And why wouldn’t they? He is a right of the center guy that seems to have more scruples than any Rethug on the ballot. Yes, I am looking at you John Weathervane McCain. According to the NYT writeup yesterday, Barr is trying to appeal to the vast majority of Ron Paul enthusiasts, of which there are many.
Third party candidates can fuck up a party’s wetdream. Nader has done it to the Dem’s and Ross Perot did it to the Rethugs. From the NYT writeup:
On the ballots in 30 states so far, Mr. Barr has the chance to be a spoiler for Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, in several states, among them Alaska, Colorado and Georgia. Mr. Barr’s campaign advisers also assert he has similar potential in other mountain states, New Hampshire, Ohio and other swing states.
The Republican Party and the McCain campaign have swatted away the Barr candidacy, but some Republicans are taking it seriously. If the early polls hold up, and Senator Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee, pours heavy resources into Georgia, that state could be up for grabs, said Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia.
Nader isn’t a new face on the general election front and I personally think any damage he will do to the Democratic nominee is marginal, but Barr could embarass the Rethugs. A point to make, and the NYT does, is that no Libertarian has ever gotten more than 1% of the vote. Money isn’t flowing into this campaign yet either. From the NYT writeup:
Yet Mr. Barr faces formidable obstacles. No Libertarian candidate has ever won more than 1 percent of the vote in a presidential election, and Mr. Barr is severely lacking in money, resources and name recognition. He has yet to lease a campaign headquarters, have a fund-raiser, tape a television advertisement or hold a campaign event.
There is also the fact that the convention which nominated him wasn't completely behind him either. It took six votes to hand Barr the nomination, and it was by a very thin margin. Before anyone gets excited about Barr, they should consider his record as a former Rethug member. His votes for the Patriot Act bill, the Iraq AUMF, impeaching Bill Clinton and sponsoring the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 shouldn’t endear him to anyone but the most right of the rightwing nutjobs.
Barr is attempting to distance himself from those votes now however, blaming them on the (R) after his name at the time. He now states he is “for a speedy and complete withdrawal of troops, with no permanent bases; on same-sex marriage, he believes that states should make their own laws; and on wiretaps without warrants, he is fiercely opposed, arguing that the bill that would legalize searches without warrants violates an individual’s constitutional rights”.
Barr is eyeballing the Ron Paulistas right now that consider themselves Libertarian. The Paul supporters aren’t flocking to Barr at this point however. Some are highly pissed off that Barr is pandering specifically to Ron Paul supporters. Ron Paul has refused to endorse Barr’s candidacy as well.
The long and short of it is how much support in November Barr and Nader will draw from the two main parties. Polls, which I hate with a passion, are showing both Nader and Barr garnering 3% of the vote in specific toss-up states. Obama’s bean counters are happy that Barr has joined the fray, saying he might make the difference in states which are important and still close between Obama and McCain.
All in all, it remains to be seen what Barr can do..money is his nemisis right now, and the same goes for Nader. This general election season looks to be all about the money and breaking records for how much you can raise and spend. Obama has the edge there and frankly I just want to get past the Democratic convention and head into the final stretch..I am so ready to get this shit over with, it ain’t even funny.