Who is Tulsi Gabbard

I really want to learn more about TulsI Gabbard. She was the first candidate that I was interested in when she joined the race and she’s struggling to get any traction with the big names like Harris and Warren.

I went to her webpage for more info and there wasn’t much of substance there (other than some nice photos and a decent ‘about‘ section). What I’m looking for is her platform. I want to know what she believes in, how she stands on the issues, etc. Nothing yet. So I’ll wait a bit on that.

Maybe it would be useful to dig into who gives her money. I have been using OpenSecrets.org to look up things. For her 2018 Congressional election she got money from mostly benign sources as far as I can tell from a quick look. This includes a decent amount from independent donors. OpenSecrets did a nice article recently digging in a bit more deeply that shows that she got some money from the defense industry. What does this mean? We will need to dig into her support of their agenda.

I found a couple nice ways to check voting records. My favorite is called Ballotpedia which gives voting as well as a ton of other useful info  (including her platform from the 2018 election). One issue is that it only has the 115th congress for now but I urge you to dig into her page which is here. (Note on foreign affairs she wasn’t a total hawk). This site actually does a really nice job of summarizing a politicians political life.

The second voting record site is Votesmart. This has more up to date info including her vote for us to pull out of support for SA in Yemen.

Tulsi is off to a not great start

I’ve been wondering when Gabbard was going to make her announcement. This article tells me a bit about maybe why I haven’t:

This is a stark contrast to the well oiled rollout of Harris, and it says a lot. If Gabbard can’t manage her campaign then can she manage the country?

You only get one shot to make a first impression.

Tulsi Gabbard

Before I begin, I want to say that yes, I know that Elizabeth Warren announced her intensions before Tulsi and in 2016 I said that if Warren were running I would have strongly considered voting for her so by rights she should be a shoo-in for my early attention but I can’t help it, something is interesting to me about Tulsi Gabbard.

I’m not going to dig deep in this post, but I was really struck by how fast people started demonizing her right after she announced her intensions. Here’s what I posted at first:

The next day I read this thread:

Why was I seeing this and many, many other negative pieces about her? Who was this woman I’d barely heard of before? I needed to do at least a little research. But then I saw that she was on Joe Rogan so I downloaded the podcast and gave it a listen. I suggest you do as well!

After listening I was pretty impressed with how she approached things. She didn’t come off as too disingenuous (although it was clear she was indulging Rogan who has his own opinions that I’m not sure she shares) and she had some solid answers. But she still had a record of being anti-LGBT. What’s up with that?

Apparently she was raised in a pretty strict religious household and we all know that people growing up like that can totally be impressed. But we also know that once they get away and see the world there is hope that if they are smart, they can change. That seemed to happen with her and it’s discussed in this Politico article (referring to her recently released video below).

What’s the truth here? After hearing her on Rogan and reading this and seeing her video, I could be convinced she’s turned around on this issue. (though it could be cause she’s running and needs to cover loose ends).

So. That’s my initial peek at Tulsi. I kind of like her and I think that I need to look more at some of the things others are bringing up and I need to look at her voting record and speeches, etc. But for now, she’s got my attention.

I think I’m going to start right here with this piece on Medium. You should too.