Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ditched the beaches of Hawaii for New Hampshire over the weekend as she considers whether to jump into what is expected to be a crowded race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
It is the second time this fall Gabbard has visited the Granite State, a bellwether for presidential hopefuls since it’s the first state on the primary election calendar each cycle.
“I’m seriously thinking of how I can best be of service to our country,” the Hawaii Democrat, an ardent backer of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser before a scheduled meet-and-greet with activists in New Hampshire on Sunday.
Gabbard spoke to a group of progressive activists in Concord on Saturday before meeting with the New Hampshire Young Democrats on Sunday morning in Manchester.
Earlier in the weekend, she traveled with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whom she endorsed for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
Gabbard, who is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard and served two tours of duties in the Middle East, won a fourth term in the House last month.
She is one of roughly seven House Democrats who have announced 2020 presidential bids or are considering running. Those presidential candidates from the House will face unique historical challenges including fundraising hurdles, time constraints due to their House obligations, and less name recognition.
During her visit to New Hampshire, Gabbard lamented that some leaders want to divide the nation and stressed that politics should stem from “love.” Gabbard, who practices Hinduism, would be the first Hindu in the Oval Office.
“When we start from this foundation of love, inspired by this love, then we can truly have that strength and that power to be able to take on the tough challenges that are before us,” she told a group of activists in Exeter, New Hampshire, the Star-Advertiser reported. “This is how we come together as people and draw from love that strength and that courage and that fearlessness that we need to take on those forces and those obstacles that seem insurmountable, that can seem too great to overcome.”
Only one president, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii.
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