1. Freedom Communications CEO Scott Flanders. Freedom, which owns the Orange County Register and several small papers, is libertarian to the core. The Register was the only major American newspaper to editorialize against interning Japanese-Americans during World War II. From a Register columnist's account of the Flanders announcement:
Flanders said that in this election, for him, "the No. 1 issue is who will get us out of Iraq."
OK, I'm thinking, if you really mean that, there's only one major candidate you can support. But there's no way you are going to stand there and say you support him.
Editorial writer Steve Greenhut told Flanders he thought he was really making an argument for not voting. Not true, Flanders said, and then he did it. He said the words, "Barack Obama." As in, that's who any true freedom-lover should vote for.
But there was a hush as Flanders reasoned that Obama is the best candidate to work on four top libertarian reforms: 1) Iraq withdrawal, 2) restoring the separation of church and state; 3) easing off victimless crimes such as drug use; 4) curtailing the Patriot Act.
Obama will probably raise taxes, Flanders says, (although, then again, maybe he won't, ala J.F.K.) and in 2012, it will be time to put a Republican in the White House.2. Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec. Kmiec, who was head of the office of legal council for Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, is a conservative, not a libertarian. But I think libertarians might be interested in the reasoning that led him to come out for Obama. An excerpt from a blog post he wrote for Slate:
In various ways, Sen. Barack Obama and I may disagree on aspects of these important fundamentals [the role of government, how to interpret the Constitution, cultural issues such as abortion], but I am convinced, based upon his public pronouncements and his personal writing, that on each of these questions he is not closed to understanding opposing points of view and, as best as it is humanly possible, he will respect and accommodate them.