…from a Politicalwire paywall piece…
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) voted “present” last night on both articles of impeachment against President Trump. She put out a statement saying that she believed it was best for voters to decide Trump’s fate.
There’s no way this helps her fledgling presidential bid. It’s impossible to imagine any Democrat winning the nomination without being all in on the impeachment effort.
But she’s giving up what was a very safe House seat, so she wouldn’t be running for president if she were actually leaving politics.
So what is she running for?
Jonathan Last sees three possibilities:
- She is trying to position herself to run in the future as a Democrat, either for one of Hawaii’s Senate seats or for the presidency in 2024.
- She is courting Trump as a possible replacement for Mike Pence on the Republican ticket.
- She is creating space to run as a third-party candidate in 2020.
Gabbard voting “present” on the articles of impeachment is entirely consistent for someone laying the groundwork a third party presidential bid….