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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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The coronavirus outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic apparently have claimed a surprising casualty: Democrat Tulsi Gabbard finally suspended her presidental campaign which has long been largely inert anyway.
In one sense, she’s only finally acknowledging reality, given that she hasn’t qualified for a Democratic presidential debate since November, and has won only the tiniest handful of the delegates needed to win the nomination.
Given that Gabbard is not running for re-election to her congressional seat representing Hawaii, her future is certainly open and uncertain.
It’s a somewhat ignominious end to what could have been a soaring future.
She is a woman who is a military veteran who served her country with honor, and–like me–is a practitioner of an Eastern religion. Plus she had stood out in 2016 as a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter. She could have written her ticket.
Early on, I was ready to back her enthusiastically.
Then I began to learn disquieting things. She met with Trump officials after the 2016 election about a potential spot in the administration.
In fact, as I dug deeper, I found that Gabbard often sounded more like Donald Trump, happy to criticize President Barack Obama.
If you look online, you will find all manner of conservative and right-wing folks politically in love with Gabbard, practically begging Democrats to nominate her.
And as the campaign wore on, she seemed strangely eager to appear regularly on Fox News, not an outlet known for its Democratic viewership.
Needless to say, the more conservatives may have been excited, progressives–certainly this one–became turned off.
Which brings us to Gabbard’s present and future.
Were all of those appearances on Fox News truly just an extended audition to become one more member of the network’s stable of on-air talent?
Are we in store for a party switch and a move to somewhere more conservative-friendly than the deep-blue Aloha State for another shot at elective office?
Or, will Gabbard follow the footsteps of another washed up politician and end up in a decade–on a goofy TV series like Masked Singer, like Sarah Palin?
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