Barack Obama isn’t the only one who is trying to figure out how to step out of the shadow of Sarah Palin. I think Bob Barr and Ron Paul have to be concerned, as well.
I was among the Republicans who might have cast a vote for Bob Barr in November had John McCain picked a liberal VP nominee. If Bob Barr had siphoned off enough Republican votes, Barack Obama could win the election with a minority of the popular vote, just like Clinton did when Ross Perot was in the running. I think the Republican base has been so energized now, with Palin on the McCain ticket, that Bob Barr will lose traction with those who had entertained thoughts of defecting.
By all accounts, Ron Paul had a successful convention of his own in the Twin Cities. But when the roll call at the RNC was taken, there were less Ron Paul delegate votes than anticipated. Ron Paul supporters certainly recognize that Washington has gone astray. By choosing Sarah Palin, John McCain has underscored his message that Washington is wayward, in dire need of reform. John McCain’s acceptance speech included barbs against the Beltway Republicans that were every bit as stinging as Ron Paul’s barbs. There are still vast areas of disagreement between the McCain camp and the Paul camp, but I think Paul supporters have to feel a bit more reassured about McCain after the Palin pick than they were before the Palin pick.
McCain’s Republican base has clearly become more solidified and energized, stealing thunder from Barr and Paul, thus allowing McCain to turn his attention toward independent voters and give Obama a run for his money.