Mike Gravel Steals the Show

In what was a fairly pedestrian Democratic presidential debate on MSNBC Thursday night, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel provided most of the excitement with his impassioned antiwar harangues of the others on the stage. Here he is chastising the other senators for not going far enough to get us out of Iraq.

Unfortunately the others didn’t really engage him on the point, which might have been fun. For the record, Gravel is too far to the left to get even my support, but I’m looking forward to see what he’ll do in the upcoming events.

Gravel’s interview with Chris Matthews after the debate was hilarious too. Matthews asked where Gravel has been for the last 35 years, and he replied, “hiding under a rock.” Gravel then got into a fight with Matthews after Matthews said Gravel had put in his own name for nomination as vice president at the 1972 convention — not a controversy I was previously aware of. He stopped just short of challenging Matthews to a duel.

My only other observation from the event was that Bill Richardson did badly. His responses sounded poorly rehearsed and he kept making wild hand gestures and going over time. Brian Williams didn’t help much with the questioning by pointing out that Richardson stupidly said he had wavered on calling for the resignation of Alberto Gonzales because he’s Hispanic and that Richardson has a top rating from the NRA.


4 Responses to Mike Gravel Steals the Show

  1. Your video of Graval challenging Matthews to a duel is actually of Zell Miller, not Mike Graval.

  2. dimmykarras says:

    Yes, the famous Zell Miller interview with Matthews is the reference I was making there. I wasn’t suggesting the link was of Gravel.

  3. Mike Henry says:

    Mike Gravel too far to the left? I’m not sure where you get that from. He may have seemd a little radical Thursday night, but that’s mainly because he was on a stage with 7 politicians that are too afraid to take risks and say how they truly feel.

    Mike Gravel’s top 5 issues on his own website are: Get out of Iraq; Replace income tax with a national sales tax; Empower Americans to vote in national initiatives; re-think our education sytem and make education our nation’s priority; put “real money” into the social security system.

    I think Mike Gravel believes in the core issues of the Democratic Party and he is willing to say exactly what he thinks. My feeling is that if Hillary or Obama wold say what they truly believed, many of us would say they are too far left.

  4. dimmykarras says:

    Fair enough. I was commenting only on Gravel’s Iraq points, and I admit ignorance to his stance on anything else, so I may have mischaracterized his overall policy views. I didn’t even know how his name was pronounced before Thursday.

    That said, Gravel came across as positively unhinged about the war. He doesn’t seem to understand the political endgame the senate and president are engaged in at all, and I think his foreign policy views–which Biden called “happy talk”–are extreme. And I am a rather virulent opponent of the Bush foreign policy saying this. Gravel made Kucinich look like a moderate in that debate.

    I also think he should be more respectful of Hillary, Obama and the rest if he’s going to trumpet himself as an “elder statesman.” So far I think he’s just elder and far from a statesman. He shouldn’t be asking “how the hell” the other candidates got there or disparaging their service in office when he quit public service himself decades ago.

    But he is entertaining, I’ll give him that. Bob Schieffer yesterday wondered on his show if Gravel might be excluded from future debates because he acted out so inappropriately at this one and because he has no support whatsoever and only takes time away from the other serious contenders. I can see the logic of that argument, though I bet he’ll raise a fuss if they try to block him.

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