Scoop w/ @DanielStrauss4. Tulsi’s 2020 campaign manager and consulting firm will leave after this weekend’s formal launch. The rollout has been a mini saga with several false starts and then Gabbard catching her own staff unaware when she announced on cnn. https://t.co/OYRwgPeENe
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) January 29, 2019
Because I’m an old Cynic, I’ll admit my immediate suspicion is that Gabbard tried to get ahead of her Sandernista staffers by jumping in with her Big Reveal before they could cement her into the ‘Vice President/Handmaid to St. Bernie’ role. Of course, whatever their private alignments, no professional managers are going to be pleased by impetuosity like this:
… Campaign manager Rania Batrice and Gabbard’s consulting firm Revolution Messaging are set to depart after this weekend’s official kickoff in Hawaii, two sources familiar with the situation told POLITICO. Gabbard is leaning on her sister, Vrindavan, to fill the void.
Meanwhile, the congresswoman is under fire back home after picking a fight with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and a prominent Democratic state lawmaker is already challenging Gabbard in next year’s congressional primary. That means she faces the possibility of losing the presidential race and her House seat as well…
Batrice is an experienced campaign operative and served as deputy campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ insurgent 2016 bid. But Gabbard‘s tumultuous rollout over the past several weeks suggested there is a disconnect between the candidate and her team…
Three people familiar with the presidential bid over the past few months describe a candidate who managed to be both indecisive and impulsive. Just announcing her candidacy became a minisaga that exhausted and bewildered people involved.
At first, Gabbard had vendors and staffers working through Thanksgiving weekend to get ready for a campaign rollout, only to pull back. Over the next several weeks, Gabbard went up to the starting line again — signaling to her team that a green light was imminent — only to make repeated retreats.
The pattern of false starts continued through Christmas and New Year’s, frustrating people who worked through the holidays.
When Gabbard did finally announce she would make a 2020 run, her team was blindsided. “I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” she told CNN on a Friday night in a pre-taped interview for “The Van Jones Show.”
The Gabbard campaign website was not ready to go live; social media posts weren’t ready to be sent out. And Gabbard hadn’t signed off on the launch video…
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser‘s editorial board weighed in against her candidacy. And state Sen. Kai Kahele, a fellow Democrat, recently declared his candidacy for Gabbard’s congressional seat. Days after he announced, the powerhouse liberal group Daily Kos, which directed millions of dollars to Democratic candidates in 2017 and 2018, endorsed Kahele…
The conflicts have robbed Gabbard’s long-shot campaign of any early momentum. Though she was one of the few members of Congress to back Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, that endorsement has bought Gabbard little goodwill among Sanders supporters in Hawaii, said Tim Vandeveer, a former state party chairman who backed Sanders in 2016.
“I think that proximity doesn’t translate to support,” Vandeveer said. “I have yet to talk to a single Bernie Sanders supporter … who is supporting Tulsi over Bernie.”
Uh-huh. Color me not-shocked by that.
Surprising, bc several previous campaigns have successfully integrated Baathists, Russians, surfers, & Hindu nationalists in to a cohesive operation. https://t.co/U4hFs8fufJ
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) January 29, 2019
Hawaii state Sen. Kai Kahele officially announced that he plans to run for the congressional seat occupied by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, setting up a potential 2020 Democratic primary challenge for Gabbard early on as she embarks on her bid for president. https://t.co/jqOhP2Qp8M
— HawaiiDelilah™ (@HawaiiDelilah) January 22, 2019