Tulsi Gabbard, Representative via Hawaii, Announces Democratic Presidential Bid

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said Friday that will she might run for president, joining what will be anticipated to be a crowded field of Democrats seeking to challenge President Trump in 2020.

Ms. Gabbard announced her decision to CNN in an interview with the political commentator Van Jones that will will be scheduled to air on Saturday. “I have decided to run,” she said in a short clip posted Friday, “in addition to will be producing a formal announcement within the next week.”

Ms. Gabbard, 37, will be one of the lesser known of the possible candidates. An Army National Guard veteran who deployed twice to the Middle East, she was first elected to the House in 2012, a decade after she became the youngest person elected to the Hawaii State Legislature. She was the first Hindu in addition to the first American Samoan elected to Congress.

Since then, she has earned a reputation for her opposition to American military intervention in addition to “regime change” efforts abroad — in addition to for sometimes breaking via the Democratic Party line. In 2015, she voted with Republicans to enhance screening of Syrian refugees. Shortly thereafter, she startled the Democratic National Committee by calling for more presidential debates than the party wanted to hold.

in addition to just This kind of week, she wrote an op-ed accusing fellow Democrats of “religious bigotry” for sharply questioning a judicial nominee, Brian Buescher, on his membership within the Knights of Columbus. (Though she did not name names, her targets were clear: Senator Kamala Harris of California, another likely presidential candidate, in addition to Senator Mazie Hirono, who also represents Hawaii.)

Ms. Gabbard also endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders within the 2016 primaries — resigning as vice chairwoman of the D.N.C. to do so — when most party officials were circling the wagons around Hillary Clinton. that will creates an interesting dynamic for the 2020 race because Mr. Sanders may run again.

Experience could be a major vulnerability for Ms. Gabbard, who was re-elected in November. The only sitting representative elected president was James Garfield in 1880, in addition to most presidents have previously been a senator or governor.

She will be 39 on Inauguration Day in 2021, which might make her, if elected, the youngest president in American history. Only two presidents, Theodore Roosevelt in addition to John F. Kennedy, have taken office before age 45.

however perhaps a more serious liability for her campaign will be her interactions with Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. A longtime opponent of the United States’ military involvement in Syria, Ms. Gabbard visited Mr. Assad in Damascus in January 2017 — something various other American officials had not done since Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians became widely known. Her noninterventionist perspective in addition to her desire for diplomacy could appeal to many progressive Democrats, however her decision to meet having a man who had attacked his own people angered many others.