Who Is Bob Barr?
Former Georgia congressman and Clinton impeacher-in-chief Bob Barr announced today that he will be seeking the presidency as a candidate of the Libertarian Party. The first name that pops to mind is Ralph Nader. Republicans fear a repeat of 2000, with Barr siphoning votes from John McCain (although it¡¯s also possible he¡¯d sabotage Obama). Others wonder how Barr¡¯s candidacy will play with Ron Paul supporters.
The Texas Republican, who has slowed his candidacy to a crawl in recent months¡ªbut hasn¡¯t dropped out!¡ªhas come under pressure to make a third-party run for the presidency. Barr¡¯s announcement appears to have closed the door on a Paul run, at least on the Libertarian ticket.
So what does Ron Paul think of Barr¡¯s announcement? "Our thoughts are that Bob and Ron are friends and remain friends," said Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. You can see why. Some of Barr¡¯s words today sounded as if they could have come out of Paul¡¯s mouth: He accused both parties of "running a charity called the United States of America" and slammed Hillary Clinton for saying she¡¯d "obliterate Iran" if they attacked Israel.
But whatever their similarities, Benton says Paul has no plans to endorse anyone¡ªincluding Barr. "Ron Paul is a Republican and he¡¯s going to be a part of the Republican party," he says.
Paul is still campaigning in upcoming primaries, including West Virginia and Kentucky. "He¡¯s not going to be the nominee," Benton says. But the congressman maintains a "strong following" of 6 to 8 percent in most states and plans to continue running, he says.
(c) 2010 Maya Chilam Foundation