Barr May Bring Libertarians Into Big Leagues

He's got the experience to draw votes and make his party relevant
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2008 9:28 PM CDT
David Weigel, in Reason, contends presidential nominee (and former Republican congressman) Bob Barr could bring an unprecedented level of support to the Libertarian Party cause.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Though still far on the periphery of the American political scene, the Libertarian Party stands to reach unprecedented visibility with its nomination of former Republican congressman Bob Barr, writes David Weigel in Reason. By picking its "most well-known and politically astute" candidate—and one who doesn’t compromise its radical mission—the party might actually force people to pay attention come November, he argues.

Ron Paul’s campaign changed a recent history of infighting, Weigel notes, proving that Libertarian values retain national appeal—a trend the party hopes to continue through Barr. "It wouldn’t take much,” he writes, “for Barr’s popularity to force John McCain to campaign in states he thought he had wrapped up, or even to swing one of those states into the Democratic column.”