, Alan Keyes”

  1. NewFederalist Says:

    An extension of the Ron Paul campaign… interesting.

  2. silver Republican Says:

    Would Ron Paul endorse Barr?

  3. disinter Says:

    Barr for prez.
    Gravel for VP.

  4. disinter Says:

    His hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports that the ex-congressman may seek the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination. Already, ex-US senator Mike Gravel has announced as well, meaning the LP will have an interesting and significant convention, and that McWarmonger and Hillbama will not go unchallenged.

  5. George Donnelly Says:

    Neither Gravel nor Keyes really hold a consistent Libertarian philosophy. These are Republicrat rejects. While everyone should be welcome to join the LP and take the pledge, we shouldn’t push our own aside just because a celebrity/reject deigns to play with us.

  6. Roscoe Says:

    Mary Ruwart has her endorsements up and the first one - as Donderooo warned - is David Bergland. Though I must say she sounds like a great candidate.

  7. Sivarticus Says:

    Barr needs to get in now while the going is good if he is serious. By mid April, I expect to see him running, if he’s going to do it. He may even have a slim shot at a Constitution Party endorsement, alongside a Libertarian nomination. If we could unite both third parties (and maybe even a few more, like the Reform Party remnants and Independence Parties in MN and NY), it would make a splash—this year more than any other. We are seeing many Republicans dissatisfied with McCain. Meanwhile, the left is self-combusting across the board, from the Democrats down to Nader and the Greens. Genuine independents will have no choice but to look to the CP and LP for an alternative.

    Anything can happen this year. We have a very enraged country like 1992, which will allow third parties to thrive, if only we can line up the right candidates.

  8. disinter Says:

    Barr for prez.
    Gravel for VP.

    Although Gravel is far from being libertarian, this ticket would do wonders for LP party recognition. A former Repug Rep and Dem Senator running on the LP ticket…. holly shit.

  9. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I’ve said it before; Barr probably has the most name recognition with the general public . . . 15%; maybe nearing 20%. Everybody else, 0 to 10% Barr’s problem is getting the nomination. It is going to take a lot of soul searching for national convention delegates to support him . . . my guess is he scores, at the very best 60/60 on the Nolan chart. Of course Nolan chart scores are only a rough indication, but with Ruwart at 100/100, I believe that this tradeoff, the low libertarian score for a little more name recognition (for Barr) is one most delegates won’t opt for, IMHO. I won’t take that tradeoff, and I WILL be a delegate! Barr, as well as Root need more time to understand and embrace, what libertarianism really is. I hope they both do GET IT in the near future.

  10. Roscoe Says:

    15%? Not likely. I asked six people in the office, whom I know to follow politics closely, and not one could identify Bob Barr. Even after I explained, only one even had a vague “I might have heard of him.”

  11. David F. Nolan Says:

    Unfortunately, none of the LP’s prospective candidates is exactly a household name in most households. I’d bet good money that well under 50% of the American electorate could tell you who Ron Paul is. Gravel might be identified by 10%, Barr by 3% and the rest would elicit blank stares from 99% of the populace. It’s a big country, folks - over 300 million people, of whom probably close to 130 million will vote on Election Day. Having name recognition with 100,000 or 200,000 people doesn’t even budge the needle. So let’s not kid ourselves that any of our likely Presidential nominees is a “celebrity” who can attract millions of votes just because they’re well-known.

  12. Mike Theodore Says:

    If you ask me, I don’t really see why everyone loves Barr. If you look at what he voted for as a congressman, it’s far from Libertarian. I think the fact that he was a congressman attracts attention. Personally, I’m a Gravel fan, and I was before he joined the party.

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