From CQ Politics:
It is too bad the Libertarians blew it in nominating Bob Barr for president. Too bad because a party that truly believes in personal freedom and limited government is worth hearing from in these days of major parties that equivocate and prevaricate on those principles.
But in Barr, a former Georgia congressman who once accidentally fired a revolver at a fundraiser, Libertarians have ended up with a loose cannon whose record isn’t even that strong on the party’s ideals. For instance, how can someone who claims authorship of the Defense of Marriage act now claim to be a libertarian?
In recent days Barr has further burnished his nutty reputation and made his newfound party look like a joke. He appeared in federal court as part of a ridiculous lawsuit against Michael Bloomberg, charging the New York mayor with defamation against a gun club. He is in court in Texas promoting a bogus claim that John McCain and Barack Obama should not be on the state ballot in November.
And lately Barr has been publicly inviting former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, a onetime Libertarian nominee himself, to join him as running mate — even though Barr has already chosen one, internet gambling entrepreneur Wayne Allyn Root. (Apparently, Paul never returned his call.)
Combine all this with Barr’s pathetic fundraising and poor polling performance (which will cost him admission to the presidential debates) and you can see that Barr probably won’t even have a spoiler effect anywhere in this race.
The Libertarian gambit to raise the party’s profile with a better-known nominee than usual simply failed. The party ought to stay focused on building its base from the ground up, such as running stronger candidates for lesser offices, and one day its natural appeal to independent-thinking voters could really catch on.