“Tulsi will bring a soldier’s principles to the White House — restoring the values of dignity, honor and respect to the presidency.” These are the first words you see on Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign website.
Gabbard has been the Democratic U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since she was elected in 2013, and she is ready for a promotion. She endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 elections, but now she is ready to run against him in the 2020 election.
What makes Gabbard special? Well, to be honest, a lot. Gabbard was the first Samoan-American member and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress. She also has an extensive military background. She served in the medical unit of the Hawaiian Army National Guard in Iraq from 2004-2005. She was also deployed to Kuwait from 2008-2009. Gabbard was also the youngest woman to be elected to United States legislature when she was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives at age 21.
Although, Gabbard does have a bit of a controversial past.
Her opposition to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Asaad
by force is widely unpopular. However, most controversial was her voting and lobbying against LGBTQ rights prior to 2005. She has since apologized for her mistakes and has supported the LGBTQ community since then.
Gabbard now supports reproductive rights, abortion, Medicare for All, and same-sex marriage, according to her
“She seems to have sincerely changed her mind on LGBTQ issues, defends her position on terrorism and as a necessary response to the serious threat from jihadism to the United States, and argues that her outreach to the Syrian government is part of an effort to open up space for a peaceful solution to the conflict,” stated
in a recent report.
In an interview with CNN, Gabbard also explained that there are a lot of changes she feels the U.S. needs to make, including healthcare access, criminal justice reform, and fighting climate change.
The main question is: can Gabbard convince the left that her controversial past is over? She is going to have to do a lot of convincing to get endorsements on the left and to win over the American public.