Gravel to run as Libertarian

I just recieved this in an email.

Gravel For President 2008
A Personal Message from Mike Gravel

Dear friend,

I wanted to update you on my latest plans before news gets out. Today, I am announcing my plan to join the Libertarian Party, because the Democratic Party no longer represents my vision for our great country. I wanted my supporters to get this news first, because you have been the ones who have kept my campaign alive since I first declared my candidacy on April 17, 2006.

The fact is, the Democratic Party today is no longer the party of FDR. It is a party that continues to sustain war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism—all of which I find anathema to my views.

By and large, I have been repeatedly marginalized in both national debates and in media exposure by the Democratic leadership, which works in tandem with the corporate interests that control what we read and hear in the media.

I look forward to advancing my presidential candidacy within the Libertarian Party, which is considerably closer to my values, my foreign policy views and my domestic views.

Please take a moment to make your most generous donation to my presidential campaign today. $10, $20, $50—whatever you feel you can afford.

I want to thank you all for your continued support.

Gratefully yours,
Mike Sig Small

Learn More www.gravel2008.us

41 Responses to “Gravel to run as Libertarian”

  1. Christopher T. Says:

    Am I the only libertarian that thinks this is ridiculous? Please tell me that I am not

  2. NewFederalist Says:

    You’re not.

  3. Guy Garofano Says:

    Whether it’s the LP or the CP it’s great to get candidates that have some name recognition - but do they actually believe in the principles of the Party? I’m an Independent, will never committ to one Party again (but will vote for any in a given election) so I don’t have a direct stake, I just find it interesting.

  4. Brian Says:

    What about the LP makes Gravel think that they are the party of FDR ?

  5. Andy Says:

    “The fact is, the Democratic Party today is no longer the party of FDR.”

    As if the Libertarian Party was ever the party of FDR, or as if being the party of FDR is something of which to be proud.

    Oh well, we’ve already got another candidate who wants to be like Teddy Roosevelt.

  6. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    I’m trying to get a comment up here, but it’s not taking. And when I try to repost it (because I don’t see it) it says it’s a duplicate comment.

  7. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    I’ll try again:

    Maybe Gravel will have a Root style “conversion” over the next two months?

    IAE, this might be bad for Root.

    Purists may stick to Ruwart or Kubby, but one of Root’s big selling points was his “fame” and “name recognition.” I never thought Root had much (I’d never heard of him until he announced last year). But Gravel has much more “fame” especially among politically minded media and voters, than does Root.

    At this point, I don’t know what to expect at the convention. It’s getting every harder to predict.

    I’m still open to Kubby, Ruwart, and Phillies, though with all these late announcements, why not Karen Kwiatkowski? (I mean for president, not for Milnes’s VP)

  8. Ayn R. Key Says:

    According to Dondero, all major libertarians are ex-Republicans.

  9. johncjackson Says:

    Libertarians appear to have an almost 100% favorable view of Ron Paul, a Republican (yes I am aware of his long involvement in the LP, which I respect) who holds some non-libertarian views and panders to the hard right. The same goes for bob barr, of course. Though I would say each is “sufficiently libertarian”’ to welcome into a big-tent party.

    So why not welcome Democrats who are on the right side on some very important issues but have disagreements on economics and other issues?

  10. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    It just keeps getting weirder and weirder, doesn’t it?

    FWIW, I think Gravel has a tough row to hoe trying to get the LP’s nomination ... but that he’s no worse, ideologically speaking, than some of the other “serious” candidates.

    Ruwart and Kubby are the only two candidates with considerable support who are reliably close to anything like a RothRandian ideological “plumb line” (note the “reliably” there—Smith sometimes seems to be, and then sometimes goes off into “states’ rights to determine their cultural influences” and other weirdness).

    I’m willing to believe that Root’s “Libertarian Rebirth” is sincere, but so far as I can tell, he’s still not quite past thinking that “Libertarian” means “Country Club Republican with a few eccentricities.”

    I have no ready explanation for Phillies’s decision to channel Lou Dobbs on trade and immigration, but to the extent that he does he’s definitely waaaaaaaay off “plumb line.”

    Barr isn’t in the race yet, and he’s been a bit Sphinx-like on ideology, but I suspect he’d at least fall out on the edge of “libertarian” where it blurs toward “conservative.” I’m not offering that as a criticism—I know a lot of good conservative folk, and a lot of good libertarians who “lean conservative”—I’m just trying to categorize folks.

    In my view, Gravel is somewhere in the territory bounded on either side by Root and Barr, only on the other side of the nebulous “left-right” spectrum. I don’t see any reason why deviation in one direction on that spectrum should be any more inherently off-putting than deviation in the other. Either we can live with a little deviation, or we can’t (and I can, even if I don’t necessarily like to, and even if I won’t necessarily support a particular deviationist pre-nomination).

  11. Andy Says:

    Having Gravel in the race for the LP nomination will provide Ruwart, Kubby, Phillies, etc…, a more well known person to debate which could draw more people to watch the nomination process.

  12. Thomas Paine Says:

    Gravel is an FDR Libertarian Yay!!

  13. Scott Lieberman Says:

    Ron Paul served as a Republican in Congress from 1976-1977, and from 1979-1985. When he ran for President in 1988 as a Libertarian, he did not even get 0.5% of the vote.

    Mike Gravel is former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981 - ie: more than 27 years ago.

    Do you REALLY think that Gravel has the potential to do that much better as the LP Presidential nominee than Ron Paul did in 1988 as the Libertarian Party Presidential nominee?

    Wayne Root is getting national publicity in the here and now even though he is not yet the LP Presidential nominee, and he does not have the benefit of being a former Federal level elected official.

    (please don’t reply by saying how well Ron Paul is doing in the 2008 Republican Presidential campaign - that is irrelevant to my argument).

  14. Alex Peak Says:

    I’ve said it before, and I must say it again:

    As much as I like Gravel, and although I would have voted Democratic had he gotten the nomination of that party, and although I have repeatedly said that he was the most libertarian Democrat running, he is not yet a libertarian, and must not be selected as our standard-bearer.

    If, by 2012, he has changed his stance on such issues as healthcare, social security, and minimum wage, he should run for president as a Libertarian. But as of right now, despite how much I like the man and respect some of the things he did in the Senate, I would have to prefer NOTA over Mr. Gravel when it comes to our presidential nomination.

    Mr. Gravel has potential—a lot of potential. I have no doubt that with appropriate coaxing, he can become a libertarian. He’s far more libertarian than, for example, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Barack Obama, and could become libertarian far easier than any of them. But he’s not there yet.

    I still maintain my welcome of Gravel into the party.

    As for FDR, I know I’m not alone in thinking he was a horrible, horrible, horrible president, and that he should be posthumously impeached.

    Mr. Jackson writes,

    Libertarians appear to have an almost 100% favorable view of Ron Paul, a Republican (yes I am aware of his long involvement in the LP, which I respect) who holds some non-libertarian views and panders to the hard right. The same goes for bob barr, of course.

    I hold a much more favourable view of Dr. Paul than Mr. Barr, although my respect for Barr is growing, since his apparent conversion to opposition to the drug war and the war.

    So why not welcome Democrats who are on the right side on some very important issues but have disagreements on economics and other issues?

    As a left-libertarian, I’m more than happy to accept Democrats and Republicans into the party. But supporting universal healthcare is just as bad as supporting the war on drugs. I’m fine with deviations from the plum-line, as long as they’re not too numberous. I’m willing to put up with anti-immigrationists and pro-minimum wagers, but I’m not willing to put up with censoring, heterosexist, pro-drug war anti-immigrationists as a big candidate of ours, just as I’m not willing to put up with pro-social security, pro-government healthcare, pro-minimum wagers as a big candidate of ours. At a certain point, one ceases to be a libertarian; and although that’s a hard line to determine, and although I believe in keeping the tent big, we must be aware that a line (albeit a blurry one) does exist.

    When it comes to our presidential nominee, I prefer a bit of purism. The presidential nominee represents “libertarianism” in the public eye. I’m much more forgiving of deviation from local and state Libertarian candidates than from our presidential nominee.

    I don’t think Mr. Barr is ready for the spot, despite the progress he’s made since becoming a Libertarian. I’m sure Mr. Gravel will make progress, too, but he’s also not ready. Perhaps by 2012, we could run a Barr/Gravel ticket. Perhaps.

    Mr. Andy writes,

    Having Gravel in the race for the LP nomination will provide Ruwart, Kubby, Phillies, etc…, a more well known person to debate which could draw more people to watch the nomination process.

    I had not thought about that, but you’re right.

    Mr. Lieberman writes,

    Wayne Root is getting national publicity in the here and now even though he is not yet the LP Presidential nominee, and he does not have the benefit of being a former Federal level elected official.

    I do not see Mr. Root getting any more publicity than Mr. Kubby or Dr. Phillies. Now that Dr. Ruwart has entered the race, she’ll be getting publicity as well.

  15. silver Republican Says:

    I find it hilarious how folks say the Republican and Democratic Parties no longer stand for anything, and that the Libertarians provide a wonderful solid alternative, while the Libertarians are far more divided then any group I can think of.

  16. silver Republican Says:

    “If, by 2012, he has changed his stance on such issues as healthcare, social security, and minimum wage, he should run for president as a Libertarian.”

    And if he is, you know, still alive

  17. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Under no circumstances could I support Gravel for prez in 08. I might support him for VP, particularly if the standardbearer were Barr or possibly Ventura. The LP then takes a page (only a page) from Unity 08.

    VP is largely ceremonial, and I’d trade off Gravel’s status as a former Senator for his obvious outside-the-tent positioning. Over time, perhaps he will shift his positions toward a consistent peace and freedom view. Bluntly, this is likely his swan song from politics anyway, so it kinda doesn’t matter.

    Yes, I’ve no problem with tactical opportunism, within reason. I know that Murray would not be pleased, which pleases me!

  18. The Dylan Says:

    We Libertarians have proven to be a party of purists and I am fine with that. Still, I welcome candidates Wayne Allyn Root, Mike Gravel, Bob Barr, and others to join the debate, make their case to the party loyalists, and sometimes, if rarely, take the nomination on a final majority vote.

    Plus, these are conversations worth having. What do we really expect from our party? And, who among us wouldn’t change at least one part of the old platform?

    The best part is, whoever wins the nomination- Kubby, Ruwart, Phillies- will be the man or woman who took on bigger names and won. It raises the profile of our party and our eventual nominee to have these candidates in the preliminaries and I, for one, will enjoy it!

  19. Jeff Wartman Says:

    If, by 2012, he has changed his stance on such issues as healthcare, social security, and minimum wage, he should run for president as a Libertarian.

    It’s 2008 or bust for Gravel. He’ll be far too old in 2012.

  20. disinter Says:

    I like Gravel a good deal. Few Democrats are good on war and guns, and skeptical of the IRS. I always preferred him to Kucinich.

    But in his announcement to supporters of his intentions to run as an LP presidential candidate, he writes, “The fact is, the Democratic Party today is no longer the party of FDR. It is a party that continues to sustain war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism — all of which I find anathema to my views.”

    This is just hysterical. Of course, FDR created the military-industrial complex. To the extent the Democrats are no longer the party of FDR, that is a good thing—and indeed, one could argue the GOP became the party of FDR with Nixon, Reagan and the two Georges Bush.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/020203.html

  21. Nigel Watt Says:

    Do not want.

  22. Scott Says:

    Very strange. I thought he already endorsed Johnson (a Green candidate)? Hard to understand but I’ve never really cared enough to look up Gravel’s policy ideas—maybe he’s closer to the Libetarian party than the Green party….although that would surprise me actually.

    There’s no chance in hell he’ll ever be the Libetarian nominee.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Alex,

    You write:

    “I do not see Mr. Root getting any more publicity than Mr. Kubby or Dr. Phillies.”

    I say this as a staunch supporter of Kubby: Root is getting more publicity than Kubby and Phillies.

    Of course, I believe that he damages the party every time he does get publicity, but that’s a different subject.

  24. Zeleni Says:

    Unfortunately for Milnes, Gravel is not the ideal “progressive alliance candidate.” Gravel identifies Franklin Roosevelt, while Milnes harkens back to Teddy Roosevelt.

  25. Gene Berkman Says:

    Anthony Gregory’s statement on Gravel, posted by disinter, is the best response I have seen.

    We should welcome Mike Gravel into the Libertarian Party, even if he does not agree with us on everything. But it sure looks like he has only joined in the hope of being the Libertarian (or Libertarian/Green fusion) candidate for President.

    He has not been an effective candidate in the Democratic primaries, doing even worse than Kucinich. There is no “Gravel Democrat” constituency he can bring into the LP, he has precious little name recognition, it has been 28 years since he was defeated for re-election, and he has developed the manners of a kook with a big ego.

    Just watch him quit the LP after he does not get the nomination for President.

    If not NOTA, when?

  26. Robert Milnes Says:

    Zeleni, unfortunately, agreed.

  27. Jerry S. Says:

    As I stated in another thread: For all you who want Gravel to hang around and be indoctrinated, well the man is 77y10m old, who will volunteer to push his wheelchair and hold his drool cloth in 2012 ? (you would earn more doing it for MCCain)

    It’s now or never, Gravel’s joining the LP for the nomination THIS year.

    I too feel when he loses the nomination he will be gone whether officially or not.

    As for you who do care where candidates stand on the issues do bookmark this site:

    http://www.votesmart.org/election_president_search.php?type=alpha
    See Issue Positions (Political Courage Test) on most all the candidates.
    you can spend time in there and understand a lot more about these egos.

    Don’t know Gravel’s views, read’em (& weep?)
    See Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)
    http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=69496

    One point of interest to all you who are regulars on here, the last I heard there are over 5,000 candidates for POTUS. You will need to search long and perhaps not find but one with this policy :

    3) Taxes
    Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per tax, you can use a number more than once.

    Family Income Taxes

    Slightly Increase a) Less than $12,000
    Maintain Status b) $12,001-$40,000
    Maintain Status c) $40,001-$100,000
    Maintain Status d) $100,001-$180,000
    Maintain Status e) $180,001-$350,000
    Slightly Decrease f) $350,001 and above

    YES you read that correctly. A tax policy of SOAK the poor and, in some cases truly, helpless among us even more, give breaks to the richest, elitist and most powerful of society and keep everyone else under the thumb of big government at the current level.

    Now who, which candidate could possibly have this as part of their “rather overall socialist” platform ? A platform like NO OTHER in history-lol. Ranking them 14-17 as the abosolute worse libertarians in a 16-17 LP candidate field.

    See Issue Positions (Political Courage Test) at
    http://www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=80134

    Now how many of you guessed, ?

    Well MILNES of course…

    lol-think how many of you have spent valuable moments of your lives reading his posts…Is his platform GREEN ?
    His platform IS, what HAS to be, a party of ONE

    Nothing personal, but you are in a public arena now, “Boobbie” er “Bobbie”

  28. Jerry S. Says:

    The best possible result of this for the LP would be 10-20,000 new dues paying LP members. 250 to $ 500,000 of much needed funds. All LP members should reach out to Gravel supporters to join NOW, not wait until later but how.

    A Special Message from the Libertarian National Committee To YOU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUUcLOquil0&eurl=http://www.thirdpartywatch.com/

    History of the Libertarian Party
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYQRzXd1UvQ&feature=user

    Illinois Petitioning Frequently Asked Questions *Libertarian

  29. Bill Wood Says:

    I’m happy Gravel has joined the LP. Interesting to note talking about Dr. Ruwart and Wayne Allyn Roots possible attendance at the LP of Va. Convention to friends and co-workers. Non political friends have never heard of any of the LP Candidates except for Wayne Allyn Root and some LP members were planning on skipping the Convention, but now they want to attend to meet Wayne.

  30. Andy Says:

    “If, by 2012, he has changed his stance on such issues as healthcare, social security, and minimum wage, he should run for president as a Libertarian.”

    I don’t know what kind of health Gravel is in, but by 2012 he’ll be in his ‘80s. That’s pretty old for running for President.

  31. Robert Milnes Says:

    Jerry S., of course I do not advocate those tax numbers. As I recall there was some sort of problem with the questionairre which I brought to the attention to the website operators & filled it out anyway. The entire questionairre was flawed anyway.

  32. Zeleni Says:

    Milnes, have you considered exhuming the corpse of Teddy Roosevelt?

  33. Freeman Says:

    Bob Barr has been in the Libertarian Party, and very actively so, for some while now. This builds trust.

    Mike Gravel joins… when?yesterday? and sez he’s gonna run for prez?
    Of course, merely joining the party is more than Nader ever did for the Greens, but still.

  34. Robert Milnes Says:

    Zeleni, I have no objection to that…What for?

  35. Kevin Zeese Says:

    There are 14 people running for the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, almost all are peace candidates. I know some of them—and they are good people—but none of them will be able to run a national campaign that gets much media attention as they will not have the money or celebrity to do so. That could be changing!

    Former Senator Mike Gravel announced that he has joined the Libertarian Party and now there is a talk of a ticket that includes Gravel and former congressman Bob Barr, see below. That ticket—bringing together a former Democrat and former Republican could be a great addition to the political landscape. Gravel is consistent with Libertarian thinking on the war and military intervention, the drug war, opposition to gun control and his advocacy for ending the income tax, replacing it with a national sales tax known as the Fair Tax. He also favors more direct democracy with a national voter initiative. I don’t think he is as long a shot as the article below says, but he needs to get moving quickly if he wants the nomination.

    Gravel has gotten more media attention than all the other 14 combined by just registering Libertarian! See http://www2.nysun.com/article/73744 During the course of a campaign he would definitely bring more attention to the LP than any other candidate.

  36. disinter Says:

    His issues page provides plenty of reasons, but surely the most compelling reason to reject Mike Gravel as a “libertarian” candidate is because he favors universal government pre-school and the even more ominous-sounding “parent education,” whatever that may entail.

    Gravel is great on foreign policy, but a war on American parents and children is at least as bad as a war on Iraqis.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/020214.html

  37. Tannim Says:

    Gravel is too new to the LP to be its standard-bearer. He needs to grow into the party, and he’s not there yet. He could be a great asset to the LP, especially in terms of the ins and outs of DC (as could Barr), but he’s just not LP Prez fodder.

  38. Rob Says:

    Oh, Mike, Mike, Mike! What happened? What made you stoop to associating with the Libertarians!? You’d have been better off running as an independent, like Nader. Say it isn’t so, Mike. You’re too smart for this!

  39. Freeman Says:

    In one of the early debates, Mike Gravel said he was for English-only legislation.

  40. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Capozzi writes,

    I know that Murray would not be pleased.

    I don’t know why you say this. I would think that Dr. Rothbard, were he still alive today, would have been right with Rockwell in denouncing the “red-state fascists”; would have made a permanent break with the right; would have supported Dr. Paul during the race while acknowledging that Mr. Gravel was the best Democrat out there, and a valid alternative to the Obama/Clinton pit of sludge, as Rockwell had done; would be happy to see this best-Democrat-out-there give a metaphoric finger to the Democratic party by joining the Libertarian Party; and would have been, as I am, skeptical about Mr. Gravel’s candidacy.

    This is just a guess, of course.

    Mr. Wartman writes,

    It’s 2008 or bust for Gravel. He’ll be far too old in 2012.

    Why does age matter? Because kids don’t want to vote for old people? That can’t be it, given that young people are the biggest supporters of people like Ralph Nader and Ron Paul, both of whom are thoroughly over the hill.

    Yours,
    Alex Peak
    Age 23

  41. Dave Williams Says:

    “In one of the early debates, Mike Gravel said he was for English-only legislation.”

    IT’S ABOUT FUCKING TIME

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