A former Alaska senator, 89-year-old Mike Gravel, is supposedly running for president. He hasn’t been in office for 38 years and doesn’t register in the polls, but Gravel seems undeterred. And like many also-rans in the huge Democratic field, he desperately needs attention — media attention. To that end, Gravel ran a clever social media campaign (run by 3 teenagers) and now has enough donors to qualify him for the next Democratic debate at the end of this month.
All Republicans should devoutly pray that this Looney-Tunes nutcase makes it to the stage in Florida.
Yes, but isn’t referring to an 89-year old distinguished former Senator as “Looney-Tunes” disrespectful? Not if it’s true.
Indeed, there is apparently some appeal for Gravel’s candidacy from libertarians. If so, libertarians have also lost their minds. He checks some of the boxes that many libertarians could support, including ending all wars, ditching nuclear weapons, ending the “war on drugs,” and bringing the boys and girls home from overseas. But whatever happened to the notion that libertarians want limited government?
Gravel supports a Green New Deal, health care for all, internet access as a “right,” nationalizing banks, destroying corporations, abolishing the U.S. Senate (“as we know it”?), and a “National Reparations Trust Fund.”
Perhaps someone got it wrong and he means “unlimited” government.
That’s okay because Gravel really, really, hates Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney. As president he promises to turn them over to the international star chamber known as the World Court. Stances like this have appealed to the young and this kiddie brigade is poised to put Gravel on the biggest stage of his life — maybe:
Gravel’s campaign said it received donations from 65,000 unique donors, reaching the threshold set by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). However, Gravel has not polled at 1 percent or above in three DNC-approved polls, the other debate qualification.
Candidates can qualify for the debate by reaching either the donor threshold or the polling threshold. However, if more than 20 candidates in total qualify, the DNC will prioritize those who have met both criteria.
Unlike other candidates, Gravel harbors no illusions about winning and doesn’t even pretend he’s a serious candidate:
Gravel launched his long-shot campaign in April with the sole intention of appearing on the debate stage rather than actually winning the Democratic nomination. He plans to drop out after the debates and endorse the most progressive candidate.
His campaign appeared to be on its last leg earlier this month when Gravel tweeted that it was “nearing its conclusion” and asking followers where he should donate leftover funds.
Regardless of his qualifications for this month’s debate, Gravel will face a steep challenge to get onto the debate stage again in September, for which the DNC has doubled its qualifications to 130,000 unique donors and polling at 2 percent in four surveys.
Refreshing for the voter and terrifying to the Democratic party, this guy actually makes Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez sound reasonable. Trump would have a field day using Gravel quotes from a debate and pointing out the similarities with Sanders, Warren, and other radical Democrats. That’s what Democrats have been doing for decades.
The difference is Mike Gravel doesn’t try to hide his poisonous ideas with a spoonful of sugar. He’s got an in-your-face personal style and will likely stand out for that reason.
Democrats might hope the networks go to commercial when Gravel starts spouting.
Editor’s note: Since Gravel is the 21st candidate to qualify for the second round of debates, it is very likely he will get booted from the stage.