The Libertarian Party debate just ended on C-Span. For some reasons Mike Huckabee fanatic Jim Pinkerton was the moderator and most of the questions were really weak, but it was still interesting.
The biggest surprise was Mike Gravel. I respect Gravel and regard him as a patriot, but the man is crazy as hell..usually. Tonight however he came off as a really solid candidate, attacking the drug war and interventionism in the most clear cut fashion and giving the most libertarian answer on private property of anyone. On marriage he is the only one who seemed to grasp that the institution is about love, not "contracts" as the leading party radical Mary Ruwart suggested.
Ruwart tanked. She looked terrible in a setting made for someone who in theory is the closest to a party line candidate. She flubbed answers and came off as an ultra-materialist just as libertarians are starting to shake that stigma via the Ron Paul Revolution.
The strongest "radical" in the debate was Steve Kubby. Kubby put a human face on the liberty issue by talking about his bout with cancer and his personal fight for marijuana legalization being his gateway drug to anti-statism of all sorts. He was clear cut on all the answers and seemed excited to be a part of the process.
Barr did better than I expected and finally gave the folks a mea culpa on a lot of the issues that have had libertarians nervous about him all along. Kubby approached Barr afterwards and thanked him for such a principled presentation of ideas. People are already pointing to this as a possible ticket compromise coming out of the debate.