Mike Gravel endorses Bernie Sanders

Former Senator Mike Gravel ended his unusual candidacy and endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for president of the United States.

Gravel, a fierce opponent of the Vietnam War who served in the military, was running for president to force the tough conversation about the costs of endless wars of choice.

“The time has come to fundamentally shift the dialogue of American politics,” said Gravel at the start of his unconventional campaign.

Gravel was not seeking to contest any primaries, but rather to qualify for the debates to bring a message of anti-imperialism and direct democracy to the Democratic debates.

His campaign garnered national attention for being run by two teenagers, David Oks and Henry Williams, who had convinced the former senator to run.

Oks and Williams built the Gravel campaign a savvy social media presence that connected with younger voters perhaps better than any other candidate.

Prominent polling outfits often left him out of surveys required to qualify candidates for the debates under the rules set up by the Democratic National Committee, but he did meet the threshold of 65,000 unique donors.

A tweet on Gravel’s Twitter account, @MikeGravel, said: “I am proud and honored to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the presidency of the United States.”

The 89-year-old anti-imperialist always planned to drop out of the race and endorse the most progressive candidate.

Gravel served as a Democratic United States Senator from Alaska from 1969 to 1981.

On the night of June 29, 1971, Gravel began reading the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record, after Daniel Ellsberg leaked the 4,100-page document revealing high-level malfeasance and systematic lying that had resulted in thousands of deaths in Vietnam.

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