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Bender has been involved in politics since he was 12, when he suspended his involvement in the 7th grade to volunteer for Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. Since then he has been involved with numerous activist groups, as well as working in the entertainment industry. In 2003 he was a senior advisor for Howard Dean's presidential campaign.
Bender had a show called Politically Direct on Air America Radio, on which he would converse with political influentials such as Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and Gore Vidal on issues including climate change, the 2008 elections, the Democratic Party and gay rights. Politically Direct briefly held a weekly time slot, after which Bender voluntarily ended the program in May 2007 to later join Air America's Ring of Fire as one of three co-hosts. He also was a contributor to the successor show to Politically Direct, The Air Americans, but the show was cancelled after three months.
Bender joined The Rachel Maddow Show in March 2008 as part of that show's expansion to three hours. Bender has sub-hosted the show in the past as well. When Thom Hartmann left Air America, the David Bender Show made his debut on March 2, 2009. It aired for two weeks, weekdays noon-3.
On Sunday, June 21, 2009, he announced that Politically Direct was ending the following week. This was his own decision, as he subsequently announced that he was resuming his writing career. He left the door open for a return to broadcasting and Air America at some point in the future.
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