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Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia.

Robert Laurence "Bob" Barr

Robert Laurence "Bob" Barr was born November 5, 1948 in Iowa City, Iowa, but spent much of his childhood living in foreign countries including Pakistan, Panama, and Iran due to his father's civil engineering career. He earned a law degree from Georgetown University in 1977, and worked for the CIA during much of the 1970's. In 1986 Barr was appointed by President Reagan as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. After several unsuccessful attempts at elective office he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 from Georgia's 7th District. He served as a Republican in Congress until 2003 and was known as one of the most conservative members, though a strong supporter of civil liberties. He is probably best known for his role as one of the House managers during the Clinton impeachment trial. Since leaving Congress, Barr has been a strong critic of the Bush Administration and the Patriot Act, and in 2006 changed his political affiliation to the Libertarian Party. In May 2008 Barr was nominated as the Libertarian Party's candidate for president.; Interviewed by Mel Steely on May 29, 1998 at the University of West Georgia.; Dr. Steely begins this interview by asking Barr about his family and early life; he discusses his travels with his parents and living overseas during his childhood. Barr then answers questions about his perspective on the Cold War years and Kennedy's assassination. After a brief discussion about his college career at Southern California, Barr talks about his entrance into the CIA and his experiences there, which eventually led him to a career in law. Dr. Steely then directs the conversation towards the press and politics in Washington, as well as Barr's committee and office appointments. He talks about his participation in the U.S. Senate race in 1992, which he ultimately lost the nomination to Paul Coverdell. He talks about his stances on issues such as abortion and foreign policy. The interview concludes with an extensive discussion on Congress, President Clinton, and how difficulty of remaining bipartisan in modern Washington politics.