|Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel delivered an energetic speech that was,
however, the longest of any candidate to address the meeting. In
remarks he stated, "We must bring our troops home now––not 6 months
from now, not a year from now––NOW!" "One more American death for
'our vital interest' is not worth it," Gravel said, "We all know
'vital interest' is code for 'oil.'" In the latter part of his speech,
Gravel focused on the proposal for a National Initiative, which is at the
center of his campaign. "The National Initiative will provide a mechanism
for us to finally have a government not just 'of' and 'for' the People,
but, for the first time in our history, a government 'by' the People,"
Gravel stated in his prepared remarks. "The National Initiative would
provide an opportunity for the Democratic Party to reclaim its role in
American history, with an advancement in human governance on a par with
the nascent Republican Party’s role in ending slavery on American soil,"