Tulsi is announced that she is going to skip the next debate, to focus on campaigning in New Hampshire and South Carolina. I do find it rather curious that she specified those two and didn’t mention Iowa. Maybe she figures that in a caucus system, Bernie will get all the progressive votes, so why bother. Also, I find skipping a debate to be a strange tactic. Maybe she thought she wasn’t going to qualify (still one poll short) and figured it was better politically to make it look like her choice.
It’s a pity. I was looking forward to her eviscerating Warren or Buttigieg. Joe Biden keeps sabotaging himself, I think the best tactic against him is just to let him ramble on for as long as possible and pretty soon he’ll be talking about his hairy legs, or telling everybody they should vote for Trump, or something equally bizarre.
I do hope that when all the dust settles, Bernie is the nominee and picks her for the VP spot. There are a few reasons for this.
1. He owes her. She backed him when nobody else inside the Democratic Party would, and that act exposed the Democrats for what they are, because they came down on her like a ton of bricks. She’s the only candidate the DNC hates more than Bernie. (that is maybe a negative but, if Bernie chooses anybody who is any good, it’s going to be somebody the DNC doesn’t like. They want a corporate tool, we can’t accept that.)
2. Contrast. Bernie is old, she is young, Bernie is a man, she is a woman, Bernie has a gentlemanly style of campaigning, focusing on his own policies, Tulsi is a warrior, she will knock her opponent down and kick him in the teeth. What she did to Kamala Harris, she is perfectly capable of doing to Donald Trump.
3. It might set her up for a presidential run of her own, 4 or 8 years down the road, at which point she will still be decades younger than former Vice President Fingers Malarkey is now.
4. Strength on different issues. Bernie is all about domestic issues. Tulsi has a lot of foreign policy expertise. Not just because she is in the military, but also from serving on the House foreign affairs committee.
5. Bi-partisan support. Bernie gets votes from progressive Democrats, independents, youth, minorities, and many other groups, but Tulsi Gabbard actually gets some love from the crazies on the right. I’m not sure if that’s because she’s military, or maybe because she’s a good looking woman and they can be shallow like that, or if it’s issue based, but it exists. She gets along well with Rand Paul, and I think a lot of his supporters (and Andrew Yang’s) will be more inclined to support Bernie with her on the ticket.
6. None of the attacks on her (She’s a homophobe! She’s a Modi supporter! She’s a Hare Krishna cultist!) actually hold water. They are already out there, and she has survived them.
7. She sings and her husband plays the ukulele. How cool is that?