Bob Barr switching to Libertarian Party?

By ericdondero Comments (14) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Breaking news...

The Libertarian Party world is abuzz with the news that former Republican Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia may be jumping ship over to the LP. Word is that Barr is disenchanted with the increasingly big-government oriented policies of the GOP, and their lack of recognition of the importance of the Party's limited government wing post-election. (This could be Mike Pence and John Shadegg losing the leadership posts -- just speculating here.)

Apparently, there's some hard truth to the rumors. In a Southern Regional Libertarian Party conference call last week, LP leaders voted almost unanimously to invite Barr to represent their Region on the Libertarian National Committee. Barr responded that he would "seriously consider it."

Barr was a keynote speaker at the 2004 Libertarian Party convention in Atlanta, and in 2006 campaigned for Libertarian Party congressional candidate Bob Smither in Texas. He is also friends with Libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, also rumored to be a possible Presidential candidate.

For the last two weeks the Libertarian Party world has also been abuzz of a major "Big Name Candidate" that would drop for the LP's Presidential nomination.

I was led to believe by some sources that it would be magician Penn Jillette, who is a Libertarian Party supporter.

It's starting to look like someone deliberately led me down that wrong path. That's fine.

Barr would make an even stronger candidate for the LP.

This all comes on the heels of a recent announcement by 2004 World Poker Champion Greg Raymer that he would seek the Libertarian Party's Vice Presidential nomination.

Does one smell some backroom deals at work here?

A Bob Barr/Greg Raymer ticket perhaps?

What does this all mean for us Republicans? It means that the GOP will need to work extra, extra hard to attract the libertarian voter in 2008. Further, it means that the GOP needs to nominate a Presidential candidate who has major appeal. Or at least put a libertarian Republican on the ticket.

A Tom Coburn, Mark Sanford, Gary Johnson, William Weld, or Jeff Flake, perhaps?

Eric Dondero, CEO,

It's been official - albeit kept very quiet - for a while now.

I'm not sure Julian Sanchez and Brian Doherty will welcome him very warmly to the fold...

2006 is done, 2008 is another day and another fight

Bill Owens, (soon-to-be former) governor of Colorado, is a self-describe libertarian. He's also an outstanding debator and excellent speaker (see his debate video on at an ACLU conference against Howard Dean on the Patriot Act)

I am an actual Libertarian(notice the 'L') and an Arizonan, and as such would love to see Flake with the veto pen. So I just want to get this out now before the rest of my comment, please don't try to take Flake out of the House without giving him an executive position(Governor or President I don't care which), do not try make him VP.

With that being said:
If Barr does seek the Libertarian nomination, which I think he would get, all sorts of things happen

  1. Barr seems more of a pragmatic libertarian and would support the possible, bringing credence to the LP
  2. If the Republicans didn't put a libertarian friendly candidate to their ticket(not Flake please), then he could pull spoiler
  3. For fun, near havok would ensue in the LP when Barr wouldn't fully support non-popular issues like drug leagalization, or potentially others.

There are definitely those in the LP that would claim such things, of course there are also those who would claim Paul is as well. But then again I think the LP has more ideological purists(per capita) in it than the major parties.

Boy, that's quite an endorsment for your Congressman there. If I was Flake, I'd be extremely flattered.

I agree with you 100%. He's the best that the Republican Party has to offer right now, (save Butch Otter and Sarah Palin).

On Drug legalization, word is Barr has come around almost completely to the LP position since a few years ago. While, maybe not on crack cocaine, certainly on medical marijuana.

Trust me, I know LPers. They'll be so disbelieving that a former Congressman is even giving them the time of day, starstruck if you will, that he'll walk right into the Nomination.

Eric at

Eric Dondero

There was also another more detailed story on another Libertarian Party blog by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster. Don't have the link as of yet.

Eric Dondero

For the last two weeks the Libertarian Party world has also been abuzz of a major "Big Name Candidate" that would drop for the LP's Presidential nomination.

I was led to believe by some sources that it would be magician Penn Jillette, who is a Libertarian Party supporter.

I have no problem with celebs running for office - in the case of the LP one with good name recognition would be a big plus, but I think Penn would be the wrong one. Would Teller be his VP? That would make for an interesting VP debate at least. I would rather Dave Barry (and I am not making that up).

I don't know how much extra interest Bob Barr will bring - Ron Paul was a former Rep when he ran in 1988 and he didn't get much play. Barr is better known even if it's for being on the radio a lot and the whole Clinton deal. Let's just say it can't hurt the LP but I am quite likely to stay GOP unless they nominate a Brownback type.

The fully story is now up on the Libertarian Party's web site at

Barr makes some interesting comments.

Eric Dondero

I thought that Bob Barr already was a Libertarian.


I saw your comment over at my site about Penn. I've yet to see any substantiation of that except for what you've said.

Any speculation of Barr running is just that...speculation. When the state chairs of the region spoke among themselves about the issue we were told that he had no plans to run, not to mention that he probably wouldn't get the nomination (you've seen some of the reaction from the purists). We were lucky just to get him on the LNC.

If you want the real story has to how Barr got elected feel free to e-mail me.

This is like the Ron Paul deal in 1987 all over again. Exact same thing happend. LP purists went bonkers. There was talk when he first joined the LP that "no way was he going to run for the LP Presidential nomination and even if he did he wouldn't get it."

Deja vu all over again.

Eric Dondero

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