Roseanne Barr is the latest comedian candidate for president — but to the Green Party, she’s no joke.
Last week, it officially recognized the former sitcom star as a bona fide candidate, after she announced her campaign on Twitter and filed papers with the FEC. On Monday, California election officials announced she’s made it onto the ballot for the state primary in June.
But for all the buzz she’s brought the perpetual underdogs of the left wing, Barr faces an uphill battle for their nomination.
She’s already too late to qualify in the handful of other jurisdictions where the Greens have a primary ballot presence, including the District — and on Saturday, the Ohio Greens gave their strong endorsement to rival candidate Jill Stein at their biennial convention.
How strong? Stein won 38 of 42 votes. Barr got two votes. (Yes, these are the minuscule stakes we’re talking about in a contest to lead a party that, in the past two presidential races, failed to get 1 percent of the national vote.)
Does Barr need the Greens more than they need her? It’s been years since she had a hit; her short-lived reality show “Roseanne’s Nuts” was canceled last summer. She reportedly has a sitcom in development, “Downwardly Mobile,” which synergistically shares some of the economic-justice themes of her campaign.
But at least some party chiefs are taking her more seriously than, say, Pat Paulsen — the ’60s TV comic whose perpetual presidential campaign became his enduring schtick. Scott McLarty, a national media coordinator for the Green Party, said officials were impressed by the depth of her candidate questionnaire. (She called for single-payer health care, abolition of the electoral college and legal weed.)
“It casts aside the doubts of some Greens that maybe this was a show-biz thing,” he told us.
The Greens will pick their nominee at a Baltimore convention in July. Thus far, no sharp attacks on Barr from Stein, a physician who won 3.5 percent of the vote as the Green candidate in the 2002 Massachusetts governor’s race. “It’s certainly a sign of the strength of Jill Stein’s campaign that you’re seeing interest for running as a Green candidate,” said Ben Manski, Stein’s campaign manager.
As for Barr — who in her questionnaire declared that “mainstream media will be unable to ignore me” — no comment. Her campaign didn’t get back to us. “We did get word recently,” McLarty said, “that Roseanne has put interviews on hold.”