Barr V Graves?

Jim Galloway has been kind enough to kick off an otherwise slow glide into the weekend with this nugget:

From the GOP grapevine: Former Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr has told friends that he’s contemplating an attempted return to Congress – and a return to the Republican fold.

Barr, a longtime resident of Cobb County, would challenge U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger – a tea party favorite. In August, the Legislature redrew Graves’ district to include heavily populated Floyd and Paulding counties – which now make up 38 percent of the electorate.

A friend of mine talked to Barr within the hour, and confirms that Barr is considering a bid after being approached by residents of his former district which is now part of the 14th district. While considering, he has made no decision. No timeframe on a formal decision or annoucement was given.

My quick take is this:

1) While the voters of the 14th district are TEA Party faithful fiscal conservatives that would look favorable to Barr’s libertarian limited government positions with respect to budget issues, they are not libertarian with respect to social issues. As Galloway noted, Barr has written many examples of his opinions on social issues that are not likely to sit well with members of the new 14th.

2) While Barr has represented many residents of this district, that was a decade ago. Those not currently represented by Graves are clustered in suburban Paulding County. Suburbs have a somewhat transient nature, and many of today’s Paulding residents weren’t residents when there was last a Congressman Bob Barr.

3) Barr’s last experience as a Republican was challenging a popular sitting Congressman John Linder. While Linder is also now retired, he remains popular as the patron saint of the FairTax. His most recent political activity was as the Presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party, a campaign that eneded with significant debt.

I see items 1-3 presenting a problem for Barr running against a TEA Party incumbent with a voting record that matches the desires of most of the 14th district. Some see Graves as vulnerable because of his personal financial issues and because he has picked up new population centers in Floyd and Paulding counties, which may have different priorities than those expressed by the TEA Party.

That said, I see great diffuculty with anyone taking Graves out of this seat without the express endorsement of Congressman Phil Gingrey, and I would estimate the chances of that at less than zero.


  1. CobbGOPer says:

    Sadly I think you’re right, Charles. The people of the 14th very likely still have an 1875-era attitude towards social issues, which will cause problems for logical, reasonable candidates like Bob Barr who stubbornly live in the 21st Century.

  2. James Fannin says:

    I was privileged to get to know Bob Barr after he left office and what you get with Bob is all Ten Amendments – he supports them all and fights for them all equally. Bob’s the real thing. I was an early supporter of Tom Graves financially but was turned off by his personal fiscal irresponsibility and his weasel-worded attempts to evade his own just debts to his bank. I will definitely contribute and support Bob Barr if he gets in.

    • STEVETARVIN says:

      If Tarvin runs I am supporting him. I know for a fact he is solid and there is zero anyone can dig up on him because he also already told everyone his faults and most of them are visual. 🙂

  3. seenbetrdayz says:

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Barr v. Chambliss, but that’s 2014. I think he’d make a decent senator.

  4. debbie0040 says:

    Barr doesn’t stand a chance…He might as well concede now…Barr has real problems with his stances on issues and I a not just talking social issues

    • saltycracker says:


      How do you get past his $2 million personal fiscal irresponsibility issue ?
      that’s not a small thing and a real problem even if he votes ones direction every time.

        • TheEiger says:

          Steve – what would you do differently in Congress. Tom Graves has done a wonderful job for his constituents and our country. You have to have some reason to run if you could do better. What would you do? I honestly think Graves cleans house against you and Barr. If you couldn’t beat him when he wasn’t an incumbent congressman how do you plan to do it when he is the incumbent with a great voting record?

            • TheEiger says:

              Yes, I know who he is. That is why asked the question of what he would do different. He announced last year that he was running again, but has said he would pretty much do everything that Graves is doing. That is not a reason to replace someone that is doing a good job.

                • STEVETARVIN says:

                  P.S. I have never heard Tarvin say he would do pretty much what Graves is doing. I have heard him say their thoughts on some issues were much the same. Take for instance Jordan and Pippin, they both had the same “goal” in mind and both attempted with great effort, however, the result was different.

                  • TheEiger says:

                    Doesn’t answer my question. What would he do different from Graves? I want specifics. Certain votes. I would say there are very few if any.

        • saltycracker says:

          Guess it depends on what you mean by “settled” to a busted bank (see former exec’s statements) or to popular politicians on influential committees…….

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