Gravel, Newsweek and the Libertarian Party

Sarah Elkins of Newsweek just ran a long and insightful interview about former Senator Mike Gravel. From the intro to the interview:

Last Monday, the former Democrat swung by the Libertarian Party’s national headquarters and defected. “We handed him a [membership] card on the spot,” says Shane Cory, the party’s executive director. Two days later, Gravel formally announced he would run to be the Libertarian candidate for president, joining a field of 15 others. Cory wouldn’t comment on Gravel’s chances at the convention, which will take start in Denver on May 22, but he did say that Gravel’s party swap has garnered some much-appreciated exposure for the Libertarians.

When asked why he didn’t leave the Democratic Party earlier:

It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to enter the race as a Libertarian. [As a Democratic candidate], I got into the debates and got a fair amount of visibility up until General Electric [which owns NBC] along with the Democratic Party leadership, said they would get me out of the debates. And they did. GE said I did not meet their criteria for participating in the debates. I think it’s very interesting that a defense contractor said I had to meet their criteria in order to participate in the MSNBC debates. We’ve really come down in democracy when a defense contractor can decide what the American people hear from a candidate. It was a [Democratic National Committee] sanctioned debate, so we complained to the DNC and found out that Howard Dean had agreed to it and that not a single one of the other Democratic nominees raised a finger in protest, meaning that they were totally tone deaf to the censorship of the military-industrial complex.

The whole interview is fascinating, as it provides a lot of additional insight into Gravel’s thought processes.

They also highlighted this video:

9 Responses to “Gravel, Newsweek and the Libertarian Party”

  1. silver Republican Says:

    If he doesn’t get the nomination, maybe we can find him a small hip hop label?

  2. Sivarticus Says:

    I’ve never been a big Gravel fan, but that video was pretty good. Gravel is definitely an innovator, and gets his message out in a quirky way on a shoestring budget.

  3. Robert Milnes Says:

    I hate to say it but I think he is a better fit with the Greens. I think he hopes for Ronulan type support which is not to be found with the Greens & Barr has a better chance of getting & I would not need. On the other hand, if he tries the Progressive Alliance Strategy he would be second best to me. With my help/advice, he might/could win.

  4. Susan Hogarth Says:

    It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to enter the race as a Libertarian. [As a Democratic candidate], I got into the debates and got a fair amount of visibility…

    If anyone needs a good example of ‘disingenuous’ for an English assignment, here’s one. It manages to be technically correct and yet at the same time absolutely misleading.

    It wouldn’t have made sense for him to enter the race as a Libertarian. Because he wasn’t a L/libertarian. Whether he can convincingly become one in the next eight weeks is the real question. Color me skeptical.

  5. G.E. Says:

    “I hate to say it but I think he is a better fit with the Greens.”—Yeah, like the way he ushered in that Alaskan pipeline. Good for communism (positive for Greens), bad for Mother Earth (negative)—net even, I guess.

    Then again, an Alaskan oil-driller like Gravel is just as Green as Teddy Roosevelt was “libertarian”—actually, much more so. So at least you’re getting closer!

  6. frank Says:

    labels, labels, labels, Independents are their own worst enemy, you are so fractured none of you ever get heard. it’s a shame because you as a group actually get it. you understand the issues and in your own way you are really trying to save our country and our world and yet you let your differences keep you from finding a way to unite your voices and make an impact. The Dems and Reps are your worst enemy you are. America needs you now, one voice rising up, being heard cant you all find some way to get along. Yes im for Jingozian but damn it America needs all of you. www.resetamerica.com

  7. David Gaines Says:

    I doubt there’s very much aside from the Iraq war issue on which Susan Hogarth and I would agree, but we certainly do agree on Mike Gravel. It was a brilliant strategy indeed for him to get some attention & get his name back out in the public eye by entering the Democratic Party primaries, then pulling out and going 3rd party as was, apparently, his real intention all along. I feel sorry for Libertarians who are trying to keep their party from being hijacked as a ballot access vehicle by folks who kinda-sorta think that’s what they are, too. And I don’t dislike Mike Gravel (although he does seem a bit nutty; like Dennis Kucinich, I think he’s a weak messenger who casts a shadow over his own cause).

    If the only way for minor parties to succeed at the federal level is to engage in essentially unprincipled, James Carville/Karl Rove-style, ultra-pragmatic shenanigans, then maybe it’s time to chuck it all and throw all our efforts at Clerk Of The City Court and Soil & Water Conservation District races.

  8. John Says:

    “It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to enter the race as a Libertarian. [As a Democratic candidate], I got into the debates and got a fair amount of visibility…

    If anyone needs a good example of ‘disingenuous’ for an English assignment, here’s one. It manages to be technically correct and yet at the same time absolutely misleading.

    It wouldn’t have made sense for him to enter the race as a Libertarian. Because he wasn’t a L/libertarian. Whether he can convincingly become one in the next eight weeks is the real question. Color me skeptical.”

    Well, I don’t think it would have made sense for him to enter the race as a Libertarian. I mean, put yourself in his shoes, he’s been a Democrat all his life, was elected to office as a Democrat, was considered part of the establishment enough to gain recognition from the party to be included in the debates.

    But when you start to get kicked out, and you begin to realize the rampant corruption, then you realize the necessity of the third party, and of the Libertarians, and you join them. It all makes sense to me, though I agree that Sen. Gravel could have expanded upon it more.

  9. Steve Says:

    Gravel: “I don’t think [the other candidates] can stand the withering fire I will heap upon them”

    I knew there was something about him I liked, give ‘em hell Mike! (just take some time out and read some Rothbard first)

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