One of the more intriguing prospective 2024 tickets is former President Donald Trump with former Representative Tulsi Gabbard.
We should be clear: The combination is a long shot – but plausible enough that people are starting to talk about it.
And with Trump’s reportedly looking exclusively for a female running mate, Gabbard fits the bill.
Tulsi Gabbard: A Republican?
Tulsi Gabbard made a name for herself as a congresswoman and presidential candidate – a Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate.
Her departure from the Democratic Party caused a stir last year, and her increasingly frequent appearances on Fox News (plus a speaking slot at CPAC) fueled speculation that Gabbard may be on the verge of formally joining the GOP.
To date, Gabbard is still an independent.
But she has been increasingly critical of the Democratic Party.
Primarily, Gabbard has targeted Democrats for their “woke” social viewpoints and neoliberal foreign policies.
Yes, I Like Tulsi Gabbard
You know, Gabbard was one of my main ponies in the 2020 presidential election. Her perspective was closer to my own than just about any other Democratic candidate.
That Gabbard, in the years since the election, has become increasingly critical of wokeness and foreign intervention, only serves to validate my earlier appreciation of Gabbard.
I think Tulsi Gabbard was absolutely correct: the Democratic Party is dreadful concerning vigorously enforcing radical social views, stuff like men can get pregnant, and interventionist foreign policy, like the US, should write Ukraine a blank check.
Gabbard was and is one of the few people with some left-wing credibility making these refreshing points. Plenty of others are making similar points (Trump and DeSantis, for example, both decry wokeness and neoliberal foreign policy) but they are mostly right-wingers who have impeached their own credibility (in my view) by mixing criticism of wokeness with criticism (explicit or implicit) of entitlement programs (DeSantis) or corporate taxation (Trump).
Would She Run with Donald Trump?
Which brings me to my next point. Personally, I would have trouble seeing someone I appreciate (Gabbard), running alongside someone I do not appreciate (Trump).
My tendency is to be guarded and cynical; I don’t have any illusions about Tulsi Gabbard. I have no doubt that with the right incentive you could push her toward political positions that I, or Gabbard’s younger self, would find disappointing. I suspect if Trump told Gabbard ‘I will make you vice president of the United States’ she would overnight adopt positions that would make me, and many of her earlier supporters, blanche. Now, will that happen? Probably not.
Will Trump pick Gabbard?
Trump will have to win the GOP primary before his running mate becomes especially relevant.
And even if Trump does win the GOP primary, Gabbard will remain a longshot. Although, Trump is reportedly committed to running with a woman. Why? Because Trump is weak with white, suburban, women – and adding a white, suburban, woman to his ticket should, in theory, bolster his support amongst that increasingly important demographic.
All of Trump’s current prospects have a leg up on Tulsi Gabbard in that they never served in Congress, or ran for president, as a Democrat. Accordingly, Trump may be hesitant to select Gabbard for fear that she could invite criticism from right-wingers who have not forgotten Gabbard’s track record.
Alternatively, Gabbard could credibly criticize the left – speaking with the knowledge of someone who spent two decades amongst the left.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.