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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Tulsi Gabbard (Democratic Party) is a member of the U.S. House, representing Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District. She assumed office on January 3, 2013. Her current term ends on January 3, 2021.

Gabbard (Democratic Party) ran for election for President of the United States.

In 2012, she became the first Hindu elected to Congress. At the beginning of the 116th Congress, Gabbard was assigned to the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Financial Services.

Prior to her election to the U.S. House, Gabbard served in the Hawaii House of Representatives and on the Honolulu City Council. Gabbard has been deployed on two tours of duty in the Middle East.

Gabbard was born in 1981 and grew up in Hawaii. In 2002, when she won election to the state House of Representatives at the age of 21, she was the youngest person elected to public office in the state's history. She served in the House until 2004.

Since 2003, Gabbard has been a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard. She has been deployed on two tours of duty in the Middle East. Starting in 2005, she served as a field medical unit specialist in Iraq. During her second tour, she led security missions and helped train the Kuwait National Guard. Between the two tours, Gabbard graduated from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy and received a B.S. in business administration from Hawaii Pacific University. She also worked as a legislative aide to Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii).

Gabbard was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010. She served on the council until 2012, when she ran for and won a seat in the U.S. House.

In 2013, Gabbard was elected vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. She resigned in February 2016 to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Gabbard's academic, professional, and political career:

  • 2013-Present U.S. Representative from Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District
  • 2003-Present: Company Commander, Hawaii Army National Guard
  • 2010-2012: Honolulu City Council
  • 2009: Graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor's degree
  • 2006-2007: Legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka
  • 2002-2004: Hawaii House of Representatives

Education

  • Attended, Television Production, Leeward Community College
  • Graduated, Officer Candidate School, Fort McClellan
  • BSBA, International Business, Hawaii Pacific University, 2009

Professional Experience

  • Attended, Television Production, Leeward Community College
  • Graduated, Officer Candidate School, Fort McClellan
  • BSBA, International Business, Hawaii Pacific University, 2009
  • Major, Hawaii Army National Guard, 2003-present
  • Legislative Aide, Office of United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka, 2006-2008

Political Experience

  • Attended, Television Production, Leeward Community College
  • Graduated, Officer Candidate School, Fort McClellan
  • BSBA, International Business, Hawaii Pacific University, 2009
  • Major, Hawaii Army National Guard, 2003-present
  • Legislative Aide, Office of United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka, 2006-2008
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, District 2, 2012-present
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 2020
  • Candidate, United States House of Representatives, District 2, 2018
  • Member, Honolulu City Council, 2010-2012
  • Representative, Hawaii State House of Representatives, District 42, 2002-2004

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Member, Economic Development Committee, Hawaii State House of Representatives

Former Member, Education Committee, Hawaii State House of Representatives

Former Member, Foreign Affairs Committee, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Fourth Amendment Caucus, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Higher Education Committee, Hawaii State House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, United States House of Representatives

Former Member, Tourism Committee, Hawaii State House of Representatives

Current Legislative Committees

Member, Armed Services

Member, Financial Services

Member, Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion

Member, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats & Capabilities

Member, Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy

Member, Subcommittee on Readiness

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • Attended, Television Production, Leeward Community College
  • Graduated, Officer Candidate School, Fort McClellan
  • BSBA, International Business, Hawaii Pacific University, 2009
  • Major, Hawaii Army National Guard, 2003-present
  • Legislative Aide, Office of United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka, 2006-2008
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, District 2, 2012-present
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 2020
  • Candidate, United States House of Representatives, District 2, 2018
  • Member, Honolulu City Council, 2010-2012
  • Representative, Hawaii State House of Representatives, District 42, 2002-2004
  • Member, Council on Foreign Affairs, National Guard Association of the United States, 2014-present
  • Vice President/Co-Founder, Healthy Hawaii Coalition, 2002-present
  • Former Member, Alliance for Traditional Marriage
  • Former Vice Chair, Budget Committee, Honolulu City Council
  • Former Chair, Safety, Economic Development and Government Affairs Committee, Honolulu City Council
  • Former Member, Stand Up for America
  • Former Member, Zoning and Public Works Committee, Honolulu City Council
  • Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee, 2013-2016

Other Info

— Awards:

  • Meritorious Service Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2004

  • Mike

  • Business Owner, Hawaiian Toffee Treasures

Favorite Book:

"The Audacity to Win"

  • "Band of Brothers"
  • "Stones Into Schools"
  • "Team of Rivals"
  • "Three Cups of Tea"
  • Favorite Movie:

    "The Godfather"

  • "Whale Rider"
  • "Soul Surfer"
  • Favorite Musician:

    Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Jake Shimabukuro, Black Eyed Peas, Israel Kamakawiwo

    Favorite TV Shows:

    "The West Wing"

  • "24"
  • "Hawaii Five O"
  • "Band of Brothers"
    • Carol

    Gabbard in the news

    July 11, 2019: Gabbard campaigned in Wisconsin, holding a town hall in Milwaukee and speaking at a youth awards banquet at the LULAC annual conference.

    July 10, 2019: Gabbard tweeted that she had more than 97,000 unique donors. The threshold for the third presidential debate is 130,000.

    July 8, 2019: In an interview on New Hampshire Public Radio, Gabbard discussed her meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2017 and named World War II as an example of justifiable force. She also appeared on CBS News.

    July 4-7, 2019: Gabbard campaigned across New Hampshire.

    July 1, 2019: Vogue featured five of the six women running for president, including Gabbard, in a magazine story about the election.

    Congress Bills
    Elections

    2020

    Presidency

    An election for president of the United States will be held on November 3, 2020. Gabbard announced that she was running for president on January 11, 2019. She suspended her campaign on March 19, 2020.

    2018

    General election

    Incumbent Tulsi Gabbard defeated Brian Evans in the general election for U.S. House Hawaii District 2 on November 6, 2018.

    General election for U.S. House Hawaii District 2

    Tulsi Gabbard (D)
    77.4%
    153,271 Votes

    Brian Evans (R)
    22.6%
    44,850 Votes

    Total votes: 198,121
    (100.00% precincts reporting)

    Democratic primary election

    Incumbent Tulsi Gabbard defeated Sherry Alu Campagna and Anthony Tony Austin in the Democratic primary for U.S. House Hawaii District 2 on August 11, 2018.

    Democratic primary for U.S. House Hawaii District 2

    Tulsi Gabbard
    83.5%
    94,629 Votes

    Sherry Alu Campagna
    12.3%
    13,947 Votes

    Anthony Tony Austin
    4.1%
    4,688 Votes

    Total votes: 113,264

    Republican primary election

    Brian Evans advanced from the Republican primary for U.S. House Hawaii District 2 on August 11, 2018.

    Republican primary for U.S. House Hawaii District 2

    Brian Evans
    100.0%
    12,331 Votes

    Total votes: 12,331


    2016

    rated this race as safely Democratic. Incumbent Tulsi Gabbard (D) defeated Angela Aulani Kaaihue (R) and Richard Turner (Independent) in the general election on November 8, 2016. Gabbard defeated Shay Chan Hodges in the Democratic primary, while Kaaihue defeated Eric Hafner to win the Republican nomination. The primary elections took place on August 13, 2016.

    U.S. House, Hawaii District 2 General Election, 2016

    Party Candidate Vote % Votes
    Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTulsi Gabbard Incumbent 81.2% 170,848
    Republican Angela Aulani Kaaihue 18.8% 39,668
    Total Votes 210,516
    Source: Hawaii Secretary of State

    U.S. House, Hawaii District 2 Democratic Primary, 2016

    Candidate Vote % Votes
    Green check mark transparent.pngTulsi Gabbard Incumbent 84.5% 80,026
    Shay Chan Hodges 15.5% 14,643
    Total Votes 94,669
    Source: Hawaii Secretary of State

    U.S. House, Hawaii District 2 Republican Primary, 2016

    Candidate Vote % Votes
    Green check mark transparent.pngAngela Aulani Kaaihue 55.9% 7,449
    Eric Hafner 44.1% 5,876
    Total Votes 13,325
    Source: Hawaii Secretary of State

    2014

    Gabbard was rumored as a possible appointee to Daniel Inouye's U.S. Senate seat following his death on December 17, 2012. On December 26, 2012, Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) named his Lieutenant Governor, Brian E. Schatz, to fill the vacancy. She however ran for re-election to her Congressional seat.

    Gabbard defeated challengers Kawika Crowley (R) and Joe Kent (L) in the general election. She ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 9, 2014. She defeated The general election took place on November 4, 2014.

    U.S. House, Hawaii District 2 General Election, 2014

    Party Candidate Vote % Votes
    Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTulsi Gabbard Incumbent 75.8% 141,996
    Republican Kawika Crowley 17.9% 33,624
    Libertarian Joe Kent 2.5% 4,692
    Total Votes 180,312
    Source: Hawaii Office of Elections

    2012

    Gabbard won the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Hawaii's 2nd District. She won the nomination on the Democratic ticket after winning the primary on August 11, 2012. Incumbent Mazie Hirono vacated the seat, leaving it open. Gabbard defeated Mufi Hannemann, Rafael del Castillo, Esther Kiaaina, Bob Marx and Miles Shiratori in the primary. She then defeated David Crowley (R) and Patric Brock in the general election on November 6, 2012.

    U.S. House, Hawaii District 2 General Election, 2012

    Party Candidate Vote % Votes
    Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTulsi Gabbard 76.9% 168,503
    Republican Kawika "David" Crowley 18.6% 40,707
    n/a Blank Votes 4.5% 9,952
    Total Votes 219,162
    Source: Hawaii Office of Elections "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

    U.S. House, Hawaii District 2 Democratic Primary, 2012

    Candidate Vote % Votes
    Green check mark transparent.pngTulsi Gabbard 55.1% 62,882
    Mufi Hannemann 34.3% 39,176
    Esther Kia'Aina 5.9% 6,681
    Bob Marx 3.8% 4,327
    Miles Shiratori 0.5% 573
    Rafael Del Castillo 0.5% 520
    Total Votes 114,159

    2004

    Gabbard ran for re-election to the Hawaii House of Representatives District 42. She lost in the Democratic primary on September 18, 2004 to Rida Cabanilla.

    Hawaii House of Representatives District 42 Democratic Primary, 2004

    Candidate Vote % Votes
    Green check mark transparent.pngRida Cabanilla 58% 1,463
    Tulsi Gabbard Incumbent 22.9% 579
    Blank 9% 227
    Genaro Bimbo 6.3% 158
    Gerald Vidal 3.8% 96
    Total Votes 2,523

    2002

    Gabbard won election to the Hawaii House of Representatives District 42 in the 2002 general election. She defeated Alfonso Jimenez in the general election on November 5, 2002.

    Hawaii House of Representatives District 42 General Election, 2002

    Party Candidate Vote % Votes
    Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTulsi Gabbard 60.7% 3,106
    Republican Alfonso Jimenez 32.9% 1,682
    None Blank 6.4% 329
    Total Votes 5,117
    Policy Positions

    2020

    Abortion

    Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
    - Pro-choice

    Budget

    1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
    - Yes

    Education

    Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
    - Yes

    Energy & Environment

    1. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
    - Yes

    Guns

    Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
    - Yes

    Health Care

    Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
    - No

    Campaign Finance

    Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
    - Yes

    Economy

    1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
    - No

    Immigration

    1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
    - No

    2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
    - No

    National Security

    1. Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
    - Unknown Position

    2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
    - Yes

    Trade

    Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
    - No

    Defense

    Do you support increasing defense spending?
    - Yes

    Endorsements
    Gabbard reportedly received endorsements from VoteVets, EMILY's List and the Sierra Club.
    Gabbard reportedly received endorsements from VoteVets, EMILY's List and the Sierra Club.
    Speeches
    Articles

    What to Expect in 2020: Five Predictions

    Jan. 3, 2020

    Dramatic and unpredictable. There’s no other way to describe the year in politics in 2019.  A year that began with the longest government shutdown in American history and saw the publication of the Mueller report would be defined by a 30-minute summer phone call with Ukraine’s new president. At this time last year, Volodymyr Zelensky wasn’t even registered with Ukraine’s Central Election Commission as a candidate for president. So no one can predict what 2020 holds. And yet businesses, nonprofit organizations and industry leaders still must plan for the future, using the best available information. Here are five trends that could shape the political landscape in 2020 – and help in the planning process. Joe Biden’s 2020 Apology Tour Every politician with a long career must confront the evolution of their political views, and Joe Biden is no different, especially since he’s been on the national stage longer than most. He's already apologized for a long-ago reference to a "partisan lynching," past collaboration with segregationist senators, and an angry confrontation with an 83-year-old Iowa farmer. Watch for the phrase "Biden apologizes" to explode in 2020. On race, LGBT issues, women's rights and a host of other issues, the Joe Biden of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s is out of step with today's Democratic Party, as are many  Democrats his age. But Biden’s bind is unique. His propensity for embarrassing gaffes, misstatements, and offensive comments makes him an opposition researcher's dream. Take his grilling of Zoe Baird, who was President Clinton’s nominee to serve as the first female attorney general of the United States. Back then, from his perch on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden demanded to know "how many hours she was away from her child: when she left at home in the morning and returned at night." At the time, New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis openly questioned Biden's sexist double standard: "Would he have asked that of any male nominee, for any job?" Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has never been more sensitive to strict adherence to politically correct terminology. Every new Biden campaign announcement can be welcomed by a trigger warning from Joe's own unwoke phrasing. The good news for Biden? If he’s able to survive the primary season, none of this will hinder him too much in a general election matchup with President Trump. Quality of life issues, especially homelessness, will rise to the forefront in 2020 Global stock markets added $17 trillion in value over the past year. But that doesn’t alter the fact that many Americans feel their quality of life slipping away. It explains why Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have gained such traction: Their campaigns are built around income inequality. What progressives call the problem of income disparity, Americans in “fly-over” states consider more sweeping quality-of-life issues. The biggest such issue confronting many Americans is the rise of homelessness. In big cities, especially on the coasts, homelessness is inescapable. It’s going to become more widespread this year, thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision. In December, the nation’s highest court upheld a lower court ruling that established a constitutional right for the homeless to sleep on public property when denied access to shelters. This means that local governments will be almost powerless to confront the problem. Americans already feeling a diminished quality of life will see the outward manifestation of their uneasiness every time they visit a public park or courthouse.   San Francisco’s streets become Trump’s 2020 rallying cry A master of rhetorical imagery, Trump connected with voters in 2016 by vividly describing policy problems and offering a clear visual of his solution. “Build the wall! Lock her up!” Simple slogans attached to a memorable image. In tandem with the increased focus on homelessness, expect the president to shine the spotlight on San Francisco. The City by the Bay has become a haven for petty thieves, drug addicts, and the mentally ill, culminating in disturbing images of an American city once known around the world for its beauty earning a new reputation for streets with outdoor drug markets, discarded heroin needles, human waste on the sidewalk. Trump beta-tested attacks on the liberal bastion in September, when he threatened to use the EPA to stop needles from flowing into the Pacific Ocean. That was before San Francisco voters elected a socialist as district attorney, who campaigned on a platform of ending prosecutions of gang enhancements and public urination. Every new "restorative justice" program launched in San Francisco is an opportunity for Trump to lampoon the left. Democrats lose congressional seats, even in California The media have focused on how their pro-impeachment votes will impact swing-state Democrats or freshman Democrats in districts Trump carried last November. That’s certainly a factor, but so is the basic issue of funding the party’s candidates. Democrats regained the House in 2018 in no small measure because of the efforts of billionaires-turned-presidential-candidates Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. Steyer vowed to spend $120 million in support of Democratic candidates in the 2018 campaign. Not to be outdone, Bloomberg spent more than $112 million to aid swing Democratic campaigns, according to the New York Times. To put those numbers in perspective, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $84 million during the 2018 cycle. Bloomberg and Steyer’s combined spending was nearly three times as much as the party’s official congressional operation. Both Democratic super donors are now preoccupied with their own long-shot presidential campaigns. Without Steyer and Bloomberg underwriting their 2020 congressional campaigns, Democrats are likely to lose ground -- regardless of who is at the top of the ticket. A serious third party candidate enters the presidential race The dynamics of the 2020 presidential race will be too tempting for a serious independent contender to pass up. As Trump runs to the right and Democrats move further to the left, it creates the appearance of a centrist lane to the White House. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz briefly flirted with an independent campaign last year but was sidelined by a back injury. Billionaire Mark Cuban is another big-name billionaire with resources and ambitions for the presidency. Or, a former elected official, like former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, could see an opportunity to restart their political careers with a presidential bid. A third party or independent candidacy could also emerge from the current Democratic field. Bloomberg, Andrew Yang, or Rep. Tulsi Gabbard could leave the party and perhaps even forge an unorthodox path toward the Oval Office.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

    Kamala Harris Goes Down Fighting

    Dec. 3, 2019

    Unbridled ambition and aggression have their place in presidential politics – as the man in the Oval Office reminded the nation in 2016  -- but in the case of California freshman Sen. Kamala Harris, they weren’t enough to overcome the lack of a  clear policy vision. The candidate who threw some of the hardest punches on the debate stage ended her presidential bid after high hopes faded amid a string of underwhelming results. Her quest concluded with an open letter. Her campaign, Harris admitted Tuesday, is broke. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue,” she told supporters just 62 days before absentee ballots go out in the California mail. But Harris saved one final jab for self-funding candidates: “I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.” This fundraising failure was made all the more frustrating for Harris as she had qualified for the sixth presidential debate later this month in California but opted to let that homefield advantage go to waste. Another bitter pill came hours before the end when news broke that Tom Steyer – one of the billionaires she had in mind -- qualified for the contest that Harris will miss. True to form, however, the former prosecutor promised to remain “very much in this fight.” Harris vowed to fight for teachers and fight against gun violence, fight for abortion rights and fight against racism. But her problem from the beginning was staying on track.   She supported “Medicare for All” before backing away from that health care plan. She embraced her reputation as the tough-on-crime former attorney general of California one moment, then distanced herself from her law enforcement record the next. Most of all, she just fought. “I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris told former Vice President Joe Biden before implying exactly that while scorching him at the Miami debate over his opposition to school busing laws in the 1970s. “I think that it’s unfortunate that we have someone on this stage that is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president, who during the Obama administration spent four years full time on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” Harris told Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard at the Georgia debate. “I think it's a bit naive,” Harris later said of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s beliefs about race that same night. All three of those candidates weathered her attacks. Each now survives Harris, who never found a consistent message and never gained traction in the polls. This aimlessness bred resentment within her own ranks, indignation manifested in a resignation letter from her state operations director. “Because we have refused to confront our mistakes, foster an environment of critical thinking and honest feedback, or trust the expertise of talented staff,” wrote Kelly Mehlenbacher, “we find ourselves making the same unforced errors over and over." That staffer now works for another one of the billionaire candidates, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Before the end, the Harris campaign held a conference call with analysts and operatives and donors. She needed a new message. They did not deliver one before “Saturday Night Live” started lampooning her as “America's fun aunt,” or as comedian Maya Rudolph quipped, “a funt.” “The funt is back: America’s fun aunt. I’m also America’s cool aunt,” Rudolph's version of Harris said in a subsequent skit. “… I’m not going to worry about the polling numbers. I’m just going to have fun and see if I can get some viral moments. Mama needs a GIF.” Her campaign made its own GIFs, but when the ride was all over it was evident that the highwater mark of Harris’ campaign was its much ballyhooed launch. She ended on a high note as well, at least to hear her rival candidates – the ones she attacked -- tell it. Buttigieg said he was “grateful for her leadership.” Gabbard passed along “best wishes.” Before praising her intellect and tenacity, Biden admitted that the breaking news of her exit brought him “mixed emotions.” The remaining contenders are now free to pick among the wreckage of her campaign. They won’t find that much. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Harris was strongest in South Carolina with 6.3% support and in California with 8.7%. In those states, her demise may provide an opportunity for Biden to solidify his strong support in African American communities. Perhaps most significant, though, every candidate can breathe easier knowing they’re free from the threat of her haymakers. Her fight was not supposed to end this way. She started her campaign on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, telling “Good Morning America,” “I am running for president.” And it was, she said, “a moment in time where I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are.” But on Monday, she said, “No mas.”Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

    Democratic Debate Détente in Atlanta

    Nov. 21, 2019

    ATLANTA — William Tecumseh Sherman burned this city to the ground 155 years ago this month, but the candidates gathered here Wednesday night showed little interest in torching one another. Though no one tried singing “Kumbaya” during the fifth debate of the Democratic primary, by unspoken agreement or political chance a sort of détente broke out on stage as the field mostly directed their collective fire toward the current occupant of the Oval Office. Of course, it wasn’t expected to be this way, especially not for Pete Buttigieg. The conventional wisdom was that the mayor of South Bend, Ind., would have a newly drawn target on his back. He now leads in Iowa. He’s competing for first place in New Hampshire. But he was mostly overlooked again by opponents, just as he’s been for much of his candidacy. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was given a chance by the moderators to bloody Buttigieg for lack of experience and for occupying a spot onstage that could have gone to a woman. She demurred. “I've made very clear I think that Pete is qualified to be up on this stage, and I am honored to be standing next to him,” the Minnesotan said before bemoaning the fact that “women are held to a higher standard” and that it is impossible to play “a game called ‘name your favorite woman president.’” Sen. Kamala Harris was also offered an opportunity to go after the mayor after his campaign shared a stock photo of a Kenyan woman to illustrate his plan for helping black Americans. Previously one of the more ruthless contenders in the field, she looked the other way on Wednesday. “I believe,” the California candidate said, “the mayor has made apologies.” Before the debate began, Democratic Chairman Tom Perez promised RealClearPolitics a clash of ideas: “We have a great competition, and that will produce a battle-tested nominee.” The more than two-hour contest hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post didn’t produce a champion, and what was billed as a possible melee turned into coordinated target practice as aspiring nominees took turns aiming at President Trump. Though each wants to compete against Trump next November, all said he has committed impeachable offenses and should be removed from office early. This may explain why they didn’t pull knives on one another. “There were no conflicts of consequence,” Democratic pollster John Zogby told RCP, “because it would have given ammunition to an incumbent president who has had arguably the worst days of his tenure.” The debate followed on the heels of impeachment hearings that had cable news anchors and commentators atwitter -- in the original sense of that term. A key witness, Gordon Sondland, testified Wednesday that the president improperly leveraged foreign aid to Ukraine for personal political gain, and implicated others in the White House as being in on the plan. It provided an opportunity to cast the president as unfit and was a particularly fat pitch down the middle for former Vice President Joe Biden. “I learned something about these impeachment trials. I learned, number one, that Donald Trump doesn't want me to be the nominee,” he said of Trump’s attempt to get the Ukrainians to shovel dirt on the foreign business dealings of his son, Hunter. “Secondly, I found out that Vladimir Putin doesn't want me to be president.” The target of choice in each of the earlier debates, the national front-runner then turned seamlessly to an argument about his relative electability, all but admitting that impeachment would ultimately fail to remove the president from office. None of his competitors challenged him on this point. They didn’t really challenge him on much throughout the rest of the night, aside from some mild follow-up on one of his trademark gaffes: Biden claimed to have won the endorsement of “the only African American woman who has ever been elected to the United States Senate,” drawing an incredulous reaction from another black female senator standing several feet to his left. Kamala Harris quipped, “Nope, that’s not true,” as he corrected himself, saying he meant to say “first,” not “only.” (The endorsement came from Carol Moseley Braun, who represented Illinois in the 1990s.) Democrats didn’t close ranks and hold their fire on the former vice president because of party loyalty. They had seen previous volleys bounce off him and ricochet back. “In a multi-candidate primary, it’s very difficult to make progress by attacking your opponent,” prominent Democrat Matt Bennett explained to RCP. “You might get a moment, but as [Julian] Castro and others have discovered, it’s just as easy to hurt yourself.” Castro, secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, rode high for a hot second after obliquely knocking Biden over his age. But criticism followed and there was no polling benefit for Castro, who barely registers 1% in the RCP average and did not qualify for the Atlanta debate. In fact, there were moments of relative friendliness sprinkled throughout the debate. “I think Joe is right,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said of Biden during one early exchange. “I just want to stick up for Tom,” businessman Andrew Yang said in defense of billionaire Tom Steyer during another. But if Democrats think such supportive exchanges will prepare them to enter a thunderdome with Trump, they are likely mistaken. He won’t have anything nice to say about any of them, least of all Biden. Earlier in the day, the Trump campaign tweeted sarcastic “congratulations” when news broke that an Arkansas woman claimed in court that Hunter Biden had fathered her child at a time when he was dating the wife of his deceased brother. While there were some intense flashes — Buttigieg tangling briefly with Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, for instance — Trump-like invective was not part of the discussion. California Rep. Katie Porter, a surrogate for Warren, told RCP after the debate that this civility was the result of an all-female moderating panel. “The moderators did a fabulous job,” she said, “and this is why a woman’s voice at the table matters.” Not only does it lead to better questions, Porter insisted, but it also demonstrated why a woman president is preferable: “They’re going to make a better president. They’re going to govern better.” The co-chair of the Biden campaign didn’t agree. Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond said that the relative civility on stage was a reflection of the seriousness of the race. The country is at risk of reelecting “the worst president in the history of the United States,” he told RCP. And so, “people are starting to say, ‘Let’s focus on the issues, and we will for the most part forfeit scoring cheap political points.’” A calm debate didn’t automatically mean substance, however. Richmond wasn’t happy with the format, asserting that “these debates are a clown show” -- contests heavy on boilerplate and light on substance. The night ended in light sparring, at least compared to earlier skirmishes. But this makes sense to Bennett. “These aren’t closing arguments; they are opening statements,” he said less than three months before the Iowa caucuses. “Most voters are just barely beginning to tune in.”Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

    Events

    2020

    Mar. 3
    Detroit town hall with Tulsi

    Tue 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST

    The Eastern Detroit Detroit, MI

    Mar. 3
    Vote for Tulsi Gabbard in California

    Tue 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM PST

    California

    Mar. 2
    Austin Town Hall with Tulsi

    Mon 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM CST

    Springdale Station Austin, TX