It's rare for me to offer praise to the LRC crowd. But when one of them leaves the fever swamp, it's worth giving them credit, as is the case with this excellent post from Nick Bradley (who I'll admit usually does a pretty good job avoiding the anti-Cato, anti-Reason vitriol). Bradley discusses the Daniel Koffler Comment Is Free column about Obama's appeal to libertarians that I posted about awhile back.
In any event, Bradley's analysis is well-balanced, fair, and well worth a read, I think.
So, is Obama a left-libertarian? No; Obama's platform is more akin to "Soft Paternalism", a gentler, less threatening approach to controlling people's lives (sometimes incorrectly referred to as Libertarian Paternalism).
Don't get me wrong: in a hypothetical match up in the fall between Obama and McCain, I'll either abstain from voting or write in Paul's name. But for the electorate as a whole, Obama would be the more liberty-minded choice over the statist, warmongering, ill-tempered and possibly unstable John McCain.
I'm much more willing to actually vote for Obama in the general election on the grounds that he will be far superior to McCain, and on the grounds that I think a change in foreign policy and a roll-back of executive power are the most important issues this year. But Bradley's analysis of Obama strikes me as dead-on accurate.