Mike Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election. He is chiefly known for his efforts in ending the draft following the Vietnam War and for putting the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971.
Born in 1930 to immigrant parents in Massachusetts, Gravel enlisted in the Army in 1951 and served in West Germany. A self-stated dyslexic, Gravel was educated at Columbia University%u2019s School of General Studies in New York, where he drove a taxi to support himself. Gravel's first steps into politics were in the Alaska House of Representatives, before he won his party's nomination to the U.S. Senate in 1968. During the 1980s, after Gravel lost his senate seat, he worked as a real estate developer, consultant and stockbroker.
Gravel is a strong supporter of direct democracy, and specifically, the National Initiative, which refers to proposals to allow for ballot initiatives at the federal level.
Question: Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. What does that say about our political system?
Mike Gravel: Well what it says is that many times these politicians don’t pay much attention to the Constitution. Keep in mind we got an amendment to the Constitution that says a person should only serve eight years. Well in 1992 when the Clintons sold the Democratic Party to Wall Street and the DLC joined them, what they did is they said you get two for the price of one. Well if it’s two for the price of one and now Hillary’s running, that’s two for the price of one. Well the Constitution says they shouldn’t do that because they’ve already had their eight years and they didn’t do that great a job. So maybe it’s now time for somebody else to get a shot at it.
Recorded on: 10/23/07