Bob Barr going Libertarian

Update 2: The AP now has the story – a full 24 hours after Peach Pundit. 🙂

Update: There’s more: an offer of a leadership position within the national LP. As Jason said, though, any talk of running is just speculation. Seems like pretty logical speculation to me.

After being kept under wraps for a longer amount of time than many expected, the word is out: former GOP Congressman Bob Barr has joined the Libertarian Party.

He apparently joined the national party, rather than the LPGA (hehe); if that is the case, then what does that portend about his future legislative (or even higher office) thoughts, plans, or ambitions? As an election approaches in which magician/comedian Penn Jillette was expected to be a serious Presidential candidate, can Barr make an immediate splash with the LP and rise to the top of the ’08 ticket? And would he want to?

What effect – if any – will this have on the two major parties’ nominations for ’08, as well as on their strategery for campaigning in Georgia? Would a former Republican Congressman at the top of the LP ticket cause the GOP to nominate a more economically conservative, anti-big-government candidate? Would it matter at all?

Or would his opposition simply show Barr’s scene from “Borat” over and over again on the campaign trail? You know, the look on his face when he takes a bite of cheese, and then Borat says, “this cheese come from milk from my wife.” Yuck.


  1. DougieFresh says:

    Penn Jillette is running? I have listened to his talk show, and if he can actually get on the ballot, I would seriously consider voting for him.

    Georgia W. Bush and the Bushbots have demonstrated why it is insane to just vote for the Republican soley because he is not as bad as the Democrat.

  2. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Hahaha – I haven’t heard that last before, Doug. I think, though, that November showed that people won’t “vote for the Republican soley because he is not as bad as the Democrat.”

  3. Paul Shuford says:

    I am a consistent Libertarian voter, but Bob Barr will have to end his support of the War on Drugs and will have to support legalization/decriminalization to get my vote. I’ve always thought that his stances on most other things were pretty Libertarian, though.

  4. atlantaman says:

    Barr is an interesting guy who understands the Constitution better than 95% of our elected Representatives. I would be interested to hear how is criminalization of drugs would gell with the Libertarian philosophy, assuming he still thinks it should be criminalized.

    Even if Barr supported the war on drugs, I think it would be a mistake for Libertarians to exclude him.

  5. liberty21 says:

    Let Me guess for Presidential Election 2008
    Dems will have Clinton /Obama 08
    GOP will have McCain/ Brownback 08
    Libertarians will have Barr /Jillette 08
    Constitution Party will have Gilchrist/ Corsi 08

  6. Jason Pye says:

    I think you guys are jumping the gun on Barr running. There has been no indication that he is running.

    He is simply tired of the GOP and decided to make the change and fight for liberty.

  7. StevePerkins says:

    1) Every time the LP gets mentioned on Peach Pundit, there is growling and babble about drug legalization… to the point that the original topic gets forgotten half the time. I’m a life member of the LP, as active in the state party as my time allows me to be these days , and I can count on one hand the number of Libertarians I know for which drug laws are even in their Top 10 list of priorities. This isn’t 1982, folks… you don’t hear us Libertarians groaning about Star Wars or nuclear S.A.L.T. treaties whenever the GOP or Democratic Party’s names are mentioned…

    2) Although I would support a Barr run, I don’t really think this is his end-goal plan. He spoke for a Federalist Society event at my law school a couple of months back, and was nice enough to stick around afterward answering questions. I got the impression that he’s positive on the LP and enjoyed speaking at our past National Conventional, but these days is pursuing more of a role influencing things as a policy wonk and consultant rather than a candidate. Never say never, though…

  8. Clint Austin says:

    Last thing we need is Barr running for president. He would only play right into Hillary’s hands, splitting off votes from the GOP nominee.

    As a smart person I met with recently pointed out, that is the only way Hillary can win – by splitting the GOP vote with 3rd party candidates. It’s how Bill got elected, and no reason to think the Clintons won’t hope/try to generate the same scenario again.

  9. Jace Walden says:

    Hey Clint,

    Maybe if the GOP would actually do something worth a damn every once in a while (you know, like shrink the government or uphold the constitution) “we” wouldn’t have to worry about anyone stealing votes from the potential big-government candidate that the GOP is destined to nominate.

    Ever think about that?

  10. Jace Walden says:

    The whole “vote for us or the liberal democrats will control everything” tactic worked really well this time around though…

    But then again, when you put the same dumbasses that led the party to its most crushing defeat ever (Boehner, Martinez, Lott) back into positions of leadership, I guess you have to be satisfied with the same stale, tired, and dumbass rhetoric.

  11. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Paul: it seems to me, as a conservative, that if the LP wants a bit more success (and traction), there are a bit higher priorities than legalizing drugs that should be focused on.

  12. atlantaman says:

    I know if you’re a strict Libertarian it seems to be an all or nothing proposition, but as a Republican there are aspects of the Libertartian party I find interesting. They tend to make me look at issues through a different prism and remind me of the true meaning of the Constitution. One thing I really like about Libertarians is there is nothing knee-jerk about them – their arguments are very thoughtful and intellectual.

    I don’t know if Bob Barr is running for President or not, but I think it would be foolish for the Libertarians not to embrace him. You have to realize that if Bob Barr’s drug philosophy was your only problem this country’s way of governing would be light years closer to your beliefs then it currently is.

    Instead of getting folks to jump in head first you can try to pull people incrementially to your side.

  13. Jason Pye says:

    Barr says he’s not according to Fox News.

    Barr said he has no plans to run for office. In his new role as the Libertarian Party’s regional representative for the South, he will help promote the party’s message and recruit candidates, he said.

    That was one of my first questions, I do think he has one run left in him, but I don’t think he’ll run for President.

  14. LiveFreeOrDie says:

    Bob Barr is too much of an asset OUTSIDE of office to run. Why should his intellect be harnessed by having to cater to the opinions of the general populace in order to gain votes? He’s too good for that.

  15. Bill Simon says:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting, though, if Barr tried to run against Linder again as a Libertarian? There are plenty of people in the 7th who are still Barr-nuts.

  16. hankreardan says:

    There has only been 4 people in the history of the US to get on the ballot with the requirements that Georgia has to run for US house.I belive about 15-20,000 signatures in about 4 months in that district

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