Gravel joins the Libertarian Party

The fringe candidate gives up the Democratic Party, but not its presidential race.

By Caitlin Shamberg - Alex Koppelman
March 27, 2008 1:01AM (UTC)
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Brace yourselves: Mike Gravel is leaving the Democratic Party. The former senator from Alaska, who has been running a quixotic campaign for the Democratic nomination, told supporters he's leaving for the Libertarian Party. In an e-mail, Gravel wrote:

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 Today, I am announcing my plan to join the Libertarian Party, because the Democratic Party no longer represents my vision for our great country.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.

Now, we were left wondering: If you feel that the Democratic Party is no longer the party of FDR, who gave us the New Deal, why would you become a Libertarian? That doesn't make much sense. What also doesn't make sense is what a Gravel aide told Radar's Fresh Intelligence blog. Gravel "would like to become the 'fusion' candidate in this election," the aide said. And Gravel's change of allegiance apparently "does not preclude his current Democratic campaign, nor does it make a run for the Green Party impossible."


Still. One of us has met and dined with Gravel, and though this latest move seems to lack all logic, we do have to say: He's a really nice guy. And he surely means well. So we've put together a video tribute to Gravel's time in the Democratic race, which you can watch below. Enjoy.

Caitlin Shamberg

Caitlin Shamberg is a former multimedia editor at Salon.

MORE FROM Caitlin Shamberg

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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