Former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska has gotten little speaking time in candidate debates and has actually been barred from some major forums among Democratic presidential hopefuls.
After MSNBC decided to exclude Gravel from its October debate in Philadelphia, CNN followed suit with an announcement that he would not appear at their Las Vegas debate a few weeks later. Now, Gravel will join Rep. “Dennis Kucinich”:://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2008/primaries/candidates/kucinich.html, D-Ohio, in standing aside during Thursday’s Democratic debate in Iowa.
One long-shot Republican White House hopeful who made the cut for Wednesday’s GOP debate was former diplomat Alan Keyes — and his inclusion has raised questions about Iowa Public Television’s requisites.
“Why is Keyes debating, while Kucinich and Gravel are not at tomorrow’s Democratic debate? According to Iowa Public Television spokeswoman Jennifer Glover Konfrst, Keyes met the criteria to participate; Kucinich and Gravel did not,” MSNBC reported. “The criteria include: 1) an FEC statement of candidacy; 2) having an Iowa campaign staffer and Iowa campaign office as of October 1; and 3) registering at least at 1 percent in the October Des Moines Register poll.”
As the primary nominating season approaches, Gravel’s campaign has little money and scant TV exposure, so the team has had to become extremely resourceful.
The campaign’s viral video initiative has reached hundreds of thousands across the country, and at very little cost. Gravel’s YouTube profile has been viewed nearly 800,000 times, hosts over 80 videos and features over 100 videos created by supporters.
But perhaps Gravel’s debate simulcasts are his greatest answer to the ban imposed upon him by the major TV networks. Unable to be on stage with the other candidates, Gravel broadcasts his commentary of the debates live over the Internet.
Gravel spent the beginning of the week meeting with voters in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and he’ll be speaking in Michigan over the next few days.