Without the fuss of the other candidates, former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel finally got the chance to outline his plan to change the way America is run.
“That’s the reason why I’m in. I want to empower the people to make the changes in the structure of government and to turn around and provide leadership to end this war and end the policies that are just corrupting our whole process,” Gravel told Ray Suarez on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
“This is the first time on television that I’ve been able to get it out, the first time. I am limited by the major networks, at best, five minutes, at best,” he told Ray Suarez at the end of the interview. At the start, he said he wasn’t sure how much money he raised in the 3rd quarter but that the exposure on the NewsHour was “big money.”
The interview also touched on Iran, a topic that Gravel took up at the last Democratic debate. After decrying the candidates currently serving in Congress for spending too much time on the campaign trail and not enough time working to end the war, Gravel turned his attention to New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and her vote in the Senate earlier that day to put Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards on the Specially Designated Global Terrorists list.
Clinton’s first reaction to the accusation was a boisterous laugh, which has recently become tagged as the Clinton Cackle. Only after the question was reasserted by moderator Tim Russert did Clinton respond that she does in fact believe that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is promoting terrorism and that her vote that day would “gives us the options to be able to impose sanctions on the primary leaders to try to begin to put some teeth into all this talk about dealing with Iran.”
Apparently, Gravel was not happy with that response. In his most recent blog post on the Huffington Post, entitled Hillary, War with Iran is No Laughing Matter, Gravel criticized the laugh that exposed Clinton’s “cavalier attitude toward our march to war.” Gravel then attacked Clinton for ending any possible diplomatic solution by vilifying “a 125,000-person organization with ties to every power base in Iran.”
Back on the campaign trail, Mike Gravel spoke directly on environmental issues at ECOFEST in New York on Sunday. When asked what one thing he would do in office that would have an impact on the environment, Gravel said: “To put a tax on carbon. Now I can’t do that as president. It would have to be the Congress. And I don’t think the Congress would do it. But if we empower the American people to make laws, like I have other legislation to do, then the people would do it in a heartbeat.”
In other news, New Hampshire newspaper The Union Leader published an editorial calling for Gravel to leave the race. However, it looks like that won’t be happening any time soon. In the NewsHour interview Gravel responded in defiance to the paper’s view: “The Union Leader right now is saying I should get out of the race because I’m only at 1 percent or 2 percent. They don’t say anything about [Sen. Joe] Biden. They don’t say anything about [former Sen. John] Edwards or [Rep. Dennis] Kucinich. You know, I’ve come on the scene after an absence of 25 years, a whole generation, and I’m equal to these guys that have been in the news for the last decade or more.”
At the very least, followers of this blog should be happy to know that there will be many more posts to come.