Former two term Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska turned 90 years old today. Gravel unsuccessfully sought the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential nomination, losing to former Congressman Bob Barr at the National Convention. Gravel remained with the party until 2010 when he rejoined the Democrats.
Prior to his Libertarian candidacy, Gravel ran for the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination. Although he was able to appear in a few presidential debates, his campaign was largely ignored. While still in the race he endorsed Green Party presidential candidate Jesse Johnson. Johnson went on to lose the nomination to former Representative Cynthia McKinney. Eventually, Gravel withdrew from the Democratic race and began his Libertarian campaign. Upon his defeat at the 2008 National Convention, Gravel lamented the end of his political career. However, he would run again.
Gravel sought the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination at the age of 88, and was shut out of the process even more so than in 2008. He was not invited to any debates and received scant media coverage. After his withdrawal in August 2019 he endorsed the presidential campaigns of Representative Tulsi Gabbard and Senator Bernie Sanders, both of whom have since withdrawn and endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. An email was sent claiming Gravel endorsed Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins last September but Gravel backed away from it and said it only reflected the preference of a staffer.