Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran who met dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria during that country's devastating civil war, has said that she is launching a United States presidential bid.
Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, now serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"I have chose to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week", Gabbard told CNN host Van Jones in an interview schduled to air on Saturday. Her 2017 meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad drew widespread criticism. Bernie Sanders, are now weighing whether to run for president and are expected to announce their decision soon.
Incidentally, some people have leapt to her defence, praising her for endorsing Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The Hawaii Democrat said there were "a lot of reasons" behind her decision to run and named some of the top issues that would be on her campaign platform, including health care, criminal justice reform and climate change.
She continues to be a member of the Army National Guard with the rank of major and while serving in Congress has been mobilised for emergency duties. So if you were thinking Gabbard was looking for a VP slot on the Kamala Harris ticket, that's probably out now.
The US senator Elizabeth Warren, of MA, on 31 December announced she had formed an exploratory committee for a presidential run in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field before the November 2020 presidential election.
She has also courted controversy by picking a fight with Hawaii Sen.
Gabbard, 37, is widely known for her unorthodox positions within the Democratic caucus.
A number of other potential Democratic candidates, including heavyweights like former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. A clip of her announcement is already posted on the network's website, in which she says a formal announcement will be coming within the next week.
But asked whether Gabbard's rebuke would affect their relationship, Hirono told Hawaii News Now she "works well" with "Republicans" and said she would "certainly" welcome opportunities to work with Gabbard.
Gabbard certainly poses a thorny problem for the neocon-neoliberal axis, as she checks all the identity politics boxes - the first Hindu member of Congress, a woman, a veteran - and she has undeniable populist appeal, given her anti-establishment record.