A new story from What Next | Daily News and Analysis
This episode is brought to you by anchor from spotify. Hey this is Mary Harris. I'm the host of what next if you've ever wanted to start your own podcast. You might think you need all kinds of equipment to set it up. Turns out all you need is anchor. Anchor is in all in one free tool from spotify that lets you create your own podcast and get it heard everywhere with inker you can record at it and be heard on all listening platforms arms and they'll even pair you with sponsors. Tell you get paid for your show. Start Your podcast with anchor today by going to anchor dot. FM Slash slate slate. What next that's anchor? FM Slash Sleep. What next Tulsi Gabbard got a lot of attention? When she first came to Washington back in two thousand thirteen choose the first Hindu in Congress one of the youngest people elected? She was also proudly Hawaiian Ryan. She talked about bringing the Aloha spirit to politics. Still does in the beginning. This is all pretty alluring Democrats so as soon as is gathered got to Capitol Hill. She was tapped for a plum position vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. She was sort of this outspoken at progressive. She was veteran. She was a young woman. She was a surfer. People like Nancy. Pelosi said she'd be a big star. I think retail Matto so if I remember correctly he had praised her. You get to be the vice chair of the National Democratic Party because your party thinks you're going places so she was seen as this progressive veteran Karen who was very telegenic and had this great background in Hawaii and with someone that the party could sort of put forward as their their new face. Ace but then she did something that pissed a lot of people off. When Hillary Clinton was running for president well she backed Bernie Sanders bid over Hillary Clinton I and so that really isolated her from the mainstream party center? I mean you have to remember it. During that campaign a sanders was really seen as someone on the fringe. Maybe a socialist sometimes the Democrat who is challenging. Hillary Clinton who the party had really kind of anointed kid as the next nominee So when congresswoman Gabbard left her position at the DNC which she had been given because she was this rising star to go and support Bernie Sanders. That was something that really annoyed. A lot of people in the Democratic Party establishment right. And it wasn't just that it was. She was calling for more debates. Beats because that would have been advantageous to Bernie Sanders right and the concern that you know. The democratic establishments have people people had and Allies Hillary Clinton was that Hillary Clinton would get beat up in these debates those attacks by Bernie Sanders while he was unlikely to capture the nomination was sort of the mainstream thinking in Washington she would be damaged heading into general because of how he would frame her. I mean I think the endorsement of Bernie Sanders it kind of got people interested in the idea of hold it. Who who is this woman? How did she get here and a lot of people all started talking about how she was raised in this pretty unconventional way where she didn't go to traditional school? She was raised Hindu. But it was in this kind of breakoff movement From the Hari. Krishna's Krishna's can you. Can you describe a little bit how she actually became interested in politics in the first place. Well actually she's from a political family. Her mother was on the Hawaii State Board of Education. Her father was Honolulu Council member. He was a political activist. And that's come back to haunt her a little bit. Her Father Mike captured was one of the state's leading opponents of LGBTQ rights and he found an organization that was opposed to marriage equality and really tolerance for homosexuality quality. So that's something that those positions that she has had to renounce during the first days of her presidential campaign so she's from she's from the political background around. You know it's just a political background local politics in Hawaii but Gabbard politics could be unpredictable even before she endorsed Bernie Sanders. Her colleagues noticed. She didn't want to carry water for the party. Especially when it came to foreign policy she walked this line as a member of the army reserve. She'd vote to to support the military but other things. She's kind of a wild card so she also picked a few fights with the Obama Administration. That Democrats really didn't like if you remember the whole fight over where Republicans demanded that President Obama used the term radical Islam. She was really the only Democrat to join in that Republican call and went on Fox News and made a big deal of the fact that the president would not use the term radical Islam. She dubbed Herself Hawk on on terrorism. Those were foreign policy positions that were really out of the mainstream of democratic thinking and in some cases anathema to what Democrats are trying to do so she was already kind of getting attention from folks saying This isn't typically what we would expect from our junior congresswoman right. I think our focus on sort of the terrorism terrorism threat led to her sort of quasi support for Bashir al-Assad. I mean I think she would not consider herself a supporter of Assad. But she's been very reluctant reluctant to criticize him. Would you say he is to the United States if you cannot say that. He's an adversary or an enemy. What is Assad to the the? US What is the word you can describe it however you want to describe it how you just my point. Is that whether it is Syria. or any of these other countries as we need to look at how their interests are counter to or aligned with ours and she's argued that really the best way to defeat Isis in Syria was for the US to align itself with Assad. And that of course means that really. You're aligning yourself with Russia and Putin and so as things developed over the past few years and and certainly with Russia's intervention in the election last time around that's led to a lot of questions about her the thing I have trouble with when I look at Tulsi Gabbard sort of record and and what she says about. The issues is finding an overarching philosophy. Because I think it's interesting that she talks about the military in a different way in a lot of other politicians do having served in the military. But I can't quite tell what the bigger messages about where we should involve ourselves solves and how we should behave abroad right. I think you're you're hitting at the central the central facet that people find confusing about Tulsi. Gabbard is that there's no. There seems to be no intellectual consistency in terms of her message. No foreign intervention then. She's she's reluctant to say sort of negative things about Assad or mody Or even Putin she's you know it's it's just it's confusing. I WanNa talk a little bit about the various people who have come out supporting Tulsi Gabbard because it is this really diverse like almost strange constituency where you know she was obviously closely aligned with Bernie Sanders. She came on early to support him. But then also you have people like Steve Bannon coming forward. You have people like David Duke. You have a lot of fans on four Chan. Have you been in those fourteen discussions. Can you characterize them a little bit. Well they call her mommy. That's that's her nickname. And those four Chan message boards. Look I think they People on four Chan like these kind of candidates who stirred up who take on the establishment who are fighting sort of mainstream figures and she definitely has positioned herself in that space. She is someone who has positioned herself as an opponent of the establishment. Even as she she runs for one of the major parties nomination I mean I think Tolsey herself would say she wants to talk to all Americans. That's why you see her on Fox News more than INSA- Elizabeth Warren and I wonder what you think about that as a political reporter. Well I think that's fine and it's certainly a fair argument to talk to all L. A.. Barricades but I think I you have to win. Democratic primary rate and so you don't win Democratic primary by going on Fox News that's not where your voters are. She has a very a strong fan. Base is not necessarily very large based on her polling numbers both national and state polls but it's very active and it's very active online and it feels very strongly about Tulsi Gabbard. An ice tea from people have reached out to me. You know an emails or whatever sometimes these people are independents or Republicans. They're not sort you've always. Some of them are traditional. Democrats are not always you know. She has attracted people with a wide variety of views and they feel very strongly about her and they also really feel that The mainstream media's out together I mean you asked Gabor's campaign about her support from sort of fringe peer groups and they declined to respond to that strike. You as odd. You know what I did find that a little bit odd because they spend. There's a lot of time complaining about how she's not being uncovered by the media and how the media even the New York Times and CNN is she called us out at The debate we sponsored is out to get her but I gave them multiple opportunities for two knees to comment. I asked for an interview to sit down with her And those were all turned down so I I did find that. A bit confusing The complaints that the media is not covering.