Larry Lessig Ends Comical Bid For Presidency

The Harvard professor's presidential stunt is over.

Larry Lessig, the campaign finance reform advocate who was last seen blowing millions of dollars on losing candidates in 2014, has ended his quixotic 2016 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In a campaign video posted on YouTube on Monday, Lessig pinned his decision to drop out on his inability to qualify for the televised Democratic Party debates.

The Harvard professor noted that he polled at just one percent in two national polls, shy of the three needed to get on the stage.

“It was clear that getting into the Democratic debates was the essential step in this campaign. I may be known in tiny corners of the tubes of the internets, but I am not well known to the American public generally. Our only chance to make this issue central to the 2016 election was to be in those debates,” Lessig said in the video, apparently reading from a script written in 2006.

The new rules imposed by debate organizers have made it impossible for him to get in the debate, said Lessig.

“I am just shut out,” said Lessig.

Lessig entered the Democratic primary in August and went on to raise over a million dollars on a promise to reform the nation’s campaign finance laws. Initially, Lessig promised to resign as president after implementing a series of campaign finance reforms, but later reneged on that quirky promise during a TV appearance.

Lessig’s position on campaign finance reform failed to catch fire with the Democratic base in part because it was not a unique one, as all the candidates in the primary have stated they want to change the national rules on money and politics. When pressed by Boston on why his take on campaign finance reform was different, Lessig said:

Other candidates aren’t yet talking about these issues as if they’re day-one issues. If you don’t get this solved on the first day of Congress, you’re not going to get anything else done.

Um, OK.

Lessig is the third Democratic candidate to drop out of the primary. Former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee dropped out after the last debate, and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb quit the Democratic Party after the first debate, but didn’t suspend his campaign. Watch Lessig’s big campaign announcement video below.