Tulsi Gabbard’s Campaign for the White House: Is It in Jeopardy?
A new report suggests 'disarray' on the operational side for one of the many Democrats already eyeing a 2020 run against Trump
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) declared her interest in a White House run only a couple of weeks ago — and this Saturday she’s scheduled for a formal campaign kickoff.
But her 2020 presidential campaign may already be on shaky ground, at least in terms of its organizational arrangement.
The lawmaker’s campaign manager, Rania Batrice, and consulting firm, Revolution Messaging, are apparently set to depart, as Politico reported Tuesday.
The outlet also described the campaign as being “in disarray.”
Gabbard will be relying on her sister, Vrindavan, to fill the void, the report also noted.
“There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision,” Gabbard told CNN about her interest in a 2020 presidential run two weeks ago. “There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve.”
Gabbard, 37, was elected to the House in 2012.
She was a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard and served two tours of duty in the Middle East.
In recent months, she visited the early primary and caucus states New Hampshire and Iowa; she’s also written a memoir that’s due to be published in May.
Gabbard first emerged on the national stage as one of the few lawmakers in Washington to back Bernie Sanders’ underdog candidacy in 2016 against Hillary Clinton during the last presidential primary campaign.
Of the apparent organizational shakeup, Erika Tsuji, a campaign spokeswoman, told Politico for its Tuesday piece, “Rania Batrice is a longtime adviser and friend and remains so.” She also said Revolution Messaging was simply for the launch portion of the campaign. The Gabbard campaign did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment on Tuesday night.
Batrice called Gabbard a close friend in comments to Politico: “It’s been an honor to work with her over the last few years. I wish her all the best as she mounts her historic campaign.”
Batrice served as deputy campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during his 2016 bid for the Oval Office, her biography notes. She also describes herself as a “communications strategist, mediator, organizing consultant, and adviser to elected officials, candidates, nonprofits, and companies around the world for nearly two decades.”
Recently, Gabbard had a public feud with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) over her questioning of a judicial nominee and other Democratic politicians in the Aloha State, as Fox News reported.
And she will soon need to defend her seat in the House, as state Sen. Kai Kahele, a Democrat, recently announced his candidacy for that position.
When Gabbard told CNN on January 11 that she was running for president, the move apparently “blindsided her staff and suggested a disconnect between her and her team,” noted Fox News.