The enigma of Tulsi Gabbard

Though she came close this month, HI Dem congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, failed to qualify for the next debate. However, she’s confident she’ll make the October debate. No matter how you feel about her seeming stealth candidacy, this piece in The Atlantic tries to shed some light on her otherwise oblique campaign.

Good politicians are smooth. Gabbard is beyond smooth. She’s unflappable to the point of being confounding, even to the many people I spoke with who have worked with her for years in Washington, D.C., and at home in Hawaii. She may be the most elusive candidate running for president, with a campaign that has followed none of the rules of conventional or contemporary politics, and a small but committed group of supporters. […]

“It’s not that she’s not incredibly skilled and talented,” says Mark Longabaugh, a Democratic strategist who worked with Gabbard when she was campaigning for Sanders in 2016. “But her run just seems quixotic.” […]

Theories (…) from top Democrats include that Gabbard is trying to get a TV show—“I already know which network: Fox,” one senior Democrat not affiliated with any campaign said, speaking anonymously to remain publicly neutral—and that she’s gearing up for a Trump-benefiting third-party run. “Green Party. Willing to take bets on this,” Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden tweeted last week after Gabbard appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to trash the Democratic National Committee because she hadn’t qualified for the September debate.

Puppet candidate, or mission-driven pragmatist?

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