Tulsi Gabbard (; born April 12, 1981) is an American politician, United States Army Reserve officer and political commentator who served as the U.S. representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district from 2013 to 2021. Gabbard was the first Hindu member of Congress and also the first Samoan-American voting member of Congress. She was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 United States presidential election, before leaving the party and becoming an independent in October 2022.In 2002, Gabbard was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives at the age of 21. Gabbard served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard while deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and was stationed in Kuwait from 2008 to 2009 as an Army Military Police platoon leader. While a member of Congress, she served as a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 2013 to 2016, and resigned to endorse Bernie Sanders' campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
During her time in Congress, she frequently appeared on Fox News to criticize the Barack Obama administration for refusing to say that the real enemy of the United States is radical Islam or Islamic extremism. During her presidential campaign, she highlighted an opposition to military interventionism, although she has called herself a "hawk" on terrorism. Her decision to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and her skepticism of claims that he had used chemical weapons gave rise to public disagreement from mainstream Democrats.In March 2020, Gabbard ended her presidential candidacy to endorse Joe Biden, and was succeeded by Kai Kahele in the House of Representatives on January 3, 2021. Gabbard has since taken conservative positions on issues such as abortion and transgender rights. Gabbard endorsed Florida's Parental Rights in Education Act and was a featured speaker at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). She continued her frequent presence on Fox News, including serving as a fill-in host for Tucker Carlson Tonight and eventually becoming a paid contributor to the network. In October 2022, Gabbard announced that she had left the Democratic Party altogether, citing their positions on foreign policy and social issues as the primary reasons for her departure, and is currently unaffiliated with any party. She followed her announcement by endorsing and campaigning for numerous Republican candidates in that year's midterm elections.
by Jocko Willink and Tulsi Gabbard
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