The WSJ‘s Susan Davis reports:
In perhaps the most desperate sounding e-mail solicitation yet this election cycle, third party Libertarian candidate Bob Barr‘s campaign manager sent out a plea today to supporters to raise $15,000 each day this week — or else.
Under the subject line, “Have I said or done something to offend you?” Russ Verney writes, “You see, I have to report that unless we receive and immediate cash infusion of $85,000, our progress will stop dead in its tracks. To be very blunt, I am presently faced with bills equaling our bank account balance, and I know there are many more expenses on the horizon.”
According to the latest report with the Federal Election Commission, Barr’s campaign had just $69,000 cash on hand at the end of June, and he raised just under $200,000 last month.
Barr, thus far, has run a cautious campaign by third party standards. When he speaks, his statements are measured, as if he thinks he may actually become president; he has embraced the Libertarian Party, but rejected its more radical elements in a concerted play for conservative votes. In theory, it looked like it a promising strategy for him — combining Ron Paul voters with disgruntled conservatives could make for a historic showing for a Libertarian candidate, and mean trouble for John McCain. But I wonder if the high-wire act he has been trying to pull off has left Barr with the worst of both worlds. On the one hand, his play for conservative voters and measured tone has made it more difficult for him to tap into the enthusiasm (and wallets) of the Paulites, while his shift from conservative stalwart to Libertarian standard bearer has turned off potential supporters on the right. One would think that in an election year such as this, in which you have a sizable number of frustrated libertarians and limited government conservatives and a Republican nominee unacceptable to many of them, that the political terrain would be ideally-suited for somebody like Barr. But, while it’s a long way until November, right now, Barr doesn’t appear to be catching fire, and that has to be seen as good news for McCain.