Tulsi Gabbard battle against Democratic Establishment
The media clash between the representative and Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has shed light on the power games within the party.
"(Gabbard) is the favorite of the Russians," former presidential candidate and secretary of state Hillary Clinton told host David Plouffe on his Campaign HQ podcast last week. "They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”
Clinton's speculation seemed fueled by Gabbard’s way of campaigning.
U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, Tulsi Gabbard launched her candidacy for the Democratic primary on Feb. 2 of this year.
In a tide of candidates from all backgrounds, Gabbard has made a difference by being the most Googled-name after each Democratic debate, and by having marked her position against the National Democratic Committee, its system of classification of candidates and the treatment they are granted on each debate.
Despite the scant media coverage her campaign has received, Gabbard made headlines for her reluctance to condemn the Bashar Al Assad regime in Syria, which sparked some rumors about her possible relationship with Moscow.
During the last debate in October, the representative attacked President Trump for giving the green light to Turkey in its invasion of the northern border of Syria, ensuring that "Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing ‘regime change’ war in Syria”.
"Not only that, but The New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime-change war," she added.
Gabbard referred to a previous report from the Times that explained how the candidate's profile has received curious and broad social media backing from extreme right-wing characters, white nationalists and even Trump supporters.
For this, Clinton had an unsubstantiated explanation: "I think they (the Republicans) have got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," she said.
For her part, the representative responded aggressively on Twitter, calling the former secretary of state "the queen of the warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long."
Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a ...
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
For Tom Nichols, author of The Death of Expertise and an academic specialized in international affairs, Clinton's decision to give an unsubstantiated opinion about the possibility of Gabbard being an agent provocateur "was a mistake."
“Far from exposing or thwarting Gabbard, as Clinton loyalists want to believe, the former secretary of state overshot the mark by making an accusation without proof. Gabbard will now dismiss real concerns about her as just so much conspiracy theorizing,” he wrote in his column for The Atlantic.