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November 4, 2008

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, October 2008

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, October 2008

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2008 United States Presidential Election
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2008 U.S. Presidential Election stories
  • 9 March 2012: Super Tuesday 2012: ‘Joe the Plumber’ wins GOP congressional primary
  • 23 March 2010: Non-profit ACORN plans to shut down
  • 11 January 2010: US Senate Majority leader Harry Reid criticized over “Negro” comments
  • 22 July 2009: Former U.S. Presidential candidate Gene Amondson dies following a stroke
  • 22 January 2009: Photo source for Barack Obama presidential campaign “HOPE” poster discovered

October on the campaign trail presented the last chances for the campaigns to present their messages to the American people. A vice-presidential and two presidential debates were held, one of which added a new political lexicon, perhaps the closest thing to an October surprise. One candidate seemed to pull way ahead as early voting began in many states near the conclusion of the month.

Democrats

Obama-backer Colin Powell

  • At the beginning of the month, due to the continued economic crisis, Obama took a clear lead over McCain in opinion polling, leading by double-digits in many surveys. Obama maintained his lead throughout the month and mounted leads or stayed within the margin of error in some states won by Bush in 2004 including Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Florida, Iowa and North Dakota.
  • Joe Biden debated Sarah Palin in St. Louis on October 3, in a forum moderated by Gwen Ifill. Biden issued very little criticism of Palin and remained subdued for much of the night, focusing mostly on foreign policy. Ifill became a subject of controversy before the debate, with commentators questioning her impartiality with the upcoming release of her book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.
  • On the campaign trail, prior to the third presidential debate, Obama was approached by plumber Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio. Joe asked Obama whether his taxes would be raised if he bought a plumbing company as he was planning to do. Obama stated that he didn’t “want to punish [his] success” but that “everyone who is behind him” should be given a “chance at success.” He later stated that he thought “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
  • Obama defended his tax plan during the third presidential debate with McCain while facing many McCain comments about “Joe the plumber.” He repeatedly stated that his tax plan would lower taxes for households making under US$200,000 a year, which he said made up 95% of Americans.
  • Former secretary of state Colin Powell made an across-party-lines endorsement, when he stated on Meet the Press that he was voting for Senator Barack Obama. Powell became the first former member of the Bush administration to formally endorse Obama and was closely followed by former press secretary Scott McClellan, who also endorsed the candidate.
Republicans

Holland, Ohio, the hometown of Joe the Plumber

  • At the vice-presidential debate, Sarah Palin became the first woman since the 1984 United States presidential election to participate in such an event. It was the most widely watched vice-presidential debate in history with an estimated 70 million viewers. During the debate Palin characterized herself as a “Washington outsider” who “may not answer the questions the way the moderator and you (Senator Biden) want to hear.” She focused mostly on energy policy during the debate.
  • The second presidential debate was held on October 7 and moderated by Tom Brokaw. During the debate McCain announced his support for a spending freeze of programs other than those for defense or veterans. When discussing energy policy, McCain famously referred to Obama as “that one.”
  • The McCain campaign launched a series of ads connecting Obama to former Weather Underground member William Ayers, who served on a board with Obama and held a venue at his home for the Senator when he began his political career. Palin accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” Some pundits saw the new strategy as a last ditch effort by the McCain campaign.
  • McCain’s campaign was compared to that of segregationist George Wallace’s by Congressman John Lewis, who commented that the campaign was “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” Lewis pointed to McCain supporters who shouted obscenities about Barack Obama during a McCain rally, including one who reportedly yelled “kill him” when referring to Obama (a claim later refuted by the Secret Service). McCain discussed this during the third presidential debate, and asked Obama to repudiate the comments.
  • During the third presidential debate, McCain used the earlier discussion between Obama and Joe the Plumber as a tool to attack Obama on his tax policy. He strongly objected to Obama’s support for “spreading the wealth” which he likened to socialism. The debate led to a small comeback for McCain in opinion polling, cutting into Obama’s lead as the month came to a close.
Third parties
  • A third party debate scheduled for October 19 was cancelled after the candidates were unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts. Candidates Ralph Nader, Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney and Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin were supposed to debate but it eventually fell through.
  • Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin were able to participate in a third party presidential debate on October 23 in Washington. Each discussed their strong opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as their disapproval of the government’s bailout plan. Baldwin and Nader had some disagreement on abortion, with Nader standing pro-choice and Baldwin standing as pro-life. Nader emphasized the need to control the power of corporations over consumer’s lives and Baldwin stated that his number one priority as president would be to secure the borders.
  • On October 30, Nader and Baldwin participated in another third party debate. Libertarian party nominee Bob Barr joined the candidates for this debate. During the debate, the candidates railed against the two major parties with Ralph Nader complaining that they don’t like “competition.” Barr conveyed his frustration with the Justice Department for their failure to prosecute Wall Street corporate leaders. Baldwin expressed his fear for America’s future.



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Editor’s note

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail… is a monthly article about the campaign events during the past month. The title is based on the series of articles written by journalist Hunter S. Thompson and compiled into a publication entitled Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

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November 2, 2008

Third party U.S. presidential candidates hold debate

Third party U.S. presidential candidates hold debate

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

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This past Thursday, the leading third party U.S. presidential candidates held a debate at the Cleveland City Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In attendance were Independent Ralph Nader, Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin and Libertarian Party nominee former Congressman Bob Barr. This is the first, and presumably last, debate between the three before the election is held on Tuesday.

Cquote1.svg Both major parties are very clever. They don’t like competition. Cquote2.svg

—Ralph Nader

Despite their radically different political beliefs, all of the candidates’ opinions on one issue were similar: outrage at being shunned from the debates between Republican Party nominee John McCain and Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama over the past months. “Both major parties are very clever,” Nader said. “They don’t like competition. If they were businesses in the marketplace, they would be indicted for violation of the antitrust laws.”

Baldwin voiced his concerns about the growth of the federal government as well as the troubled global economy. He said that the “two major parties will do nothing to thwart or diminish what is currently happening…I believe with all my heart that our sovereignty and our national independence are hanging by a very precarious thread.”

Cquote1.svg I believe with all my heart that our sovereignty and our national independence are hanging by a very precarious thread. Cquote2.svg

—Chuck Baldwin

Barr stated his opinion that both McCain and Obama are indistinguishable on policy positions and accused them of “sound-bite politics” as well as showing “no leadership whatsoever.” He also found it odd that the Department of Justice was absent during this autumn’s financial crisis. “There have been no prosecutions, not even apparently a significant investigation of what appears to be historic fraud,” he said.

At this time, it is unknown how many tuned in to see the debate when it was broadcast nationally on C-SPAN both Friday and Saturday. As of Sunday, any other media coverage has been minimal, a far cry from last week’s debate between Nader and Baldwin in Washington, DC.

Third party candidates

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October 17, 2008

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, September 2008

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, September 2008

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Friday, October 17, 2008

2008 United States Presidential Election
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2008 U.S. Presidential Election stories
  • 9 March 2012: Super Tuesday 2012: ‘Joe the Plumber’ wins GOP congressional primary
  • 23 March 2010: Non-profit ACORN plans to shut down
  • 11 January 2010: US Senate Majority leader Harry Reid criticized over “Negro” comments
  • 22 July 2009: Former U.S. Presidential candidate Gene Amondson dies following a stroke
  • 22 January 2009: Photo source for Barack Obama presidential campaign “HOPE” poster discovered

September 2008 on the campaign trail was a month full of surprise and calls for unity despite a growing negativity. The Republican national convention was held and the start of the economic crisis threatened to plague the first presidential debate.

Republicans

Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin at the 2008 Republican National Convention

  • At the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, some notable moments included Michael Steele’s coining of the phrase “drill baby drill” during a convention speech not carried on the major networks. Rudy Giuliani and Joe Lieberman each gave keynote addresses that attacked Senator Obama, especially in Giuliani’s case. The most memorable moment was Governor Sarah Palin’s speech, seen by as many Americans as Obama’s during the Democratic Convention, in which she gave a critically acclaimed performance that overshadowed McCain’s speech on the final day.
  • Congressman and former Presidential candidate Ron Paul held a counter convention of his own at the Target Center in Minneapolis that drew a crowd of 12,000 people. The convention featured former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, widely speculated to make a presidential run in 2012. During the convention Ventura questioned the mainstream account of responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.
  • Following the Republican Convention McCain experienced a surge in polling, which greatly reduced Obama’s slight lead and showed McCain with a lead in most polling for the first time since May 2008. The selection of Palin also increased Republican voter enthusiasm in the polls.
  • Following the stock market crash later in September and the subsequent negotiations for a bailout plan, Senator McCain suspended his campaign and returned to Washington D.C. to try to reach an agreement. He asked Senator Obama to join him and postpone the debate scheduled for later in the week but Obama responded that he could do both and that he would show up for the debate at the University of Mississippi.
  • On the day of the debate, questions swirled over whether or not McCain would show, he did and the debate was held. The debate moderated by Jim Lehrer was supposed to surround foreign policy but the economic crisis took center stage, which Obama and McCain mostly agreed upon. The differences surrounded McCain’s differences with Obama on the surge policy in Iraq and Obama’s earlier suggestion that he would meet with leaders of rogue nations without preconditions.

Democrats
  • As most media attention surrounded Sarah Palin in the beginning of September, Obama-Biden fell in the polls and were not at the focus of most news stories, however on September 11, Obama and McCain called a truce and met in New York City for the seventh anniversary of 9/11.
  • Barack Obama launched an ad campaign that criticized John McCain as “out of touch” and “out of date” highlighting his computer illiteracy. Biden criticized his running mate’s ad as “terrible” and also criticized an ad by the McCain campaign from earlier in the month that suggested that Obama supports sex education for kindergarten level children.
  • Later in September Obama abandoned his earlier 50-state strategy withdrawing resources from traditional red states such as North Dakota, Montana and Georgia that Obama stated he would contest. The campaign removed staffers from some states and sent them to nearby states considered to be winnable, such as from Georgia to North Carolina.
  • Following the economic crisis, Obama’s numbers raised significantly in the polls leading McCain by as many as seven points by the end of the month. Obama asked McCain to appear with him at a press conference to restore consumer confidence. Obama also joined McCain in Washington to help with the negotiations on a bailout plan. But he rejected McCain’s call to postpone the presidential debate.
  • At the presidential debate many critics believed Obama presented himself as presidential, the task many claimed he needed to accomplish. During the debate Obama linked the financial crisis to Bush administration policies and spoke out against the lead up to the war in Iraq and the need for more troops in Afghanistan.
Third parties
  • Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr asked Congressman and 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Ron Paul to run with him as his running mate. Barr’s running mate Wayne Allyn Root volunteered to step down if Paul accepted, but he declined.
  • Congressman Ron Paul appeared at a press conference with the Constitution and Green Party’s presidential nominees Chuck Baldwin and Cynthia McKinney as well as Independent candidate Ralph Nader. He announced that he was endorsing all four major third party candidates including Libertarian nominee Bob Barr.
  • After Barr admonished Paul for his endorsement of four candidates, believing the congressman should endorse his campaign, Paul removed his endorsement for Barr and decided in a statement to endorse Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin’s campaign, a candidate whom he called a “friend” and an “active supporter” of his campaign.
  • Following the presidential debate in which he was not allowed to participate in, Barr criticized both presidential candidates for their support of the bailout plan; he called it a “debate between big government and bigger government.” Barr then referred to himself as the “change” candidate.



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Editor’s Note

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail… is a monthly article about the campaign events during the past month. The title is based on the series of articles written by journalist Hunter S. Thompson and compiled into a publication entitled Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

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September 23, 2008

Republican Congressman Ron Paul endorses Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin for President of the United States

Republican Congressman Ron Paul endorses Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin for President of the United States

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Congressman Ron Paul
Image: United States Congress.

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Despite repeatedly saying that he would not endorse a particular candidate for this November’s U.S. presidential election, Republican Congressman Ron Paul made a surprise statement Monday afternoon in which he announced that he was supporting Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin.

This comes after Libertarian Party nominee former congressman Bob Barr’s controversial last minute refusal to attend Paul’s third party unity conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC nearly two weeks ago.

Instead, Barr held a press conference of his own a few hours later at the same location. In it he announced that he did not care about third party candidates getting a large amount of votes in the election, only himself. This statement caused Barr to rapidly decrease in voter popularity over the following week. Many of his former supporters have since joined Baldwin’s and Independent Ralph Nader’s presidential campaigns.

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“I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate,” Paul said Monday. “He has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.”

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September 18, 2008

Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee Bob Barr trying to remove running mate Wayne Allyn Root, reports say

Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee Bob Barr trying to remove running mate Wayne Allyn Root, reports say

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Former Congressman Bob Barr
Image: Commissioned by Bob Barr.

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Reports published by various political news websites on Wednesday night said that there may be a movement within the Libertarian Party to replace its vice presidential nominee, Wayne Allyn Root.

This comes after Libertarian National Committee (LNC) representative Stuart Flood made a motion to remove Root from the ballot over remarks that the latter made in a recent interview with Reason Magazine. Many found these remarks to be racially insensitive.

It is reported that Libertarian presidential nominee and former congressman Bob Barr wants Root off of the ballot as well, which some believe is the reason that the Barr campaign supposedly advised party Chairman Bill Redpath to keep Angela Keaton, a probable vote for Root’s removal, on the LNC. Over the past few weeks, several members of the LNC have been trying to remove Keaton from the committee because of what they felt were sexually inappropriate comments written by her in a blog.

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Barr has been the subject of controversy for over a week because of his last-minute refusal to attend former Republican presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul‘s third party unity conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC last Wednesday.

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September 15, 2008

Libertarian National Committee in fierce deadlock over how to address growing Bob Barr controversies

Libertarian National Committee in fierce deadlock over how to address growing Bob Barr controversies

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Former Congressman Bob Barr
Image: Commissioned by Bob Barr.

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The Libertarian National Committee (LNC) was reported to be in a deadlock Sunday night over how to address the growing controversies surrounding their party’s U.S. presidential nominee, former congressman Bob Barr.

Many libertarians have spoken out against Barr since his last minute refusal to attend former Republican presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul‘s third party unity conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

The effort to replace Barr as the nominee has been rejected. Not a single person on the 17-member LNC was willing to make the motion.

However, at-large representative Dr. Mary Ruwart — who lost the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination to Barr at the National Convention in May by only a few votes — is supporting a resolution to apologize to Paul.

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This is being countered by Treasurer Aaron Starr, who favors a resolution to chastise Paul for not endorsing Bob Barr and “splitting the Freedom Movement.”

Currently, neither resolution has enough votes to pass.

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September 13, 2008

New polls show third party U.S. presidential candidates varying radically in popularity

New polls show third party U.S. presidential candidates varying radically in popularity

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

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Ralph Nader
Image: Don LaVange.

Two nationwide polls released this week, one conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs and the other by the John Birch Society (JBS), show several third party U.S. presidential candidates varying radically in popularity.

Among the 1,018 adults surveyed in the Ipsos poll, 48% said they would vote for Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama, while 42% said they would vote for Republican Party nominee John McCain. 2% support independent Ralph Nader and 1% of respondents said they would cast their ballots for Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr. The margin of error was reported as +/-3.1%.

Chuck Baldwin
Image: 2008 Baldwin/Castle National Campaign Headquarters.

The John Birch Society’s online poll, however, is showing very different numbers. In it, in which 5,972 took part from late June through last week, Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin leads Barr, McCain and Obama at 1,972 votes (33%). Baldwin is trailed by Barr, who received 1,712 votes (28.7%). Following Barr is McCain with 947 votes (15.9%) and, in last place, Obama with 341 votes (5.7%). 1,000 voters (16.7%) said that they were not voting for any of the candidates mentioned. The JBS poll was an online poll of visitors to their web site and should not be confused with a scientific poll.

Former Congressman Bob Barr
Image: Commissioned by Bob Barr.

It should be noted that both of the polls were taken before Barr’s controversial snubbing of Republican Congressman Ron Paul’s third party unity conference on Wednesday. Many of Barr’s supporters have since revoked their endorsements of him and joined other presidential campaigns, mainly Baldwin’s and Nader’s.

In the last two weeks, the percentage of third party and undecided voters has ranged from 6 – 8.0%. The percentage of undecided and third party voters reached its peak of 12.0% on July 24th, 2008, but has since steadily declined. The percentage of third party votes in the 2004 election only reached 1.0%, but in the 2000 election it reached 3.75%.

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Plans set in motion for the removal of Bob Barr as the Libertarian Party\’s U.S. presidential nominee

Plans set in motion for the removal of Bob Barr as the Libertarian Party’s U.S. presidential nominee

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Former Congressman Bob Barr
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Controversies surrounding Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee and former congressman Bob Barr intensified on Friday afternoon.

There is now a serious effort by some in the Libertarian Party to remove Barr as its presidential nominee. In order for this to happen, the matter must be voted upon by members of the Libertarian National Committee. A motion has been written calling for Barr’s removal and at least one representative has expressed a willingness to make it. If and when the motion is seconded, it will be brought to a vote. The motion can be read in its entirety below.

The motion is in response to Barr’s refusal to attend former Republican presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul’s third party unity conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

Barr instead decided to hold a press conference of his own two hours after Paul’s at the same location.

“I’m not interested in third parties getting the most possible votes,” Barr told reporters. “I’m interested in Bob Barr as the nominee for the Libertarian Party getting the most possible votes.”

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Several of Barr’s supporters were furious with his remarks, some even going so far as to retract their endorsements of him. Bloggers quickly picked up on the story and by Thursday evening there was an Internet frenzy, which continued into Friday.

Removal motion

WHEREAS, Article 12, Section 5 of the Libertarian Party’s bylaws provide for the suspension of the party’s presidential candidate by the Libertarian National Committee; and

WHEREAS, said bylaws provision requires a 3/4 vote of this body; BE IT KNOWN that Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential nominee, is hereby suspended on the basis of the following causes:

– Failure to appear, with little or no notice, at a major media event to which he had been invited and to which he had committed to appear;

– Vicious public attacks by his campaign staff on the character and reputation of the event’s host (1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Ron Paul) and sponsor (Campaign For Liberty);

– The disrepute and discredit which the aforementioned misbehaviors have brought upon the Libertarian Party.

The committee advises Barr that he has seven (7) days to appeal this action to the party’s Judicial Committee. Absent a successful appeal, his nomination will be deemed null and void and he will be replaced as the party’s presidential nominee.

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September 12, 2008

Controversy spreads over Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee Bob Barr

Controversy spreads over Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee Bob Barr

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Former Congressman Bob Barr
Image: Commissioned by Bob Barr.

2008 United States Presidential Election
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2008 U.S. Presidential Election stories
  • 9 March 2012: Super Tuesday 2012: ‘Joe the Plumber’ wins GOP congressional primary
  • 23 March 2010: Non-profit ACORN plans to shut down
  • 11 January 2010: US Senate Majority leader Harry Reid criticized over “Negro” comments
  • 22 July 2009: Former U.S. Presidential candidate Gene Amondson dies following a stroke
  • 22 January 2009: Photo source for Barack Obama presidential campaign “HOPE” poster discovered

Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee and former congressman Bob Barr is the subject of controversy today after his last minute refusal to attend former Republican presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul‘s third party unity conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

Barr instead decided to hold a press conference of his own two hours after Paul’s at the same location. “I’m not interested in third parties getting the most possible votes,” he told reporters. “I’m interested in Bob Barr as the nominee for the Libertarian Party getting the most possible votes.”

Several of Barr’s supporters were furious, some even going so far as to retract their endorsements of him. Bloggers quickly picked up on the story and by Thursday evening there was an Internet frenzy.

“Bob Barr’s presidential campaign is effectively over,” Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan said. “His no-show at Ron Paul’s…news conference — followed by an insulting suggestion that Ron should join Barr on the LP ticket in the VP slot — demonstrated just how out-of-touch the Barr campaign is, and how poor Barr’s vote total is likely to be.”

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A number of former Barr supporters have since rallied around Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin, who has been climbing in the polls over the past few months. Others have joined independent Ralph Nader in his presidential campaign.

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July 1, 2008

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, June 2008

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, June 2008

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

2008 United States Presidential Election
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2008 U.S. Presidential Election stories
  • 9 March 2012: Super Tuesday 2012: ‘Joe the Plumber’ wins GOP congressional primary
  • 23 March 2010: Non-profit ACORN plans to shut down
  • 11 January 2010: US Senate Majority leader Harry Reid criticized over “Negro” comments
  • 22 July 2009: Former U.S. Presidential candidate Gene Amondson dies following a stroke
  • 22 January 2009: Photo source for Barack Obama presidential campaign “HOPE” poster discovered

June in the United States 2008 presidential election rolled by as a month with many similarities to the 2004 election. The Clintons were sent to the sidelines again, old faces took new roles and some took the same. An issue was raised that once again could drive conservatives to the Republicans and attacks on a candidate’s military record was prominent in the press. But what changed the election forever was the death of Tim Russert who helped to cover everything that happened and shape America’s perception of the candidates on the trail.

Republicans
  • The presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain exchanged barbs with Senator John Kerry over the history of conflict in Iraq. Kerry stated that McCain “doesn’t understand Iraq, or the Middle East, or the war on terrorism.” This was a change of heart for Kerry who as the Democratic nominee in 2004 considered McCain as a running mate. Retired General Wesley Clark said McCain’s military record lacked command experience, and endorsed Obama. In 2004, Clark was among those who questioned Kerry’s military record.
  • Many in the media likened the Supreme Court ruling that granted Habeas corpus rights to detainees in the Guantánamo Bay detention center to the influx of marriage licenses granted by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004 as a rallying point for conservatives. Pundits stated that the future of the Supreme Court could be an important issue on the minds of voters that could drive the religious right to McCain.
  • John McCain released a new platform that called for more offshore drilling of oil off the coasts of Florida and California. The plan hoped to increase supply of oil to reduce the price of gasoline for the American consumer and encourage energy independence. The plan was widely heralded by conservatives some of whom have called for drilling in ANWR despite McCain’s opposition. Obama responded to the plan by stating that McCain’s solution would only help in the long run.
Democrats

Hillary Clinton ended her presidential campaign in June 2008

  • The final three presidential primaries were held. Hillary Clinton won in Puerto Rico and South Dakota but Barack Obama won in Montana. Obama secured the Democratic nomination following the primaries when a stream of superdelegates came out to support Obama. Hillary conceded the race a few days later and named herself as the best choice to be Obama’s running mate.
  • As the nomination was secured for Obama the media speculated about a spirited discussion on the Senate floor between Obama and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. Lieberman was the Democratic Vice presidential nominee in 2000 but left the party in 2006 after a senatorial primary defeat. He has endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.
  • Obama was also in the media when two of his campaign volunteers refused to allow two women wearing headscarves to sit in the front row of an Obama campaign event. The move was characterized in the media as an attempt to prevent the candidate from being associated with Muslims in light of false rumors circulating that Obama is secretly a Muslim.
  • The leader of the Congressional Black Caucus Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan announced that former Senators Sam Nunn and John Edwards’ names were forwarded by the caucus to a team on the Obama campaign dealing with selecting a vice-presidential nominee.
Third parties
  • Independent candidate Ralph Nader proclaimed in an interview that despite no coverage of his campaign, he was at 6% in Associated Press opinion polls against John McCain and Barack Obama. He actually stood at 3% in the most recent Associated Press poll. The campaign acknowledged the mistake and clarified that it was instead a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll that placed Nader at 6%.
  • With the green party national convention slated for July 10-14, Cynthia McKinney leads all candidates with 291.5 delegate votes of the 419 needed to secure the nomination. Despite not being a candidate for the Green Party nomination, Ralph Nader is in second place with 137 and Kent Mesplay is in third with 28.5 delegates.
  • Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr and Ralph Nader each received some media attention by appearing on Sunday morning talk shows at the end of June. Barr appeared on Fox News Sunday where he defended his run against criticism that he could hurt John McCain in the general election and stated that his campaign would hit full gear after the Fourth of July holiday.

Related news

  • “Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, May 2008” — Wikinews, May 30, 2008

Sources


Editor’s note

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail… is a monthly article about the campaign events during the past month. The title is based on the series of articles written by journalist Hunter S. Thompson and compiled into a publication entitled Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

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