DNC meltdown? Vice chair Tulsi Gabbard resigns, endorses Sanders

Things have been fairly rocky on the DNC ranch through most of this election cycle. This was, in no small part, due to the continued erratic behavior of their chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her mystifying public statements and decisions on how best to win an election. Her endless efforts to stack the election in Hillary Clinton’s favor have not only raised the hackles of her opponents, but some on her own team. She’s got a few lieutenants who will toe the party line and repeat all the talking points – Donna Brazile is an excellent example – but there’s been trouble among the rank and file. One of her other committee vice-chairs, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, had her invitation rescinded for one of the few debates originally scheduled because she dared to suggest that there should be few more.

That relationship apparently hasn’t gotten any better since then. Representative Gabbard has now resigned as vice chair of the committee and tossed her endorsement to Bernie Sanders. (CBS News)

Democratic National Committee vice chair and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is stepping down from her post at the DNC and throwing her weight behind Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

“First of all, I am resigning from the DNC so I can support Bernie Sanders for president,” Gabbard said early Sunday during NBC’s “Meet the Press” panel.

Gabbard, one of the first two female combat veterans to ever serve in Congress, stressed the importance of a leader with a “military mindset,” which she described as a candidate who knows “importantly, when we don’t use [U.S.] military power.”

Gabbard seems to have been fairly gracious about the whole affair, at least while the cameras were on. She spent no time criticizing the DNC chair nor the process they currently have in place for running their primary, preferring to focus on praising Sanders and explaining why he would make the best candidate for their party. But one has to wonder what’s cooking under the surface or might have been discussed in back channels. Bernie was having a very hard time attracting any congressional level endorsement until quite recently, likely because nobody wanted to wind up on Hillary Clinton’s bad side if she went on to win the nomination and then the presidency. Bernie was pretty much left on the outside looking in as viewed from the Democrats’ establishment window, even as picked up vast numbers of followers and small donors.

Sometimes it just takes one high profile person to go first. Is Gabbard regretting not challenging Wasserman-Schultz and doing this earlier? At this point she may have delayed for so long that the train has left the station. After the drubbing Sanders took in South Carolina yesterday and his rather dismal prospects in the upcoming southern swing, by the time he gets back to friendlier territory he might be so far behind in the delegate race that the rest of the party will write him off and the money will stop coming in.

Still, hats off to Representative Gabbard. You can’t always wait to be the last one into the pool, but at least you gave it a shot.