Former Dem Rep. Tulsi Gabbard open to being Trump's VP pick; Dem father not happy with daughter's shift in partisan alignment

 March 19, 2024

The presumptive shortlist of possible vice presidential candidates for former President Donald Trump's re-election bid is predictably filled with many prominent current and former elected Republican officials, though there are a few seemingly unconventional candidates, such as former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a former Democrat-turned-independent.

The former Hawaii congresswoman has expressed an openness to serving as Trump's possible running mate, which has reportedly created some distance between Gabbard and her father, who still serves as a Democrat in the Aloha State's senate, according to USA Today.

Interestingly enough, the younger Gabbard's transition away from the Democratic Party to become politically independent oppositely mirrors the prior transition of her father, Hawaii State Sen. Mike Gabbard, who was first elected as a Republican but later joined with Democrats.

Reversal of father-daughter political alignments

USA Today reported that it recently asked the elder Gabbard about his daughter increasingly aligning herself with former President Trump and his America First, MAGA agenda -- so much so that she is now frequently being mentioned among other top GOP prospects to be Trump's choice as running mate.

"I don’t have the time or the information to be involved in that political circus," Sen. Gabbard told the outlet dismissively. "I feel that I’d be out of place talking about it. I’ve never had a clue as to what is going on (there)."

As noted, the elder Gabbard first ran for and won a state senate seat as a Republican in 2006, in light of the political realities of the Democrat-dominated state of Hawaii as well as to campaign in support of his daughter's 2012 run for U.S. Congress as a Democrat, he switched parties.

Now the shoe appears to be on the other foot as the younger Gabbard, who formally denounced the Democratic Party and declared herself an independent in 2022 following her 2021 exit from Congress and a failed 2020 presidential run -- in which she endorsed future President Joe Biden -- has seemingly aligned herself with Trump, his conservative-leaning populist agenda, and the MAGA wing of the Republican Party.

Trump met with Gabbard, is considering her as possible running mate

In mid-February, The Washington Post reported that former Rep. Gabbard met with former President Trump for a discussion of their shared non-interventionist outlook on foreign policy and military engagements as well as potential changes to Defense Department personnel and policies that both view as necessary in a prospective second term for Trump.

Then, just about a week later, the New York Post reported that Trump, during a town hall event in South Carolina, appeared to confirm that Gabbard was on his list of possible running mates for November's likely rematch against President Biden.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham read off a list of names provided by audience members of who they'd like to see as Trump's vice president, which included Gabbard among other prominent Republicans, and Trump affirmed that all of the names mentioned were "solid" individuals under consideration for the position.

Gabbard would be "honored" to be picked as Trump's VP

Earlier in March, The Hill reported that former Rep. Gabbard, during an interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters, signaled her willingness to accept the role of former President Trump's running mate if asked to do so.

"I would be open to that," Gabbard said. "My mission is to serve our country. I wanna be in a position to solve problems, Jesse, and we got a lot of ‘em to solve."

And just last week, according to HuffPost, Gabbard told Donald Trump Jr. in a podcast interview of the speculation about being Trump's VP, "I’d be honored to actually be in a position to help President Trump execute his policies ... bringing the experience that I have had of being on the front lines of many of these battles and actually understanding what we’re up against."

She further explained, "And so whether you’re talking about securing the border, reducing inflation, improving our economy, stopping these Democrats or -- and establishment Republicans -- stopping these warmongers from continuing to push us closer and closer to war, not just in one country, but in multiple regions across the world, these are things, if I had the opportunity and privilege of being able to serve and support President Trump in actually executing these policies, I’d be honored to do so."

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