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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

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We know Ron Paul, and Bob Barr is no Ron Paul

Ron Paul he is not.

We're talking about Bob Barr, who won -- if that's the word for for it -- the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination.

He's following inRepublican representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul's campaign blimp the renegade footsteps of Rep. Paul of Texas, the onetime Libertarian and now disaffected Republican congressman who ran such a successful fundraising campaign this political season, raising nearly $35 million

According to The Times' Dan Morain, our chief campaign finance guru, Barr, a former GOP congressman from Georgia, reported raising a lousy $196,400 last month to give him a grand campaign-long total of $384,864.

Last month he reported spending $180,770, pushing his total outlays to $312,483. Let's see, that leaves him $72,381 to carry him through to election day Nov. 4, unless he raises some more money.

Paul, who ran as a determined small-government, antiwar Republican and came up something around 1,000 delegates short of the nomination, reported ending July with only 649,625.70 in the bank. Last we heard he had several million left over from his unsuccessful presidential run.

But Paul has since transferred $10,000 to his nonprofit organization and a hefty $3.5 million of that money into his congressional campaign, which might seem unnecessary to some because he has no Democratic (or Libertarian) opponent in the November general election for his 11th House term.

In one sense, Barr may be taking a page from Paul. He ended the month with a tiny $1,000 in debt. Paul ended his campaign with zero debt, as the fiscal conservative has consistently done in every reporting month.

Maybe Barr just needs his own campaign blimp.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Eric Thayer / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (44)

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As a Ron Paul supporter and Libertarian leaning Republican I was excited to have an option in this year's presidential election after Ron Paul gave up, but evey time Bob Barr speaks to the media that option is slowly fading away. His latest support of a Freddie Mac / Fannie Mae bailout may be the last straw for me. Is Chuck Baldwin all I have left?

Jason, Bob Barr never supported a Fannie/Freddie bailout. He was cornered in an interview and said that Congress should restructure these mortgage fictions that they themselves created, and shouldn't simply do nothing.

The next day Bob Barr's detractors had pounced on this statement, but it required putting words into his mouth. It also required them to ignore the press release Barr issued at the same time (July 15 Bob Barr Says Privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, End Government Subsidies) which advocated, unambiguously, the full privatization of Fannie/Freddie along with the removal of all government support for them..

Your news is coming from biased sources, Jason.

And while you're at it, John McCain and Barack Obama ain't no Ron Pauls either.

Come on Andrew, razz those betrayed Obama supporters like you did to us all last year. Our guy opposed FISA while prettyboy didn't even wait for the nomination to surrender his soul.

Just to clarify: are you stating that the money that has been sent to Ron Paul during the money bombs has been diverted to his congressional campaign - away from the presidential campaign - in other words ... out of one pot into another ?

Just to clarify: are you stating that the money that has been sent to Ron Paul during the money bombs has been diverted to his congressional campaign - away from the presidential campaign - in other words ... out of one pot into another ?

it should be understood, Mr. Malcolm, that Ron Paul's campaign benefited greatly from his appearances in nationally-televised primary debates. The real metric of Bob Barr's success as a Libertarian candidate, under the circumstances, should be his campaign's financing compared to previous Libertarian presidential campaigns. So far he's well on his way to exceeding the totals of all previous Libertarian presidential campaigns.

write in RON PAUL?

I agree with Jason- and the title of this article.
Baldwin and Barr may only live up to "lessers of the evil", yet still more appealing than the frontrunners.
The focus on fund-raising instead of the critical issues our nation is facing shows the trivial mindset of the media and much of the public on this election.
Fist-bumps, cartoons, flagpins... I'm still undecided on who will get my vote, but my decision will not be based on these.

Article states Barr made a "lousy" $196,400 last month. To the writer, he made more in a month than you will make all year. How is that amount of money lousy???

As the financial roof is caving in on top of us, Ron Paul is still viewed as the 'renegade.' The one man who has consistently advocated sound money and fiscal responsibility, accurately predicting financial calamity if the govt doesn't change its ways...he's the quirky one.

American politics is a criminal enterprise. The upcoming 'election' race between Dumb and Dumber is worse than a reality show. I might take up video games as a way to participate in some substantive activity since there isn't anything else going on.

Since Bob Barr had his epiphany ( I took the red pill myself just a year ago when hearing Ron Paul speak)- he hasnt just said hes become libertarian, hes actually been doing the work too, and he has been working hard to correct those things he now sees as mistakes - unlike some Republicans who have come to criticize President Bush on the Iraq war only since the 2006 midterm election, Barr has been a constant critic of the president in the face of strident party loyalty - in fact his critisism of the administration played into his losing his seat in the house. The American Civil Liberties Union calls the former Republican a 'friend.' Last year, Barr joined Democrats trying to roll back Patriot Act provisions. Currently, he is lobbying for the Marijuana Policy Project. Ron Paul himself calls Mr. Barr a friend.
In 2004 he endorsed the Libertarian candidate and has been actively involved with Libertarian party leadership since 2006, and this year tried to convince Ron Paul to run on the LP ticket before running himself - If the freedom movement is to grow, you have to allow those of us who have "seen the light" work along with you.
If Barr isnt in the debates, who will argue against FISA and so many other issues we care about in the presidential dabates?
I say we give liberty a voice.

There is only one Ron Paul, but BJ Lawson, running for congress in my district comes closer than many others.

I'm thinking that the number one problem that Barr, Baldwin, Nader, and McKinney have is the fact that they get, when compared to the Republicratic candidates, virtually no coverage, and they are all excluded from any possible debates with McSame and O'bummer. Ron Paul's spark for this election cycle was in the argument with Guiliani, and, unfortunately, the third party candidates simply aren't going to be able to get into a position like that without some deux ex machina.

well, Chuck Baldwin gets a RP endorsement, it could change things.

If Mr. Malcolm is looking to goad stalwart Libertarians who might come to Mr. Barr's defense like others did to RP under similarly styled pieces, he may be disappointed.

The reality is that the hope and fanfare reserved for Paul still had to come under the aegis of the Red & Blue hegemony. Thus the earnest flock that would descend onto these types of reports will be relatively non-existent, much like the fund raising that Mr. Barr will not share with RP according to AM.

There is a undercurrent of disappointment from the hardcore within the LP who feel that this candidacy misses a lot of what was previously niche politics and protest. The attempt to go 'mainstream' will not be sufficient with this crowd. Indeed, given past LP experiences which have raised in excess of 1 million dollars in Presidential cycles, this may even reflect a large defection in these ardent ranks.

Do a gestalt test on occasion Mr. Malcom, it might prove enlightening.

To Annonymous,

I know exactly what Bob Barr said. I heard the whole intervie, heard subsequent interviews and follow him diligently. I have donated to his campaign and know his positions very well.

I do not favor doing anything - let them both fail! The market needs to fully correct itself. Barr if principled would have to adopt this position. He obvioulsy has no foundation. His inconsistencies make him unpredictable.

I'm a huge RP supporter, but here's what I wish the next RP candidate would do. Ignore abortion & drugs, and if anyone brings it up say that for a presidential candidate to spend one minute talking about those issues wastes a minute of time which could be spent talking about cutting government spending. Do not get dragged into the hot button issues where they knife you. Stay focused on the war and the budget.

Just based on his voting record, I don't trust Bob Barr for a second.

To Ginger,
Yes I noticed that same mistake on Andrew's part; it is not permissible to transfer the money earned from the presidential campaign into a congressional one ...I have no idea of the place from where Andrew pulled out that one.

Again, we have few good choices without Ron Paul. I would never vote for McCain or Obama. Barr and Baldwin are better so either one may get my vote.

There is, however, a long way to go until Election Day and anything could happen. Every day in politics is a lifetime. Stay tuned.

Now that Paul's out, none of the candidates--not even those of the third, fourth, and fifth parties--agree with me on half the issues, according to VoteMatch ( As a green libertarian, my closest match is Cynthia McKinney, and that's grim news indeed.

ron paul was as concise and clear on those issues as he could be - this is exactly why they could not 'knife' him on those issues either. had he simply declined to talk about them they'd have made a big fuss over it and pretended he had some hidden agenda, or couldn't make up his mind. maybe it would have added 'wishy-washy' to the collection of words they used to denigrate him. some people are still in denial and prefer to believe the treatment RON PAUL receives by the media has anything to do with his haircut, the way he presents himself, how elequently he words his message, or which issues he addresses most. the issue is as much with the complacent brain washed people as it is with the corrupt and censoring media. there is a lopsided mutual dependency that is devestating to the people. here's the legitimate and qualified presidential candidate, presented as 'kook-and-loony-who-even-somehow-managed-to-have-a-blimp-to-get-his-name-out-and-collect-some-money,' there's the phony sell-out egomaniac without a backbone or clue flying around in his boeing, hailed as some prodigy, no matter how hard he tries to show everyone he's fake. and why even comment on that other would-be-candidate. the propaganda is ubiquitous, it has infiltrated all institutions, (de)forming people's thinking and perception. it's a major part of their 'education.' amazingly, many people will wake up anyway - and better late than never?

Honestly I'd probably vote for the next person that started off a sentence with "The Constitution doesn't allow me as President to (insert your favorite abuse of presidential authority here).

If I remember correctly John McCain was broke in the primaries - (Ron Paul smoked him in contributions) and then McCain illegally accepted Federal Campaign money in order to get a loan to continue his campaign. Thats what we need in the White House a scammer!!

In my opinion, while Barr is not Ron Paul - who is? Barr far outperforms Obama or McCain, and as for the idiot who claims that Barr wants to bail out Fannie Mae - ummmm....I guess you missed the rest of the story because Barr said that would be a disaster.

Writing in "Ron Paul" will be a complete waste of time. In Texas, the election commission has already stated they will not be tabulating write-ins. Even Ron himself has discouraged such a futile endeavor.

Barr and Baldwin are the only alternatives that even come close and it's been hard for me to get excited about either one of them.

To Joe Lawson,

When a politician such as Bob Barr refrains from giving specific details when he says "I think, because the government has caused this problem, similar to the savings and loan problem that the government caused a generation ago, it has to do something." he's obvioulsy attempting to mask his temporary departure from free market policy.

One can only conclude that doing "something" means government assistance which however you want to put it is a bailout. Any action taken by the government to help Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac is government intervention in the free market.

But I'm just an idiot so take it for what its worth.

Yet, Jason, Fannie and Freddie are government fictions from the foundation up and have very little to do with the free market. Sometimes, usually resulting from prior Republicrat meddling, we're presented with gray area situations like this one where Libertarian principles can't be followed to the letter. We're talking about people's livelihoods being put at risk because the Republicrats created bogus institutions. There has to be a transition from the broken promises and outright mistakes of the Republicrats to a brighter Libertarian future. We're not going to win the hearts and minds of the public by implying that immediately upon assuming office we intend to tell them: "We're sorry. The former government tricked you into relying on things that do not fit our world view. It's all being dismantled starting.... NOW!" ...but we will definitely win hearts and minds by implying that the disastrous policies will be discontinued, phased out, and replaced with decentralization and free market solutions wherever and whenever possible. Rome wasn't build in a day, and dismantling it quickly will only come about via its utter destruction.

I won't vote for Barr. He supported the UnPatriot Act; in early June on Glenn Beck he said global warming is a myth; a month later...he's now talked with Al Gore, and says global warming is a reality (flip-flopping already). At this point in time, I consider him in the same vein as Obama and McCain. Our Country is going bankrupt, Ron Paul is an expert on economics...and he is what this Country needs. Not only that Paul's the Champion of the Constitution. Barr has not earned my trust, and the flip-flop didn't help matters any.

the iceberg of Nov is on the horizon..and the good Ship GOP is heading full speed ahead with Crimean War Veteran and megalomaniac JSMcCain at the helm...

the GOP will get what it deserves..

Barrs alleged freedom epiphany might be an act...or not..but it doesnt his unPaul like campaign will twist away McCain lessor of 2 evil voters...and though the Marxist Malcolm O will win and the GOP will hit the iceberg....the good that follows(until the US ship hits ITS iceberg) will be the revival of the pro freedom and pro independence adherents to rebuild the GOP on those foundations..not on the failed socialist symmetry to the Demos...

one can only hopel

There has to be a bailout of Fannie/Freddie. They are not built to function in this market. It would be a slaughter. To allow Fannie/Freddie to collapse now would destroy so much equity that the entire economy would collapse. Then we get riots and martial law and states seceding. End of the country, in other words. The only way to salvage the union at this point is through a massive currency devaluation. If we're extremely lucky, the dollar will only be cut in half two or three more times in the next 5 years. And if people rise to the challenge, it is possible to restructure the economy to be more energy efficient. I mean, without losing too much of our status as a first world nation.

It's like being the first one awake on a camp out. The air is still, and slowly you watch the rest of the world wake up....
There is only one rational thing to do to save this country. Every one of YOU "BE IN" St. Paul Minnesota on Sept 2nd. We're going to Put on a beautiful. I mean seriously, the Government did an excellent job of hiding July 12th. 10-11,000 people in Washington D.C. rallying for the constitution and Ron Paul. What do any of you think is going to happen when 80,000 + people show up in Minnesota? 80,000+?!! Comon, I don't care how heavy the blackout on Dr. Paul is, it will be seen. Just like the HUNDREDS of videos on youtube about the D.C. March. This country is going to fall apart at the seams really fast if "We the People" don't act now. This country belongs to the people. Not the government. Read the constitution for crying out loud. Freedom isn't free. See you in Saint Paul where the GOP does a complete backflip. And you least....We have a plan.
and please note: Dr. Ron Paul, suspended his presidential campaign; he did not drop out.
WAKE UP AMERICA! "Action is Eloquence" - Shakespeare

Still going to Vote for Barr over the other two. what's there names? Socialism and Facsism.

RON PAUL - making rocks everywhere look smart!

I don't know what to think of Barr at this point. Paul has great ideas, and he used them with great success--but he lacked the venom to make these ideas stick in the craw of the average American voter. Look, this is America, the land of symbols and cartoons, not some ancient Greek think tank. Paul had many opportunities to amputate the dead flesh above McCain's neck (which, as a surgeon, he should have known to do), but chose to ramble about philosophy and esoteric economania instead.

I think Barr is more opportunistic and more Type A than Paul. Barr is probably a version of Ron Paul with more teeth and less cerebellum. But, that's okay if it can acquire more votes. The big issue with Barr is his change in the voting record--but, if it is a change toward what the "base" wants (as opposed to Obama's changes against the base's desires), then that's a good thing.

America is not ready to elect a philosopher, unfortunately. I'm content to have Paul in the background, pontificating, and someone else in the foreground, fighting and dismembering the opponents. By 2012, perhaps, a certain segment of the population will wake up, and a certain segment of the population will die off, carrying their outmoded ideas with them.

those who say RON PAUL 'cannot be president because he says the truth, and he's too intelligent and honest to defend our cause,' clearly do not share his cause at all.

I will not vote for Barr. Flipping on the Patriot Act is a no no in my book. I do not trust him.

Im going to the RNC. The only place we have to make a difference is there. Every delegate that goes into that building is going to see a bunch people that support an honest candidate with the knowledge of the oncoming financial disaster this country is facing. He can offer solutions that can soften the blow. Otherwise the wealthy are going to bail on America and move into China. And then we will be one big socialist world with no borders. 38 Million people came here illegally, used our system and strained it.. Social Security is gone. The facts on the ground SUCK.

And the drum beat for war keeps going. We are making the same mistakes the germans made. No rights, no wealth, endless war.

Somebody in DC.. Please come to your senses. Dont let the meltdown happen. Ron Paul has solutions. It would serve you well to support him.

Bob Barr, while not as pure in his vision as Ron Paul, still sounds like a Libertarian most of the time. Either he or the Constitution Party candidate at least will represent platforms that aren't inherently beholden to special interests that would love nothing more than to destroy our constitution. I'll vote for one of them likely, or perhaps write in Ron Paul. Maybe even vote "Dan Gurney." But a vote for the two main Republicrats is throwing your vote away.

'always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.'
- john quincy adams

Heres some of that 3.5 million:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If they expected us to retire quietly from the scene, the political elite are in for a surprise.

Today I am making some very big announcements.

First, from August 31 to September 2 in Minneapolis, we will host a handful of events that will shake the political establishment. Everything will culminate on Tuesday with the official launch of the Campaign for Liberty at the Rally for the Republic.

The Campaign for Liberty will be the largest organization for peace, freedom, the Constitution, and sound money in American history. It will launch in grand fashion with lots of special guests and - if the early television and print inquiries we've received are any indication - plenty of media attention.

I would like to personally invite you and your family to join me and thousands of others in Minneapolis for these events and send a message to the Republican Party.

Tickets will go on sale for the Rally for the Republic this Friday, July 25 @ 10AM CST. We want this to be an unforgettable day, so we are holding a ticket bomb all day Friday in the tradition of our famous money bombs. How many seats can we sell on the first day?

In patriotic fashion all tickets will cost $17.76, so you can afford to bring the whole family.

This leads me to the second big announcement. After measuring the excitement and enthusiasm, we decided that the Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota was just too small to hold you. Therefore, we are making a significant upgrade. The Rally for the Republic will now take place at the Target Center, the largest arena in Minneapolis!

This promises to be the most spirited and provocative political event of the year! We held some very large rallies during the presidential campaign, but I have never attempted anything of this scale before. Its success rests entirely in your hands.

Later this week I will announce two internationally renowned musicians as headliners for the Rally for the Republic. We'll also be joined by rock star Aimee Allen, NBC's Tucker Carlson, Barry Goldwater Jr., Gov. Gary Johnson, conservative stalwart Grover Norquist, former Reagan deputy Attorney General Bruce Fein, presidential historian Doug Wead, MTV's Adam Curry, musician Mark Scibilia, and Frank Sinatra impersonator Rick Ellis. Other special guests will be announced soon.

My staff has been working overtime to provide you with three full days of entertainment. Please visit the schedule page of the website and read all about upcoming events. We also have a lodging page to help you find accommodations in Minneapolis.

Together we are taking back our government and restoring the republic. Please join me in Minneapolis to kickoff the Campaign for Liberty and support our Revolution. Can I count on you to be there?

In Liberty,

Ron Paul

P.S. I know that you have done so much already, but with both major party nominees threatening to lead us into bankruptcy at home and more wars abroad, the success of the Rally for the Republic and the launch of the Campaign for Liberty is crucial. Please do what you can to be in Minneapolis August 31 - September 2 and send a loud and clear message of freedom, peace, and prosperity.


Pol. Adv. Paid for by Committee to Re-Elect Ron Paul



You need to check your facts.

Ron Paul did NOT move the Presidential campaign money into his Congressional campaign coffers.

First, I don't think that is even legal - and Ron Paul isn't a criminal, like our current candidates who may not even be natural-born US citizens!!! (THAT would be a story you could break - tell us about how McCain was DEFINITELY not born on US soil, and Obama has a photoshopped birth certificate.)

Second, he did have an opponent in his Congressional campaign. But obviously not one close to the caliber of Ron Paul.

Do you just make up the stuff in your blogs?
Ron Paul put his remaining funds in a worthwhile place
( ) which you don't seem to want to talk about, or share with the public... What's the reason you are lying?

If you still want Ron Paul to be the President, please go here:

Do you remember Abraham Lincoln? He had ZERO bound delegates heading into the Republican National Convention. He won not only the nomination, but also the Presidency. Three other republican candidates share similar stories. Despite the mainstream media implying that it it over, the convention is where it all happens, and history has shown that the results can be vastly different that what everyone thought going in.

Ron Paul Cured My Apathy. Ron Paul for President!

Ron Paul FAILED to win the nomination, OK? His goofy ideas about abolishing the IRS, pulling out of the UN, isolationisim, legalizing weed etc. have failed to win over America. So for the love of all that is holy please GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES! Its time to move out of you parents basement, get some job training, find a career, get a hobby, look for a date, take up needlepoint--anything. Did you know xbox gold is now free? It is. What on earth do you people hope to acheive in St Paul? If you disturb the convention the American people are only going to hate you even more! I hope to God you people don't riot, seriously. Grow up and go home; its over.

why do we want to win the election?

we want to see represented in our government the constitutional principles.
the principles built into our american system. the principles of limited government and strong individuals with rights and privileges.
a system in which the government is the servant of the people instead of the people being the servant of the government.

the only sane reason to vote for a candidate is not to say that you won, but to say that your principles won.

i see no merit in voting for a candidate that does not represent my principles.
i see no merit in winning an election, and losing my country.
i see no merit in winning an election, and losing my freedom.

other candidates may be able to win, for a political party.
other candidates may be able to win for the pharmaceutical cartel, or the military industrial complex, or the banking cartel, or the international corporations...

but there is only one candidate - his name is RON PAUL - who CAN WIN FOR AMERICA.

to win for america is the whole object of patriotism.

- g. edward griffin, author of 'the creature from jekyll island'

"Ron Paul FAILED to win the nomination, OK? His goofy ideas about abolishing the IRS, pulling out of the UN, isolationisim, legalizing weed etc. have failed to win over America. So for the love of all that is holy please GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES! Its time to move out of you parents basement, get some job training, find a career, get a hobby, look for a date, take up needlepoint--anything. Did you know xbox gold is now free? It is. What on earth do you people hope to acheive in St Paul? If you disturb the convention the American people are only going to hate you even more! I hope to God you people don't riot, seriously. Grow up and go home; its over"


I think I'm finally going to have to address this crap.

Let me explain, Brain. You've got it wrong. You see, what happened is that many of us WERE thinking about doing the very things that you mention, moving out of the parents house, getting a date, getting a job, hobby, etc, just like you "responsible" "mainstream" people who "have lives" have been telling us to do...

until something happened we didn't expect.

We realized that you mainstreamers were busily destroying our country, and all the while making us feel like WE were doing something wrong - just because we weren't like you.






Well said, Tom. Could do without the caps, but I figure pointing it out before someone like Brain tries to discredit your caps lock button, for being a communist even, rather then debate the issues wouldn't hurt. Sorry, I had to take a jab at him. Been noticing a trend here. People who have no idea what they are talking about always have a predisposition to insult the character of their opponent, while never bringing up substantial reasons for their disagreement and only continue their ad hominems.

Goofy ideas? Please, enlighten us on how Ron Paul's ideas are... goofy? Oh, that's right. We're just supposed to sit down, shut up, and follow our masters' orders like good little sheeple. I get'cha. We're all living in basements and play Xbox rather then study and research our current situation -- you obviously have superficial make-believe knowledge of who the majority of Ron Paul supporters are. If anybody honestly feels that to pigeon-hole a group of people into a certain prejudice is the only way to win a debate, you have already lost.

But... as I'm feeling a little generous today, let's get people like Brain a little educated while we're at it. Who are Ron Paul supporters?

Interesting. A majority appear to be working in the tech field, quite a few business owners, not to mention the college students. Never knew such success could be run out of a basement...


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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