Who Will Rally the Libertarians?

It’s a sign that some Republican primary voters are dissatisfied with the current field of presidential candidates. Economist Walter Williams, who often substitutes for Rush Limbaugh, has found himself the object of a committee drafting him for president. Of all things, it’s headed by a cartoon duck.

It’s true. The comic strip “Mallard Fillmore,” which is drawn by Bruce Tinsley, has used several installments to urge the 70-year-old George Mason University professor to run for president. The outspoken Mr. Williams has been flooded with e-mails and phone calls from enthusiastic boosters.

For his part, Mr. Williams agrees that career politicians have disappointed conservatives. “I personally think that if we chose the president of the United States at random, we’d get a better president than any president since Ronald Reagan,” Mr. Williams told the Washington Times.

Mr. Williams is flattered by the attention but says he already has a candidate: Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas congressman and former 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, who recently announced he is forming an exploratory committee for president. Mr. Williams is under no illusion that Mr. Paul is likely to win but he says Mr. Paul’s presence in the debates would be refreshing. “If the framers of the Constitution were somehow to come back, Ron Paul is one of possibly only three people in Congress that they’d even talk to,” he says.

The 71-year-old Mr. Paul, a physician, has been in and out of Congress since 1976 when he was one of only four GOP House members to endorse Ronald Reagan’s challenge of President Gerald Ford. He has assembled an army of 15,000 individual donors across the nation who endorse his unwavering support for the flat tax, his call for a radical reform of the Food and Drug Administration and his hostility to overseas military conflicts like the war in Iraq and his disapproval of any and all federal trampling of states rights.

Michael Barone, co-author of The Almanac of American Politics, once noted in a profile of Dr. Paul that his agenda has marked him as an “oddball.” He concluded: “Of course, in Rep. Paul’s view, it’s the rest of the nation’s politicians, with their devotion to an inherently inflationary currency and self-defeating government programs, who are the oddballs.”

”’John Fund is an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal and OpinionJournal.com. Reach him via email at john.fund@wsj.com and subscribe to his political diary by logging on to http://www.opinionjournal.com”’

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