The sky may have been clear in Hawaii when Tulsi Gabbard read her speech promising to fight “greed and corruption,” but she enters her bid under a cloud of negative media coverage and accusations of being Russia’s darling.
At first glance Gabbard would seem almost too perfect for the Democratic candidate to face Trump in 2020: a 37-year-old part-Samoan woman, who previously broke off a promising career in local politics to volunteer for combat zone service in Iraq, and is unfailingly popular with voters on her home island.
“What our country needs now more than ever is the spirit of Aloha. That spirit of respect and love for one another and for our country,” she said in a launch speech that the 2008 Barack Obama, himself, might have found too idealistically bland.
Hours earlier, in a two-author NBC investigation an entirely different picture had been painted of the “controversial” Gabbard – the centerpoint of “the first stirrings of an upcoming Russian campaign” in which the Kremlin “propaganda machine” would seek to inject pro-Russian positions into the Democratic Party’s discussions and debates with help from “inauthentic accounts.”
I’m Not With Her
To understand why Gabbard is not treated as a customary feel-good story of a woman breaking multiple glass ceilings, but as a tool of the Kremlin, several pages of her biography need to be revisited.
The first, her resignation from the senior post of Vice President of the Democratic National Committee in protest at the lack of scheduled debates between frontrunner Hillary Clinton and the rising Bernie Sanders, whom she subsequently went on to endorse.
The second, a now-famous meeting with Bashar Assad in 2017, and Gabbard’s insistence that Washington should not engage in “regime change” or sponsorship of radical militant organizations in Syria or anywhere else.
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Those two incidents alone have pitted Gabbard against two major establishment forces, and that is before one gets into the details of her socialist-tinged platform from healthcare for all to anti-Wall Street policy proposals.