Is Tulsi Gabbard the latest 2020 Democrat hopeful?

Is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard preparing for a run in the 2020 Democrat primary for president? The Hawaiian representative is the first Hindu to serve in Congress and an Iraqi war veteran. She’s also a Bernie Bro anti-war progressive who has even managed to get sideways with Hawaii’s teacher union. That takes some doing for a Democrat to lose the endorsement of a teacher’s union.

She was one of just three representatives and the only Democrat who refused to condemn Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s genocidal chemical attack on his own people. After the attack, Gabbard traveled to Syria to meet with the genocidal dictator al-Assad without permission from the White House or Congress. Her trip was funded by a group with ties to al-Assad supporters and she only covered the expenses herself after the news media reported who paid for her trip.

Then, after al-Assad bombed his people again, Gabbard continued to refuse to admit the attack had occurred. At the same time, she voted to practically ban Syrian refugees from coming into the United States after the Paris terrorist attacks, even though Syrian refugees were not involved in the attacks.

Rep. Gabbard went rogue in 2017 when she traveled to Syria and met with Assad without notifying Congressional leadership of her plan.

Gabbard has also drawn controversy, which would surely become a factor in any presidential race. In 2017, she came under heavy criticism for meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and expressing skepticism that he was behind chemical attacks, urging caution over the use of military force.

Politico published a piece yesterday on Gabbard’s potential 2020 presidential run. To be honest, her candidacy was one I didn’t see coming – at least not in 2020. She’s only 37 years old and still relatively new in politics, elected to the House in 2013. But, the signs are there. She’s doing all the usual first moves.

Gabbard traveled to Iowa and was encouraged to run. In fact, the audience at a political event, a barbeque, “pleaded” with her to run. She keynoted a political summit in New Hampshire in September. And of course, she’s writing a book.

Yeah, she is going to give it a shot. She is certainly well-connected enough to begin putting a skeleton staff together. An early supporter of Bernie Sanders in 2016, she has a lot of cred with the far-left anti-war wing of the Democrat Socialists. So, why not use his former campaign people?

Rania Batrice, an adviser to the progressive congresswoman and deputy campaign manager on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, has been putting out feelers for digital and speechwriting staff for Gabbard. One person approached about the positions say that 2020 wasn’t mentioned explicitly, but it was heavily implied.

Her main focus, it seems, is the anti-war message. She’s a veteran and that can be understandable but she goes too far. She’s now on President Trump’s rear end over America’s relationship with the Saudis because of the Khashoggi murder. During an appearance on The Lead with Jake Tapper this week, she called Trump “a businessman without a conscience” and declared the alliance between America and Saudi Arabia shouldn’t exist “because our interests aren’t aligned.” I’m no apologist for Saudi Arabia but to act as though we can just shut it all down with The Kingdom is naive and wrong-headed. President Trump has brought the Saudis in to help reign in Assad in Syria, for example. For decades we have taken the good with the bad with any number of countries around the globe.

Gabbard appeared on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox News Saturday morning and continued her rhetoric against President Trump. She used the “businessman without a conscience” line again and criticized his desire to keep the multi-billion dollar arms deal in place.  She also blames the Saudi Arabian-American alliance in Yemen as a “genocidal war”. That’s an interesting take on the situation, isn’t it? I blame the mentally unstable dictators in the region for committing genocide on their own people, not America.

When Gabbard was first elected and began doing interviews on cable news shows, I have to say I usually liked what she said about foreign policy. Since she’s an Iraq war veteran, she spoke about the turmoil in that region. She usually made sense. Then, though, she took a turn. Not only did she align with Bernie Sanders but she also became a part of the blame America first crowd. Now to hear her say America is complicit in waging genocidal war in Yemen is just too much.

She’s running. When Cavuto asked about the speculation over a presidential run in 2020, she coyly gave a standard answer – she’s just “focused on the next few weeks.” Sure. That’s code for when the mid-term elections are over, she’ll go full force into exploring her possibilities towards the big job.

The Democrats are going to wind up with a primary candidate field as big as the Republicans did in 2016. Way too many candidates vying for the top slot and it’s going to be fun to watch. A Gabbard candidacy would check a lot of boxes but she’ll be eaten alive by the likes of Crazy Uncle Joe and Spartacus. Let the fun begin.