Mike Gravel

It Has Begun


First Democrat announces officially for the 2008 presidential nomination.

It is–wait for it!–former U.S. senator from Alaska (1969-81) Mike Gravel. He's 75, and he's anti-war. He'd be the first Alaskan president. His bachelor's degree is in economics, from Columbia.

Things I like about him: Read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. Supports the "Fair Tax," which has its problems but would be an improvements. Seeks federal-level ballot initiative possibilities to further his goal of "direct democracy." Again, a stance with positive and negative aspects–though I'm not sure the people could do much worse than Congress, especially if the Courts start taking the Constitution seriously–something they'd be far more likely to do against initiatives than against Congress. While I don't have a comprehensive survey of all the good and bad done by initiatives over the years on the state level, they've certainly done some neat things in California, from tax limitation to medical marijuana legalization.

Start the pile-ons, pro and con, now. I suspect that when the season gets in full swing, we won't have much reasonable opportunity to discuss Sen. Gravel and his presidential chances. Gravel: On The Road to Victory!

ADDENDUM: The amazing distributed information search system of Hit and Run has already helped pound Gravel to gravel: like most Americans, I couldn't have told you who this guy was three hours ago. But he's apparently, according to Wikipedia, got tied to him such political dynamite as an appearance at a conference run by Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review and Elizabeth Ray claiming she was forced to have sex with him in the 1970s, in the baroque "Elizabeth Ray" scandals I have only the vaguest memory of, though I think a Hustler pictorial might have been involved.