Reason’s Weigel covers Barr-Root election party

“Tuesday night Libertarians were a sideshow in a historical event on par with the moon landing,” Dave Weigel writes at At presidential candidate Bob Barr’s election party, “party operators like Stewart Flood and Daniel Adams were checking the progress of John Monds, a black businessman who’d run on the ticket for Georgia Public Services Commissioner. If Monds could win more than 25 percent of the vote, that would mean he received more votes than any Libertarian candidate in any U.S. election, ever — surpassing even Ed Clark’s 1980 totals for president. At 11 p.m. it was clear he would get there. Monds took the stage just as the networks were calling the presidential race” for Barack Obama.

Weigel says the Barr campaign “didn’t bother with recriminations. Vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root took the stage before Barr to lambast the ‘McCain-Obama bailout,’ calling the two parties ‘dumb and dumber, big and bigger.’ He had bet, publicly, that McCain would win the election.” Root “promised the crowd that he’d ‘see you again in 2012, maybe as your president-elect!'” Barr, “who rarely campaigned alongside Root, brought him back on stage for his concession speech.” Barr “praised his staff and voters for a campaign run on the issues,” and “declined to rule out another run for office, saying he’d pick up his legal and punditry careers where he left them.”

Weigel concludes, “This year is ending with Bob Barr, Ron Paul, and Wayne Allyn Root holding media megaphones they didn’t have as recently as January. What will they do with that prominence? What will libertarians do now that the Republican Party has receded back to pre-Reagan levels of influence? That’s for no one candidate to decide.”

19 thoughts on “Reason’s Weigel covers Barr-Root election party

  1. paulie cannoli

    He had bet, publicly, that McCain would win the election.

    Unless this was in Atlanta on Tuesday or some other recent utterance I am not aware of, what this is referring to is an article where Root predicted that a McCain-Lieberman ticket would win big and establish the NSGOP as the dominant party for decades.

    Watch for the following spin to come out of the Barr-Root camp: the Barr-Root ticket scared McCain into dumping Lieberman and picking Palin, who ended up costing McCain the election.

    On the other hand, I think McCain would have lost regardless of who his VP was. The fundamental issue was the economy, and the secondary issue was that Obama was a good campaigner and McCain was a poor one. Palin was, and Lieberman would have been, a distraction at most.

    But, it is certainly possible that the Barr-Root ticket played a role in Palin’s selection. Newt Gingrich predicted that if Lieberman was on the ticket with McCain, Barr would get 15%. He may not have been the only NSGOP strategist who considered heading off the Libertarians at the pass to be important. Reports are that McCain was set to pick Lieberman until party leaders prevailed on him not to.

  2. Thomas M. Sipos

    The Monday before Election Day</b.,Bruce Cohen, the Barr/Root campaign’s “California coordinator,” had already prepared his spin for Barr/Root’s poor performance.

    It seems that Bruce Cohen, an early Root supporter, is trying to blame Barr alone for the Barr/Root ticket’s poor showing, in preparation for Root’s 2012 run.

    Cohen blames the Barr campaign, claiming that Root is “the future of the LP on the national level,” and that Root is a much better candidate than Barr.

    See Cohen’s posts:


    Cohen is pro-war (he prefers the term “pro-defense”) and was voted out as Orange County LP chair in 2007 by a 2:1 margin.

    He also campaigned for California LP state chair in 2007, but pulled out before the race. Presumably because he saw he couldn’t win.

    I suspect that, since losing his titles, Cohen has been trying to get back into the LP limelight, and had hoped to ride Root’s coattails to national prominence

    Cohen’s posts are interesting in that they show how the Root clique will spin Root’s poor performance (having promised at least 2 million votes, and instead staying within the usual LP vote levels). They’ll blame it all on Barr.

    It will be interesting to see how the Barr and Root cliques act in the coming months. They weren’t too friendly at the convention, and it was always a marriage of convenience.

  3. JimDavidson

    I’d be willing to call Root. Do you have his phone number? You have my e-mail address.

  4. joeydauben

    I bought and am willing to have it created and dolled-up if anyone would like to contribute graphic design stuff to it …

    I’m not sure what to think about Bruce Cohen, but as someone who supported WAR in the very beginning — back when Eric Dondero started touting him — AND Bob Barr — I want to help unify our ticket for 2012, but hey, guys, let’s use 2008 as a serious effort to build a grassroots network. I know it can be done, as in the case of Wes Benedict and the Travis County LP in my home state, but where are the solid towns that we are aiming for?

    I’m all for national tickets, but until we can show some local county activism, people will not pay any attention to us in four years…

  5. Denver Delegate

    Where were Root’s “constituencies” — the gamblers and the home-schoolers — he was supposed to deliver?

    Gotta be more than 0.5M of those folks.

  6. Michael Gilson-De Lemos

    “If Monds could win more than 25 percent of the vote, that would mean he received more votes than any Libertarian candidate in any U.S. election, ever ..”

    As opposed to the untrained paper candidates fa vored by the US LP (which certainly have a place, though a diminishing one) trained Libertarians are now regularly doing better that that, and many being elected.

    This sort of misinformation is not helpful.

  7. Jake Witmer

    I think Wayne has gotten a bunch of bad breaks with people tending to focus on how they disagree with him, rather than how they agree with him. There is a natural tendency for those in the LP to sacrifice the good to the perfect. After all, winning elections isn’t as important to them as ideological consistency, otherwise they would simply be trying to infiltrate the major parties (like Ron Paul did).

    Take a look at all the work Wayne is doing for the LP. Noone has been on TV and radio as often, or as vocally as Wayne has. He’s been on Fox almost every week since the election, touting the Libertarian solution to the “bailout”. “Destroy the Fed, Before It Destroys Us!”

    Does he have a little bit to learn about promoting the LP brand to leftists? Sure. …Nobody’s perfect. (None of our prior presidential candidates were either.)

    But Wayne has constantly grown, constantly learned, and constantly progressed in his thinking. He also champions fully informed juries, which is a huge plus with me, because it means that even if he isn’t elected, he is helping to minimize the damage caused by the State to innocent lives.

    Just my .02


    -Jake Witmer

    Wayne Root Speaks Out Against the Federal Reserve System on Fox Business (1/16/2009)

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