ENG: Robert Laurence "Bob" Barr, Jr. (born November 5, 1948) is a former federal prosecutor and a former member of the United States House of Representatives. He represented Georgia's 7th congressional district as a Republican from 1995 to 2003. Barr attained national prominence as one of the leaders of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Barr joined the Libertarian Party in 2006, and served on its National Committee. He was the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election. He is also noted for his austere demeanour.
Barr sought the Republican Party nomination for U.S.
Senate in 1992, but lost the primary election to Paul Coverdell. The primary was very close, with Barr losing by fewer than 1,600 votes in a runoff election. Subsequently, Coverdell came in behind incumbent Senator Wyche Fowler in the general election, but the 3% showing by a Libertarian candidate (Jim Hudson) forced a runoff, which Coverdell won.
During his tenure, Barr was regarded as one of the most conservative members of Congress. In 2002, he was described by Bill Shipp in an OnlineAthens.com article as "the idol of the gun-toting, abortion-fighting, IRS-hating hard right wing of American politics". However, Barr's criticism of the Bush administration's policies on privacy and other civil liberties after the 9/11 attacks was unusual among House Republicans (see Criticism of Bush Administration below). This criticism earned Barr other labels such as "Maverick", "Jekyll-and-Hyde", and "Libertarian".
The federal government later prevailed on appeal, reinstating the Barr Amendment just in time to thwart MPP's initiative 63 -- "The Medical Marijuana Initiative of 2002" -- which had already qualified for the November 2002 ballot.
In 2009, both the United States Senate and House of Representatives voted to lift the ban against a medical marijuana initiative, effectively overturning the Barr Amendment.
Barr would later reverse his position on medical marijuana, joining MPP as a lobbyist five years later. In a June 4, 2008, interview with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report, Barr confirmed that he now supports ending marijuana prohibition, as well as the War on Drugs for which he once vehemently fought. In 2009, he was hired by the MPP to lobby to successfully overturn the amendment that he authored.
2008 presidential campaign
In early 2008, rumors circulated that Barr was considering a presidential run under the Libertarian Party banner. Activists began a Facebook group dedicated to drafting Barr into the nomination contest, and Barr later confirmed his interest. He launched a presidential exploratory committee and campaign website on April 5, and formally announced his candidacy for the Libertarian nomination on May 12.
His announcement came a mere ten days before the start of the Libertarian Party Convention, where delegates select the presidential candidate.
On September 17, 2008, Barr filed suit in Texas to remove both McCain and Obama from the ballot. Both political parties failed to file their nominees by the deadline. On September 23, 2008, the Texas Supreme Court rejected the request without giving a reason for its decision.
On November 4, 2008, Barr received 523,686 votes, 0.4% of the national vote. This was the second highest number of votes nationwide that a Libertarian Party presidential candidate has received.