Feature

Ron Paul endorses

Will it help third-party candidates?

At a press conference yesterday, former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul endorsed everybody, said the Economist online. “Everybody, that is, but John McCain and Barack Obama”—Ralph Nader (independent), Bob Barr (Libertarian), Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party), or Cynthia McKinney (Green). “This could be big news” in closely contested states.

Paul’s event was supposed to be a third-party “unity event,” said Dana Milbank in The Washington Post, but Barr turned “the gathering into a barnyard brawl.” Barr not only didn’t show up, as planned, but he held a rival press conference in which he "went hog-wild” on Paul for not endorsing just him. If third parties “could stop squabbling among themselves,” this would be a good year for them.

Barr shot himself in the foot by alienating “what ought to be his strongest supporters,” said Jesse Walker in Reason online. But even if nothing concrete comes out of Paul’s event, or Barr’s, it showed that there’s still a “potpourri” of "dissatisfied outsiders,” including leftists and “paleocons” willing to convene around Paul’s libertarian ideas.

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