Tulsi Gabbard: I'm not running for reelection

I’m already looking forward to Tulsi!, coming soon to Sunday evenings on Fox News.

Bringing the experience I have both as a soldier serving over 16 years in the Army National Guard, deploying twice to the Middle East, serving in Congress for nearly 7 years on the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Homeland Security Committees, I am prepared to walk into the Oval Office on Day 1 to do that job. 

As President, I will immediately begin work to end the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, end our interventionist foreign policy of carrying out regime change wars, and redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people here at home.

As such, I will not be seeking re-election to Congress in 2020, and humbly ask you for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States.


She’s at 1.3 percent today in the RCP average, par for the course for the entire campaign thus far, so no, she’s not retiring because she’s too busy planning her presidency. Might she be retiring because … she has a serious primary challenger in her House race, one who’s already made hay of her unusual skepticism about impeaching Trump? Voters in her very blue district have noticed:

Two out of three Democratic primary voters in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District say U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard should give up her presidential aspirations, according to a new survey released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling.

The poll also found that at least half of the voters in Gabbard’s district would prefer someone else in her House seat.

She led her primary challenger by 22 points in the same poll, which was published earlier this month, but Gabbard won her last primary by more than 60 points. And her opponent might have received the endorsements of some big-name Democrats who are irritated by Gabbard’s friendliness with the populist right. She could have lost. At a minimum, she would have been forced to take more doctrinaire Democratic stances than she seems naturally inclined to take in order to appease primary voters.

So if she’s not running for Congress again and she’s also not going to get within a thousand miles of the presidency, what’s she planning to do with herself next year? Hmmmm:



So Hillary was … right? Not about the “Russian asset” thing but about Gabbard possibly angling to become a Jill Stein third-party candidate who’ll pull just enough votes from the Democratic nominee to enable a Trump victory?

Worth noting: The Hunt and Fish Club is Trump-hating Anthony Scaramucci’s restaurant. And according to Fox Business, the host of the event was “Wall Street Democrat” Robert Wolf, with various other “Wall Street executives and potential donors” reportedly in attendance. Wolf is an interesting character, a Barack Obama buddy but also enough of a centrist to have become a contributor to Fox News in 2016. He’s not a guy whom you’d assume would want to groom a candidate who’s a sort of left-wing Ron Paul with a special affinity for Bashar Assad as a kamikaze option against Joe Biden or another centrist nominee.

So if Wolf really is thinking of Tulsi as a third-party possibility, it’s likely for one of two reasons. One: He might prefer a second Trump term to a Warren presidency if that’s the choice next fall, given the risk that Warren will take a flamethrower to the financial industry if elected. Maybe he’s eyeing Gabbard as someone who could jump in if Warren becomes the nominee and try to siphon off some votes from her among Berniebros. Two: He’d probably prefer a Joe Biden presidency to a second Trump term (he’s a Democrat after all), so maybe he thinks Gabbard could potentially be weaponized against Trump if need be. She probably has more fans in Tucker Carlson’s audience than in Rachel Maddow’s audience. It may well be that a Gabbard third-party run would end up hurting Trump more than the Democratic nominee by attracting Ron Paul fans who’d otherwise back the president.


The logic there is contradictory, though. In scenario one, Gabbard helps Republicans. In scenario two, she hurts them — even though progressives would be far more open to a left-wing independent candidate if Joe Biden ended up as nominee than if Elizabeth Warren did. So, really, I don’t know what Wolf’s game is. All I know is Gabbard is going nowhere in the Dem primary, no longer has to worry about her House race, yet seems very intent on continuing her presidential run.

Here’s a brief clip of her last night on the highest-rated show on Fox News, hosted by the president’s close personal friend Sean Hannity, backing up the White House attack line that there’s not enough transparency in the Democratic impeachment inquiry. In no sphere of reality does it make sense to do that if you’re a Democratic presidential candidate who’s resolved to remaining a Democratic presidential candidate. It’d be like John Kasich announcing a primary challenge to Trump and then going on Maddow to call for the president’s impeachment and removal. All it’ll do is piss off your target voters. It doesn’t even make sense to do this if Gabbard is eyeing a left-wing third-party run, since of course progressives hate Hannity and Trump too. It must be that she’s simply repositioning herself as a sort of generically populist media “personality” who knows her fan base is entirely on the right. Nothing else adds up.


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