Will Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr be a threat to John McCain? Apparently, McCain doesnâ€™t think so. Often, the two major parties will try to deal with third party threats by knocking the third-party challenger off the ballot in as many states as possible. For instance, Democrats tried to block Ralph Naderâ€™s ballot access in 18 states in 2004.
But the McCain campaign is just flat-out ignoring Barr, even refusing to comment on the Libertarian. This is probably the right course of action. The Libertarian Party is no fly-by-night group and has secured ballot access for the candidate in 48 of the 50 states for every presidential election since 1988. Challenging the Libertarians would not only be a waste of money but would give publicity to Barr.
As for Barr himself, I just donâ€™t see him being a significant threat to McCain. Other than his sanctimonious performance during the Bill Clinton impeachment and his deplorable association with racist organizations, Barr is not the kind of guy whoâ€™s spent a career in the spotlight. Is anyone getting excited about a Bob Barr candidacy?
I question why the Libertarians even nominated the guy given that he was once a major proponent of the War on Drugs, a backer of the Iraq war and a supporter of the Patriot Act. Until recently, Barr was nothing more than a rubberstamping Republican. You want to talk flip flops? Letâ€™s talk Bob Barr. He may give the Libertarians a â€œknownâ€ name at the top of their ballot but anyone who buys that this guy is worth voting for is either desperate for a justifiable protest vote or is completely incognizant of Barrâ€™s career.
McCain may have to deal with Barr more directly in the future. But, for now, ignoring him is the right choice.