Tulsi Gabbard announces she is not running for re-election to House of Representatives

Bad things tend to happen to people who find themselves on Hillary Clinton's enemies list.  Just days after being attacked by Hillary Clinton for being a favorite of the Russians and for allegedly being "groomed" (by Republicans, her spokesman later claimed she meant) to run as a third-party candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced late last night that she will not seek re-election to the House of Representatives, where she has served since winning election there in 2012.

It is an odd coincidence that becoming an official enemy of Hillary Clinton preceded this surprise announcement that offered no new reason for the decision announced on Twitter beyond her desire to serve as president.

Twtter video screen grab.

Curiously, the announcement came just after she was interviewed for ten minutes on Sean Hannity's Fox News program (video embedded below), during which she made no mention of her decision.

Here is the text of a series of tweets in which she made public her decision:

I'm so grateful to the people of Hawai'i for allowing me to serve you in Congress for the last 7 years. Throughout my life, I've always made my decisions based on where I felt I could do the most good. In light of the challenges we face, I believe I can ...

... best serve the people of Hawai'i & our country as President and Commander-in-Chief.  As president, I will immediately begin work to end the new cold war & nuclear arms race ...

... end our interventionist foreign policy of being the world's police, toppling dictators and governments we don't like, and redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people here at home ...

...I'm fully committed to my offer to serve you, the people of Hawaii & America, as your President & Commander-in-Chief. So I will not be seeking reelection to Congress in 2020. I humbly ask for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States

Here is the tweet in which she has embedded a highly produced video announcing her decision, which obviously was not suddenly prepared:

Gabbard was facing a primary challenge from state senator Kai Kahele:

The 44-year-old combat veteran and pilot was appointed to the Hawaii Senate in February 2016 after the death of his father, the late State Senator Gil Kahele, and easily won reelection.

"We need passion and compassion. We need courage and collaboration. We need commitment and humility. We need elected leaders working together, leaders who put the common interests of Hawaii's people ahead of their own," said Kahele.

With Hillary Clinton's reputation for hardball tactics against her enemies, I have to wonder if any pressure was applied to Gabbard.

Here is the interview with Hannity in which she gave her boilerplate rhetoric but refused to condemn Hunter Biden.

Gabbard's current polling average in RCP's calculations is 1.3%, not enough to keep her on stage in the next Democrat debate, though her current prominence may change that status.  She has said she won't run as a third-party candidate, but such decisions rarely are ironclad.  Unless she wins the presidency, her political career is over for now.

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