NPR’s view of the Libertarian Party presidential contest

If one can encapsulate the entire article in one sentence, here it is: “The thought of Bob Barr and Mike Gravel fighting it out for the same party’s nomination leaves us speechless.”

Here’s more:

And it’s not that other Libertarians have been sitting around waiting to see what Paul would do. Candidates already in the race for the party’s nomination include Steve Kubby, a proponent of legalized marijuana for medical purposes who was the party’s gubernatorial candidate in California in 1998; George Phillies, a physics professor at Worcester Polytech Institute and a former Massachusetts congressional candidate; and Wayne Allyn Root, a professional sports handicapper and author from Las Vegas.

Then it got interesting.

Last month, former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK), who — alas — is still seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, announced he was joining the party. “My libertarian views,” said Gravel, “as well as my strong stance against the war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American.” He said he would continue his presidential campaign but now as a Libertarian, though it’s worthwhile to note that last month Gravel announced he was supporting the presidential candidacy of Green Party hopeful Jesse Johnson.

Gravel’s switch to the Libertarians was followed not long after by the news that ex-Rep. Bob Barr was forming a presidential exploratory committee of his own. Barr has been out of Congress since he lost a Republican primary in 2002 caused by redistricting. He joined the Libertarians in 2006. Announcing his intentions at a meeting of Libertarians in Kansas City, Barr said, “America today faces a grave moral and leadership crisis, and those of us who care about our country’s future can no longer sit on the sidelines and remain neutral.” A well-known fixture on cable TV who enjoyed tormenting President Clinton in the 1990s, Barr has long been a harsh critic of the Bush administration’s policies on privacy and civil liberties.

Disclosure: Stephen Gordon is working with the Bob Barr 2008 Presidential Exploratory Committee.

6 Responses to “NPR’s view of the Libertarian Party presidential contest”

  1. Brent Burk Says:

    Hopefully Barr gets more coverage than other 3rd party candidates and ends up effecting the race.

  2. NewFederalist Says:

    Barr has already received more publicity than any Libertarian candidate (or near candidate) I can remember. His contribution totals seem pretty anemic though.

  3. No Longer a Reform Party Member Says:

    Don Lake [not ever a Libertarian Party member]: Free and open elections are nothing more than popularity contest ——by the very definition of the process. National Contest[s]——then ya need some ‘names’.

    The best thing the American reform movement has done in the 21st Century is to nominate Not-So-Liberal Ralph Nader in P2004! [Sure got rid of a lot of the Buchanan ‘stink’ from the 20th Century….]

  4. Skyler McKinley Says:

    The Senator is not still running as a Democrat, FYI.

  5. Robert Milnes Says:

    Skyler, I see you corrected that LP bylaw technicality. You may not need me to win the nomination, but you do to win the election.

  6. matt Says:

    Yes Skyler,

    You and the rest of the LP are just one Robert Milnes away from nationwide victory. Get him while he’s cheap.

    /sarc

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