Tulsi Gabbard: War Vet, Surfer Gal, and Trump Democrat?

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By Andrew Stiles | 11:37 am, November 22, 2016

Politicians have been flocking to Trump Tower to meet with President-elect Donald Trump following his surprising electoral victory earlier this month, but Tulsi Gabbard is one of the only Democrats to make the pilgrimage.

The Congresswoman from Hawaii is an interesting character for several reasons, and would make an intriguing choice for a role in the Trump administration, but that doesn’t seem out of the question. Some have speculated that Gabbard may be under consideration for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Gabbard hasn’t exactly been on good terms with member of her own party of late. She was an early supporter of Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary, and endorsed the anti-establishment insurgent after resigning her post as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Ohana. #DNCinPHL #DemsInPhilly 📷: @ap.images

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At the time of Gabbard’s announcement in February 2016, the DNC was rife with internal tension, and faced accusations that the party establishment was attempting to rig the primary to ensure Hillary Clinton would secure the nomination. Gabbard herself caused a stir by calling on the DNC to host more primary debates.

Gabbard said her meeting with Trump primarily focused on “foreign policy challenges” such as Syria and Iraq. The congresswoman said she wanted to meet with Trump “before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government,” appearing to echo the general sentiment Trump expressed at times during the campaign, which also included a increased willingness to work with Russia to solve the conflict.

Senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway told reporters Monday there was “a lot of common ground” between the president-elect and Gabbard, citing the congresswoman’s willingness to criticize the Democratic Party as a “recognition that there’s a big country out there with lots of voters that feel disaffected from their party, the Democrats.”

The meeting between Trump and Gabbard was reportedly arranged by Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman who was recently announced as senior counselor to the president-elect. Bannon is reportedly a big fan of the congresswoman.

So-called “Reagan Democrats” helped conservative icon Ronald Reagan win and maintain political power during the 1980s. Could Tulsi Gabbard, and the disaffected Obama voters who helped propel Donald Trump to the White House representative a new coalition of “Trump Democrats”? Time will tell.

Here are a few other fun facts about Tulsi Gabbard:


She’s served in the Iraq War from 2004 to 2006, and remains an active member of the Hawaii National Guard. She was promoted to the rank of major in 2015. 

She surfs, big league.

Doing our thing … #TulsiAndAbraham #surfing #Hawaii

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She snowboards, too.

Workout of the day: My first snowboard of the season. Short on snow, long on fun! #snowboard #fitness

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She does yoga (but for real, not like Hillary)