Thursday, August 7, 2008

What About Bob Barr?

Ralph Nader isn’t this year’s only presidential candidate challenging the two-party system. Former Republican congressman Bob Barr is also in the running, having secured the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination back in May. Known for his outspoken political views, as well as his prominent role during the Clinton impeachment hearings, Barr is determined to run a competitive race against his better-financed opponents. Indeed, he’s expected to be on the ballot in at least 49 states. And although Barr doesn’t get nearly as much mainstream media attention as do McCain and Obama, he’s put together an aggressive grassroots strategy to reach potential voters. And one key element of that strategy has been YouTube.

Recently, Barr’s YouTube Channel has been buzzing with activity. Not long ago his team posted this video petition calling on politicians to stop the “bill of rights blackout” that Barr believes has been happening under the current Bush administration. And last week, he started putting out a series informal videos in which he criticizes both McCain and Obama, and addresses issues such as the Real ID Act (see below).

While Barr is unlikely to be sworn in as America’s 44th President come January, his presence in the race could have an impact, potentially siphoning votes away from the two major contenders. Regardless, Barr proves that in the YouTube age, being a player in presidential politics doesn’t require a huge war chest. Just a little imagination.


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