The Maverick Behind the Mustache

He’s been lurking in the wings, and now Republican-turned-Libertarian Bob Barr is starting to loom larger in campaign ’08. According to the Los Angeles TImes, Barr has set his steely sights on the GOP, issuing withering criticism about Bush (he’s worse than Clinton!) and threatening to spoil his former tribe’s party this fall.

The Los Angeles Times:

Being regarded as a spoiler is not his first choice, but if it gets him on CNN — which it did twice in as many days during a recent week of campaigning — then so be it. This is known as free media, all Barr can afford since he started out 18 months and millions of dollars behind his more famous rivals. His operation is so frugal, campaign manager Russ Verney personally authorized a case of Dr. Pepper and a big jar of pretzels for the untested staffers, who are so young they have to pay a premium to rent a car.

Barr is running as a Libertarian because he thinks the Republican Party — which he once served with such enthusiasm that his house and offices overflow with elephant decor — has run off the rails.

In fact, as much as he despised Clinton, Barr thinks President Bush is worse. “What George W. Bush has done to the fabric of our constitutional government, to separation of powers, to a government of limited powers is absolutely unforgivable,” he said.

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