Candidate: Mike Gravel
Political Background: Former Senator from Alaska
Campaign Website: http://www.gravel2008.us/
Dem Appeal: Hard-line liberal, pro-gay marriage, pro-national smoking ban, pro-marijuana legalization, hard-line environmentalist, supports single-payer universal health care, key player in release of "Pentagon Papers" in 1971, anti-nuclear stance, open-borders advocate, forced end of military draft during Senate career, pro-union, use of "viral video" appeals to younger Dems.
Cross-over Appeal to Republicans: Shares libertarian views on IRS, supports English as official language of U.S., supports merit-based pay for teachers and private school vouchers.
Cons: Believes United States has no enemies in this world, wants to have normalized relations with anti-American leaders (Chavez/Castro/Kim Jong-Il), more concerned with unemployment in Canada/Mexico due to NAFTA/CAFTA than in America, even Dems think he's a bit "extreme" and that he overstates issues like poverty in America to be worse than what they are, horrid fundraising, support for extending school day and year is not popular with either party.
My Personal Thoughts: Gravel, who is left of most of the Dems and a little bit "north" (libertarian) of Dennis Kucinich, is well beyond the support of most Dems...even to the point of drawing about 0.5% of vote in most polls. Gravel considers himself a "regular guy", but many in his own party consider him to be a "crazy old man".
Gravel's liberalism has it's appeal...usually to extreme progressives who feel the rest of the Dems aren't far enough left, and that Dennis Kucinich is too weak in leadership.
People likened him to the Democratic Party's version of Ron Paul, with the exception that Ron Paul's attempts to shake up the party are working to some effect...whereas Gravel has had no real effect except for allowing other Dem candidates appear "more sane and reasoned". So while Gravel is not going to win the nomination, he is still in the race and still debates, so he is deserving of an analysis, as well.