Monthly Archives: May 2008

Libertarian Party selects Bob Barr as 2008 presidential nominee

Libertarian Party Press Release:

Libertarian Party selects Bob Barr as 2008 presidential nominee

Former Congressman plans to take the White House as Libertarian candidate

Denver – The Libertarian Party has nominated former Congressman Bob Barr as its candidate for president for the 2008 election.

“I’m sure we will emerge here with the strongest ticket in the history of the Libertarian Party,” Barr stated in his victory speech shortly after being selected as the Party’s nominee. “I want everybody to remember that we only have 163 days to win this election. We cannot waste one single day.”

More than 650 Libertarian delegates met in Denver from May 22 till the 26 for the 2008 Libertarian National Convention. After six rounds of voting Sunday afternoon, Barr was selected as the Party’s presidential nominee.

“We’re proud to present to the American voters Bob Barr as our presidential nominee,” says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis. “While Republicans and Democrats will fight for their own power in November, Libertarians will fight for Americans. Bob Barr is one of the strongest candidates in the Party’s 37-year history, and we look for him to have an enormous impact in the 2008 race. Republicans and Democrats have good reason to fear a candidate like Barr, who refuses to accept the ‘business-as-usual’ attitude of the current political establishment. Americans want and need another choice, and that choice is Bob Barr.”

The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

For more information, or to arrange a media interview, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 333-0008 during normal business hours, or at (202) 731-0002 during any other time. For an interview with the Barr campaign, please contact Audrey Mullen at (703) 548-1160.

Live Blogging the Libertarian Convention Vote

To win the nomination, a candidate has to earn a majority of votes. Most likley there will be several rounds of voting. I’ll post the totals from each round.

1st Vote

Bob Barr 153 (25%)

Mary Ruwart 152 (25%)

Wayne Allyn Root 123 (20%)

Mike Gravel 71 (11%)

George Phillies 49

Steve Kubby 41

Mike Jingozian 23

Christine Smith 6

None of the above 2

Total votes 579*

*Ron Paul, Penn Jillette, and Daniel Imperato also received votes but where not considered part of the tally

Jingozian and Smith are eliminated; Jingozian throws his support behind Gravel.

Smith is outraged that Bob Barr has the lead; tells delegates to support “a real Libertarian.”

2nd Vote

Bob Barr 188 (30%)

Mary Ruwart 162 (26%)

Wayne Allyn Root 138 (22%)

Mike Gravel 73

George Phillies 36

Steve Kubby 32

None of the above 1

Total votes 630

Kubby eliminated; backs Ruwart.
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Post-Debate Press Conference

Stephen and I attended the post-debate press conference last night where candidates fielded questions from media and bloggers. Stephen asked a question to the candidates about pardoning non-violent drug offenders.

The video is divided into two parts. The first is Mike Gravel. He was in the room before the other candidates and kind of took over the podium and took several questions. LP Media Communication Director Andrew Davis politely asked him to let other candidates come up and take questions and Gravel cocked an attitude. I’m not faulting Gravel, but he could have handled it better.

Here is Gravel:

Here is the second part of the press conference video. This has all of the candidates answering questions from the media:

Live Blogging the 2008 Libertarian Presidential Debate

7:06 p.m. Barr admires Ayn Rand.

7:10 p.m. Gravel describes the problems associated with the two party system, incorrectly calls the U.S. a democracy, slams big oil, and champions the Libertarian Party.

7:11 p.m. Phillies says vote Libertarian. Describes himself as “the centrist libertarian.” Slams the Bush Administration.

7:14 p.m. Network Down. Sorry.

7:20 p.m. Jingozian’s philosophical hero is Ben Franklin

7:21 p.m. Mary Ruwart’s philosophical hero is also Ayn Rand.

7:23 p.m. Steve Kubby’s philosophical hero was Nolan.

7:25 p.m. Root’s is Yogi Berra

7:30 p.m. Phillies says we should bring the troops home.

7:31 p.m. Jingozian says war in Iraq will not end if Barack Obama is elected…vote Libertarian.

7:33 p.m. Root says war in Iraq was a mistake. He supported the war in the beginning but now says it was a mistake. All future wars must be authorized by congress.

7:35 p.m. Barr says that we should have a defensive military policy rather than offensive.
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Interview with Libertarian Presidential Candidate Wayne Allyn Root

Liberty Papers: I’m here with Libertarian Presidential Candidate Wayne Allyn Root and Cornelius Swart of The Portland Sentinel

Portland Sentinel: Okay, so how did you feel about yesterday’s debate based on the rankings?

Root: I don’t think that really had anything to do with it. This is a very different crowd. The debate was not the same crowd as what’s going to be at tonight’s debate. That debate was all the more liberal candidates of the Libertarian Party.

I was the only candidate that is perceived as a conservative that had the chutzpah to show up and face down that crowd and I think they loved it. And I think I will be everyone’s second and third choice in that room. In matter of fact I know I’ll be lots of first choices, I got a whole bunch of tokens there but more importantly I have everybody’s second and third choices and that’s what’s going to win this nomination. No one’s going to win it on the first ballot.

Its going to be won more between the second and the sixth through eighth ballot. And I believe the likeability factor as a second or third choice of conservative Libertarian delegates will absolutely determine the final one. I’m very confident that I’m everybody’s second or third choice, because I’m friendly with everybody and I’m a good guy. And I think that’s very important. I know the issues, I’m the best communicator by far, I’m the best guy to put on national TV. I can put a positive face on this party’s vision and image.

I think everyone knows now for sure that I’m in no way, shape, or form [that I] am really the conservative candidate. I’m actually a moderate, mainstream, Libertarian who’s both right and left. I’m not threatening anyone to the left. I think before last night there were a lot of people who weren’t quite sure which camp I was in. Maybe they were worried I was in Bob Barr’s camp but its pretty obvious I’m not.

Portland Sentinel: How are you different from Bob Barr’s positions?

Root: Well, lets start with a different issue because, I’m not being a typical politician trying to dodge your question but I really mean this. It’s not issues that are going to determine the race. It’s going to be personality that determines the race. And that’s the most important thing you should look at besides the issues. I’m not saying the issues aren’t important but personality is 60% and issues are 40%.

Personality, the proof of that I’ll give you great examples from both the right and the left.

From the right: Barry Goldwater was the original founder of libertarian thought. Lot’s of the people in this party were disciples of Barry Goldwater in ’71 when this [Libertarian] party was founded. They based it on his philosophy. Now I know that there’s also Ayn Rand, Murry Rothbard, and it goes on and on, but the founders of this party, that circle were all Barry Goldwater disciples. Barry Goldwater was a great guy with a great message but he lost in a landslide. Sixteen years later Ronald Reagan took the same message and won in a landslide. Same message.

On the left: George McGovern had a liberal message and lost in a landslide. All these years later, who has the exact same message as George McGovern? Barack Obama, the most popular politician in America. He happens to be my college classmate, class of ‘83 at Columbia University. Barack has a great personality.

So whether you are from the left or the right you have to grudgingly admit it has nothing to do with the message it is the sales ability of the messenger. We are a nation that likes to hear positive message. Ronald Reagan would say things in a positive way and Barack Obama says a liberal message in the most positive way I have ever heard. Most liberals speak in a negative, angry, way. Barack Obama speaks in a happy positive way. He’s the Ronald Reagan of liberals and I’m the Ronald Reagan of libertarians. I did great at every part of the debate except when I brought up Reagan’s name. Mike Gravel went into a tirade about Reagan and blah, blah, blah.

He totally misrepresented my words! I went out of my way to say “I’m not talking about Ronald Reagan’s politics.” I’m not saying I defended what he did in office. I’m just saying that as a communicator, you have to grudgingly admit that the guy was fantastic and that’s the reason he won. It had nothing to do with his views, America liked him.

That’s my message. I can be the Ronald Reagan of this party. Not to say I agree with all of his politics, forget about the politics. Maybe I’ll want to change that for this crowd: I could be the Barack Obama of this party.

[Laughs]

Liberty Papers: But are your policies the same no matter what your crowd is?
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