Report suggests possible presidential campaign for Tulsi Gabbard

  • Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. (Photo by Cincy Ellen Russell / Star Advertiser)

KAILUA-KONA — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District may be planning to test her political viability on a national stage.

Politico reported Friday that “a source with direct knowledge of her deliberations” said Gabbard was considering a run for the presidency on the Democratic ticket in 2020.

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The Politico report went on to assert that Rania Batrice, who serves as an adviser to Gabbard and was deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid in 2016, is exploring options to staff Gabbard’s possible run. The source of that information was someone “approached about the positions,” according to the Politico report.

Several members of Gabbard’s staff did not respond to West Hawaii Today’s request for comment by press time Friday.

Politico reported Batrice denied that anyone was being hired for a campaign but stopped short of ruling out a push by Gabbard for the presidency in 2020 amid an ever-growing field of likely contenders.

Gabbard, 37, has served three terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and is heavily favored to win a fourth this November.

She is often described as a progressive politician and gained national attention as such when she resigned her position as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) then publicly endorsed Sanders for president over Hillary Clinton.

The DNC would later find itself mired in controversy as it was revealed the organization was working to undermine the Sanders campaign in favor of Clinton.

However, Gabbard’s political past is also speckled with positions considerably right of the progressive agenda. A veteran of the Iraq War, she is a self-proclaimed “hawk” on the war against terrorism and other national security issues.

Early in her career, Gabbard was also vocal in her opposition of marriage equality. She has since walked back those positions and put action behind her new words.

“I fully believe in marriage equality, and my consistent and unequivocal voting record on marriage equality and other LGBT issues speaks for itself,” Gabbard wrote in an email to West Hawaii Today in 2016. “Where I was on this issue more than a decade ago was wrong.”

The Congresswoman can lay claim to a couple impressive “firsts.” She remains the youngest politician in Hawaii history to be elected to the state Legislature, earning the nod from voters at the age of 21. She’s also the first Hindu to serve in Congress.

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Gabbard’s claim to national fame began with her departure from the ranks of the DNC and her endorsement of Sanders, but hasn’t been absent controversy since.

The Congresswoman raised eyebrows on the left side of the aisle after meeting with President Trump during the 2016 presidential transition. She also drew heat last year after a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, questioning his role in gruesome chemical attacks carried out during that country’s civil war.

  1. Pest Outwest October 20, 2018 7:16 am

    Why not? After The Donald any kind of nut is qualified. At least it will improve our relationship with Syria. And, let’s face it, it’s not like the Democrat party is chock full of presidential candidates. In a recent article the Washington Post rated the top 15, and had Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris (who?), Joe Biden and Cory Booker (who?) as the top five. I mean, you have to be joking. Oh, and Tulsi the loon was not on the list.


  2. Du Mhan Yhu October 20, 2018 9:27 am

    After the immense damage Hirono did to the political image of Hawaii, Tulsi attempting to run would be a disaster.


  3. sara October 20, 2018 12:07 pm

    Congresswoman and Major Tulsi Gabbard is one brave sane voice against regime change war taking too many lives from our families and trillions away from our infrastructure that is so needed in our state Hawaii and U.S. She stands for peace so the war machine pits propaganda against her so they dont lose their big money! Progressives know Tulsi would be a great benefit to people and planet. #TulsiAloha


  4. Doug Beatty October 20, 2018 3:10 pm

    About as much chance as a snowball making it from the top of Mauna Kea to Kona without melting!!


    1. Pest Outwest October 21, 2018 4:21 am

      Uh . . . wasn’t there some kind of story about a contest in old Hawaii to do just that? Take ice from the top of Mauna Kea and bring it by runners to the Ali’i? Pretty sure I read that in one of the travel guides.


  5. Kaipo Wall October 21, 2018 1:31 am

    We’ve already had a Muslim President , why not go for a Hindu ? Just what America needs . (sic)


    1. diverdave October 22, 2018 8:28 am

      Divide and conquer. The politics of the left.


  6. onceawarrior October 21, 2018 10:29 am

    The United States Constitution is straightforward who is eligible to be POTUS.
    The election system is complex and is prone to convolution tactics by some advocates.
    A few voters may be duped, but most voters are informed to make a wise choice.
    IMO, Tulsi Gabbard is decent, trustworthy, and qualified as those already primed by opinions.
    However, the people’s votes will determine who is most desirable.


    1. Pest Outwest October 21, 2018 11:36 am

      So . . . are you saying there’s some controversy about Tulsi “bats” Gabbard’s ability to run for office? I’m not sure why you felt it necessary to discuss Constitutional rules for eligibility. I think even mental patients qualify, so long as they haven’t committed a felony, and while Tulsi sucking up to a murderous dictator for no obvious reason at all definitely qualifies as an irrational act, I don’t believe she was actually committed for treatment as a result.


      1. onceawarrior October 21, 2018 12:57 pm

        My response to your ? is no.
        The news essay evoked a quirky response.
        I seemingly quipped.on the news essay. I felt the Constitution as a basic reference on to begin with my comments. Qualifications become complex for me to understand.
        BTW, I don’t have other predispositions about Ms. Gabbard at this time.


  7. diverdave October 22, 2018 8:31 am

    Tulsi “Talks too Much” Gabbard. Just another pretty faced SOCIALIST that has done nothing in office, and this qualifies her to run for President? Well I guess it qualified Obama.


    1. Pest Outwest October 22, 2018 9:00 am

      Oh come on, O’Bummer was a “community activist”. If that doesn’t qualify you to be a Senator, I don’t know what does, and if two years in the Senate doesn’t make you an instant president, well, we’ll have to lower the bar. Oh . . . yeah, I guess we already have.


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