Rep Tulsi Gabbard Running for President


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D, HI-2) announced she’s running for president in 2020. Or rather, she announced that she is going to announce in a released clip from her forthcoming interview with CNN’s Van Jones.



SF Gate:

Gabbard confirmed the news to CNN’s Van Jones in an interview set to air on Saturday night.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” Gabbard told Jones.
Gabbard has made a lot of fans among progressives, but also a number of critics because of some of her positions on issues such as foreign policy.

Gabbard is one of the first two female combat veterans to serve in Congress and is its first-ever Hindu member.

Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced on Friday that she’s running for president in 2020. Gabbard confirmed the news to CNN’s Van Jones in an interview set to air on Saturday night.

There is plenty to discuss surrounding Rep. Gabbard. The congresswoman spent the earlier part of the week feuding with her own party, including her own US Senator Mazie Hirono:

Gabbard’s opinion piece argues that for years “politicians have weaponized religion for their own selfish gain, fomenting bigotry, fears and suspicious based on the faith, religion or spiritual practices of their potential opponents.”

The congresswoman later zeroes in on the recent questioning of Buescher, without mentioning Hirono by name. Both Hirono and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had questioned Buescher last month about whether he could rule impartially on issues related to abortion and same-sex marriage, noting that Buescher was a member of the Knights of Columbus, which has taken public stances on both.

“I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher’s Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus,” wrote Gabbard. “If Buescher is ‘unqualified’ because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, then President John F. Kennedy, and the ‘liberal lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy would have been ‘unqualified’ for the same reasons.”

Gabbard goes on to take a swipe at U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) who questioned Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings in 2017 to serve as U.S. Circuit Court judge in the 7th Circuit.

”Elected leaders engaging in religion-baiting are playing with fire. They are sacrificing the well-being, peace and harmony of our country to satisfy their own political ambitions for partisan political interests,” wrote Gabbard. “We must stand together, call out and reject religious bigotry no matter where it comes from, and fight to protect the freedoms and principles that bind us together as Americans.”

Gabbard also drew friendly fire from parts of her own party with her support of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Presidential Campaign.

The 37-year-old congresswoman was a vocal supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016. She gained national attention when she resigned as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in order to throw her support behind the Vermont senator during the presidential campaign season.

Explaining her decision at the time, Gabbard said, “I think it’s most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment.”

Gabbard’s support for Sanders was not forgotten, and, in 2018, her reelection bid was endorsed by Our Revolution, the grassroots political organization launched by Sanders campaign members after the 2016 election. She also enjoyed support from groups like the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood.

Meeting with President Trump shortly after election day didn’t go over well either. But the decision Rep. Gabbard is mostly known for is her controversial and un-authorized visit to Syria in 2017, paid for by supporters of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,  which saw the congresswoman spouting Assad’s talking points verbatim on return. That died down some after she dispatched her promised primary challenger, but expect it to resurface now. And then there is the matter of where she fits into the growing Democratic Party primary field:


As the race takes shape, Gabbard’s rivals – of whom there are likely to be many – will know they can make political hay of her controversial views and over episodes like her visit to Assad amid his devastating campaign against his own people.

What’s unclear is how those politically close to her will handle what will be an internecine battle. Gabbard has developed deep roots in the party’s left wing, joining the board of the Sanders Institute, founded by the senator’s wife, and frequently posturing as the Democrats’ leading antiwar voice when more mainstream members of the party succumb to militarism the party’s base dislikes, as when they endorsed Trump’s strike against Assad in 2017.

The quiet hope among backers of Sanders and Warren so far is that her campaign will ultimately fizzle out before things have to get ugly.
But that’s far from assured, given that many of Gabbard’s supporters – particularly in parts of the peace movement – are fervent and have been hoping for this kind of announcement by her for years.

Young, controversial, articulate, good on camera, controversial, contradictory, veteran, peace advocate, progressive, not progressive enough, controversial; Tulsi Gabbard has one thing going for her some other primary challengers for 2020 Democratic Party nomination are desperately seeking: She is interesting.

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Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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40 thoughts on “Rep Tulsi Gabbard Running for President

  1. Adam Corolla interviewed Andrew Breitbart in 2011. He basically predicted what happened in 2016 for the Republicans, and what could happen for the Democrats next year – although, being Andrew Breitbart, he was four years too early:.

    “I’m just, I’m just telling you, this is foreshadowing – what is going to happen over the next year with the Republican Party is what happened in 2003 with the Gray Davis recall. It’s going to be a freak show, it’s going to be porn star, it’s going to be the ghost of Gary Coleman, it’s going to be Arianna Huffington…I’m telling you, if you speak like that, in that exactly that language, that’s what this country wants to hear right now. They’re sick of these eunuchs, uh, you know these white guys who are poll-testing everything. The – it really comes down to brass tacks. It comes down to a fundamental understanding of how to make crap, [how to get that crap out] to the customer, these people…I don’t need a politician to run this thing, I need somebody who was a contractor. I need somebody who has common sense, who has been in the real world within the last five years, not somebody who’s been in a think tank for the last thirty.”


  2. Her primary constituency consists of all the Democrats who think Trump’s biggest problem is that he hasn’t kissed Bashar al Assad’s ass enough. She’s going fuckin’ nowhere.


      • Saudi ass isn’t particularly better, but having “sucked up to an unusual bloody-handed MENA despot” as one of the major bullet points on your CV isn’t exactly a plus when it comes to running for office.


          • Hey, a politician taking a set of principled stands against bloody-handed MENA despots would, indeed, be a Good Thing [tm].

            But that isn’t what Gabbard is doing. And she isn’t even going to have the implicit cover that people who don’t rock the foreign policy boat get by not rocking the boat too much.

            She’s had a bunch of positions that will not endear her to the Democratic electorate. Almost all of them are also weird and bad.


              • Not Tulsi Gabbard’s.

                I know you must think she’s pretty good on the strength of the fact that Team Blue hates her, but since she’s running for Team Blue’s nomination, that is in fact a serious obstacle to her Presidential ambitions.


                • I think she’s pretty bad on the basis of the fact that she was considered electable enough to get where she is now.

                  But I think that she’s fairly clarifying on the whole “the only reason you could possibly oppose Elizabeth Warren is because she’s a woman!” issue.

                  I can only assume that Democrats who won’t vote for Tulsi are misogynists. Probably white ones. (“But I have a Native American ancestor! I promise!”)


                    • No, not at all. I’m saying that opposition to Warren because she is a woman is exactly as abhorrent as opposition to Tulsi Gabbard because she is a woman.

                      And people who refuse to vote for either of them should be expected to defend themselves against charges of misogyny.


                      • To me, the difference is that the opposition to Warren is framed in ways that make it clear that it is (largely) rooted in the fact that she is woman (i.e., everyone acknowledges that she is smart, experienced and capable, has little criticism of her positions, but bring up her ‘likeability’), while the opposition I have seen to Gabbard is framed in terms of her policies, positions and associations – all things that would apply equally if she were male.


                        • There were people who in 2016 said that they wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but they insisted this had nothing to do with sexism, and to prove it they said they’d be happy to vote for Elizabeth Warren.

                          And now a number [1] of them are saying they won’t vote for Elizabeth Warren.

                          [1] Not a large number, but one amplified by social media by the obvious mechanisms.


                          • And now a number [1] of them are saying they won’t vote for Elizabeth Warren.

                            Goodness! And assuming that nothing of note happened between 2016 and 2019 with regards to Elizabeth Warren, this makes them complete hypocrites.


                              • Well, I personally think that the whole “I *DO* have a Native American ancestor somewhere between 6 and 10 generations back!” thing that happened last October demonstrated a *MASSIVE* lack of judgment.

                                I think that it would be quite possible to say “you know what, I’ll throw my weight behind someone else…” after that happened even if, before that happened, you’d see Warren as a strong candidate.

                                Or is the real point here to insist that there’s no sexism on the Left for some reason?

                                Oh, there’s a ton. I assume that it’s why people oppose Tulsi Gabbard, until they demonstrate otherwise.


                      • …”people who refuse to vote for either of them should be expected to defend themselves against charges of misogyny.”

                        Man, I would love to see that argument fleshed out.

                        Like, “You’re only voting for Kamala Harris against Warren out of a deep seated misogyny!”

                        The problem here is the same one where conservatives think it is a real zinger to accuse us of racism when we won’t vote for a Tim Scott or Alan Keyes.

                        The problem is that they see women and minorities as empty vessels, interchangeable tokens. So one is as good as any other.

                        They also need to invent straw men, who insist that all criticism is illegitimate, when no one ever said any such thing.

                        All of this ends up being a red herring to distract from the uncomfortable truth that the media coverage of women candidates has always been weird, different from how men are covered. Whether is it Sarah Palin, HRC, or Warren, the coverage always seems to be on the homecoming queen level about smiles and liability and fashion choices.


                    • “So liberal opposition to Tulsi Gabbard disproves the idea that much of criticism of Warren is rooted in misogyny?”

                      i love this wide-eyed innocence

                      like you aren’t one of the guys telling us how there was no principled criticism of Hillary Clinton, that it’s all just misogyny, just men being scared of a competent and powerful woman


        • Seriously… at this point Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen are worse than Assad… if we’re going to assign MENA scores. I also think MbS is quite likely more destabilizing in the short-/medium-/long-run than his predecessors… If the Saudi’s didn’t have such astoundingly concentrated wealth that they know how to use effectively, we’d have had a much different past with them.

          I can’t say if her CV gets a plus or a minus for meeting with Assad, but it gets a plus for getting out of office and meeting with anyone other than a donor.


  3. I think the President has to be a winner. The Republicans may hold insane views on most things, but they are winners. The Democrats may hold slightly saner views, but they are for the most part losers (besides Obama and Harry Reid). Tulsi Gabbard strikes me as a winner, which is what the President should be. I am certainly open to her candidacy. I wonder what her policy is.


  4. On the twitters, it’s fun to watch the people who tweeted stuff like “Yeah, I’d love to vote for a female candidate. Just not that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one.” talk about Tulsi as if she were the second coming of the devil herself.

    Not that I’m going to vote for her, of course.


  5. What in your mind distinguishes a winner from a loser? Is it simply having the tactical-strategic skill to win an election? Or is there something more? Particularly if the former, what is it about Gabbard that makes you think she can win on the mainland?


    • So many politicians are just along for the ride and will just say and do whatever let’s them stay in the car. Hilary Clinton is one of these. On the other hand, Trump, Obama, Harry Reid, and Tulsi Gabbard want to drive the car.


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