The Spectacle Blog

Re: What Is Barr Doing?

By on 4.14.08 | 2:23PM

That all sounds reasonable enough. Barr has three bars -- er, I mean hurdles -- to clear in an effort to become a third-party candidate of even a Nader 2000-like level of seriousness. First, he has to actually get the nomination of the Libertarian Party, which is filled with eccentrics and people who are going to have legitimate gripes with Barr's congressional voting record. Second, he has to keep Ron Paul supporters mobilized despite being more moderate, more conventional, and less philosophically oriented than Paul. Third, he has to win over the conservatives who are most disgusted with John McCain without turning off the first two groups of voters.

That last part is not necessarily easy to do, since the most anti-McCain conservatives include hardline immigration restrictionists, people who think McCain is wimpy on issues like torture and Guantanamo Bay, and think McCain is too dovish on foreign policy. Some, though not all, of their grievances are exactly the opposite of what Libertarians and Ron Paul Republicans dislike about McCain. Of course, Barr might be able to appeal to the third group based on biography and reputation more than issues. Dave Weigel has more.

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