I began surfing the web for news about Bob Barr formally being announced the Libertarian Party candidate for president. There was not mention of it. It wasn’t mentioned on network TV. The only mention I saw on the web from a mainstream media source was from Yahoo’s AP wire.
Drudge Report never mentioned it. In fact, when Bob Barr officially announced he was running on May 11, it was the first mention of the Libertarian Party in any capacity since Harry Browne’s death in March 2006. Harry Browne’s death was the first mention of libertarianism in any aspect since Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter announced in January 2003 that he was a “libertarian.”
There will be no Libertarian candidates in the Presidential or VP debates unless somehow Barr and Root poll at 15% or higher nationwide. The most optimistic of the bipartisan pollsters has Barr at 8% in Georgia.
Bob Barr will not have many more opportunities to spread his message to a large mainstream audience. He will encounter the same barriers that Michael Badnarik did in 2004, Harry Browne did in 1996 and 2000, Andre Marrou did in 1992, and Ron Paul did in 1988.
The one thing Barr has going for him is name recognition. Over 80% of people polled have heard of him. More people know who Barr is now than people knew who Ron Paul was in 1988. While Barr has a lot of negative connotations about him, being a “pot smoker who frequents brothels” is not one of them. In this aspect, he could be a plus. Too many people have given libertarians this false label, including myself in the early 1990s.
If there is a curse in running for office in a third party, Bob Barr will soon know what it’s like to be from one of the most powerful members of Congress to somebody as politically relevant as Lenora Fulani.