Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, fought her party rulers’ tooth-and-nail every day for more than a year since announcing she is running for president. The veteran clashed over the lack of transparency of the democratic debates, sued Google after her campaign ads disappeared as she peaked following a debate appearance, claims she is smeared in the media and challenged the Democratic Party establishment.
With the New Hampshire primary underway, Gabbard is polling at 5 percent. Her campaign spent big in the Granite State. It has fallen behind in fundraising, according to her website. Will New Hampshire be her last contest with the Democrats? Many are pushing her to run as an independent.
If the Hawaiian goes that route, she will be the fifth Democrat to run as an independent or third-party candidate since 1968. Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney challenged Barack Obama in 2008. Former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox and ex-Rep. Eugene McCarthy ran against Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Gov. George Wallace won five states in 1968 running for the American Independent Party. Wallace, a segregationist at the time, won more than 13 percent of the national vote and 46 electors. President Richard Nixon won with 301 electors. Gabbard was the Democrats go-to-girl until the middle of 2016. She served as the vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee but resigned to support Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
She is Kennedyesque in that the Hawaiian is young, attractive, served in combat and could excite a new generation. That is not what the establishment is looking for. It still worships the Clintons and Gabbard will have none of it.
“I am and have been speaking the truth about (Hillary Clinton’s) foreign policy legacy and the legacy of war hawks and warmongers in Washington,” Gabbard said in an interview with the New Hampshire Daily Sun.
“The cost and consequences of the decisions that they’ve made both of my brothers and sisters in uniform, and to every American, we are still paying the price for these, these regime-change wars that have not made us any safer — yet more and more of our taxpayer dollars are still coming out of our pockets to pay for them,” she said.
Gabbard is suing Hillary Clinton for suggesting she is a Russian bot.
Gabbard’s message that America is not the world’s policeman has brought those on the political left and right together. That is itself is a rarity in these times.
President Trump’s budget proposal calls for $748 billion in military spending in 2021 compared to only $590 billion in domestic spendings. Gabbard asks viewers if they “are you sick of seeing your hard-earned tax dollars being wasted on wars that have nothing to do with us?”
She said if Americans want to be the priority, she will redirect the trillions of dollars wasted on wars and weapons and spend it on the US. That message was not picked up by the establishment.
The other veteran in the campaign, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, doesn’t talk much about his tour of duty. He was a security analyst who claims his life was in danger many times. When veterans asked Mayor Pete about foreign policy at a New Hampshire veterans’ meeting the mayor repeatedly dodged the question, according to a reporter at the scene.