Chad Blair’s new opinion piece in Honolulu’s Civil Beat is titled “Tulsi Gabbard’s Flailing Presidential Campaign.” It starts out…
The Hawaii congresswoman has barely registered in the polls, chastises her own party and has become a punchline. Time to throw in the towel?
The piece is predictably sprinkled with all the gauche anti-Tulsi talking points and smears clumsily parroted by the elders of the Democratic Party, the media and those who only dig no further than what the elders and the pundits offer them.
But no, it’s not time yet Chad. The Iowa caucuses are still more than a month away (February 3, 2020) and the New Hampshire primary is a week after that (February 11, 2020). Those are the first true tests, so dropping out now would be premature. Yes, it’s true other higher-profile candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Rep. Tim Ryan, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, Gov. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Eric Swalwell, former Rep. Joe Sestak, Gov. Steve Bullock, Rep. Seth Moulton, Gov. Jay Inslee, former Sen. Mike Gravel and Mayor Bill de Blasio have bagged out, but that just shows that they were never really serious players to begin with.
That’s a dozen guys and gals Tulsi’s already outlasted—some of whom she herself vanquished. Guess they had no stomach for the long game and little or no passion among their supporters.
It’s like going to training camp in the off-season and then deciding to weenie out of the opening games of the season. Not so for Tulsi. You’re forgetting she’s a soldier. She’s been in a combat zone twice in Iraq. This little race for the Democratic nomination? Eh, that’s nothing when you’ve had to take shellfire. As Tulsi recalled…
Not so for Tulsi. You’re forgetting she’s a soldier. She’s been in a combat zone twice in Iraq. This little race for the Democratic nomination? Eh, that’s nothing when you’ve had to take shellfire. As Tulsi recalled…
I fell asleep most nights to the sound of mortar attacks, and woke up to the heart-wrenching task of going through a list name by name of every American casualty the day before. I knew with little doubt that any day could be my last. So every night before I went to sleep, I would rest my heart and my mind in contemplating on verses about the eternality of the soul. I would reflect on the fact that we are only here for a certain length of time and nobody knows how long. Is today going to be the day?
Does that really sound like someone who’s going to throw in the towel after just a few months of campaigning? Okay, so she’s polling nationally at less than 2 percent. But that’s not what matters at this early stage. What matters is how she’ll come out in the early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. If Tulsi can break into the top five in any of those three, then her campaign will get some much needed exposure and she may be able to carve out a path. A narrow one, grant you. But still. No reason to back out now. Certainly not when you have so much heart and so many enthusiastic, loyal supporters who think you represent the only real hope of beating Trump.
And certainly not when your competition is so lackluster. Three of the top-tier Democratic candidates are in their 70s, and two of those are in their late-70s. One of those recently had a heart attack, another has a proclivity for sticking his foot in his mouth and forgetting stuff. The other one? Well, she appears to have peaked too early and may have a Hillary-like likability problem on her hands. Then there’s “Wall Street Pete.” Nice guy, but if that nickname continues to stick, along with the whole wine cave thing, that can’t be good.
Why would the idea of throwing in the towel even cross Tulsi’s mind when the current front-runners look like they’re not in all that great a shape?
As of December 25, Tulsi’s polling average is at 4.9% in New Hampshire. She’s ahead of Yang, Klobuchar, Bloomberg, Steyer, Booker, Castro, Williamson, Delaney, Bennet and Patrick. That’s 10 guys and gals—six of whom, amazingly, were featured in the DNC’s ridiculous “Unity Fund” advertisement while Tulsi was excluded.
Now Chad, this may be the most reasonable argument one could make for Tulsi throwing in the towel. The DNC appears to have it in for her. So the question is, “Can Tulsi survive, much less win, if the Democratic establishment is hell bent on blocking her every step of the way?”
I don’t know.
What I do know is that Tulsi’s campaign isn’t “flailing.” There’s no clumsiness or panic to it. I’ve seen nothing that remotely reminds me of Beto’s arms. Just plenty of good feeling and optimism. It is the pre-season and the campaign is plugging along continuing to prepare for opening day.
A lot of other teams have fallen by the wayside, and I expect a few more will follow soon. But I do not sense this is imminent for team Tulsi. Possibly at some point in the future, but definitely not before Iowa and New Hampshire.