Before Democrats get to Donald Trump, they’ll have to deal with Tulsi Gabbard.
The Hawaiian congresswoman remains a longer-than-long shot to win the Democratic nomination, but the complaints she’s bringing up now about how the Democratic National Committee has openly tinkered with the primary contest rules are raising questions that are going to be uncomfortable for the party’s leaders to answer.
And that might just start Wednesday with the primary debate in Las Vegas — with the rest of America listening.
Taking the debate stage for the first time will be former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a man who, according to CNN journalist David Wright, has spent more than $400 million on advertising to buy his way onto the television screens of American voters.
Here’s a look at ad spending through today (including future reservations:
Bloomberg: $417.7 million
Steyer: $193.6 million
Sanders: $41.8 million
Buttigieg: $40 millon
Warren: $21.4 million
Biden: $12.3 million
Klobuchar: $10.6 million
Gabbard $5.4 million
— David Wright (@DavidWright_7) February 16, 2020
With Bloomberg funding his own campaign — even an astonishing $400 million is couch money to a man worth $60 billion — the DNC announced earlier this month that it was changing its debate-participation rules to eliminate a requirement that contenders show public support by meeting certain campaign donation levels.
That gave Bloomberg a chance to appear on the debate stage by virtue of his poll numbers.
According to the most recent RealClearPolitics polling average, he’s at 15.9 percent nationally, behind only Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.
As the saying goes, money doesn’t just talk, it screams.
And $400 million screams pretty loud in a clueless Democratic primary field.
Gabbard, meanwhile, is shut out.
And she’s not happy about it.
“It’s wrong, and it’s voters in these primaries and caucuses that that are unfortunately losing out because of the DNC decisions in Washington,” she told Fox News Radio’s Jessica Rosenthal on Wednesday’s “Fox News Rundown” podcast.
Check out the interview here. The Gabbard part starts about the 15:15 mark.
On paper, Gabbard should check all the boxes Democrats claim they’re looking for in a candidate:
She’s a woman (obviously).
As a major in the Army National Guard who served with a medical unit in Kuwait and Iraq dealing directly with the effects of combat, she can speak with authority on matters of national security.
And as a Samoan-American, she’s even a “person of color” — seemingly the highest virtue among modern Democrats.
But she’s a political enemy of Hillary Clinton — a woman at the apex of the Democratic Party establishment.
And, even more importantly, she’s not a billionaire with huge amounts of money to blow — which apparently means the DNC doesn’t particularly care much if she ever makes it onto a primary debate stage again.
As Gabbard told Rosenthal:
“It’s clear that the DNC would rather hear from Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire, rather than hearing from me — the only person of color left in this race, the first female combat veteran ever to run for president, and the voice that I bring from so many Americans that really challenges the establishment of the powerful elite.”
“It’s clear that the DNC would rather hear from Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire, rather than hearing from me — the only person of color…the first female combat veteran…and the voice that I bring from so many Americans…”-#Tulsi https://t.co/niduBhqhNH
— confusedprog????? (@confusedprog) February 19, 2020
Given the Democratic Party’s rigging of the 2016 nomination contest to shut out Sanders in favor of the anointment of Clinton, and given the party’s visceral, animalistic reaction to Donald Trump’s upset victory and his presidency over the past three years, it’s pretty clear the DNC hates anything that “really challenges the establishment of the powerful elite.”
Bloomberg doesn’t challenge that establishment. If anything, Bloomberg personifies it — wealthy, arrogant and autocratic at heart.
By changing the rules to allow Bloomberg on the debate stage Wednesday night, the DNC showed just how ready it is to sell its soul to the highest bidder — especially if it’s the only way to stop the disaster that would be a Sanders nomination for a showdown with Trump in November.
The Democratic establishment wants more than anything else to defeat Trump’s re-election bid, and if that means rigging the primary process again, so be it.
But before they can get to November, they’re going to have to deal with Tulsi Gabbard — because the rest of America can hear her, too.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.