Tulsi Gabbard And Julian Castro Are RUNNING!
On Friday night, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard announced that she would be formally announcing her intent to run for President in 2020 next week. Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development of the Obama administration, is expected to officially launch his own bid later today. This means that literally none of the people running right now are white dudes -- which, let us just say, is pretty darned impressive.
Castro already kiiiind of announced his intent to run last month, when he announced that he was forming an exploratory committee and dropped a video on Twitter in which he tells the story of his life.
I Know the Promise of America — Julián Castro youtu.be
Castro hasn't been in the spotlight for a hot minute, though he was notably at the top of Clinton's shortlist for Vice President in 2016. Also, when he gave the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, people were all like "Yeah, that dude is totally gonna run for president someday." And here we are!
Though Castro doesn't really outline his policy ideas too much in that video, he has expressed support for some good stuff within the past month:
In an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, Castro called for investments in education, universal pre-K, universal higher education and Medicare for All. He also expressed support for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) tax increase on the wealthy, saying he supports people at the top paying their fair share.
As a bonus, Castro has his twin brother, Joaquin, which could lead to some Patty Duke type hijinks in the White House, at least in my dreams. If he doesn't win, someone really needs to write a jaunty musical about twins who run for president as one person. Or one twin that runs for president and is replaced by an evil twin whom no one knows about, sort of like one of the two Bette Davis movies where she plays twins.
Tulsi Gabbard, if anything, will sure as hell make things interesting. She's one of those people who is super awesome on some things and you're like "Wow! She seems super cool!," but then she turns around and does something weird like going and meeting with Assad and you're like "Oh shit, maybe not? I don't know! It seems bad but if also it were to prevent more war then that would be good?" On the one hand, she's super anti-war, super pro-choice and pro-legalization and good on things like criminal justice reform, healthcare, the environment and the rights of Native Peoples. On the other, though she's improved a lot, she's got some serious anti-gay shit in her history. Like this incredibly weird video she did with her very anti-gay dad.
Hawaii 1998 YES marry my dog www.youtube.com
This became a thing again, sort of, this week when she accused fellow Democrats of "religious bigotry" for targeting a judicial nominee on the basis of his membership in the Knights of Columbus, which has a history of doing some anti-LGBT bullshit (full disclosure, my grandfather, like most old Italian dudes, was also in the Knights of Columbus and I honestly don't think most members have any damn idea what their whole political deal is).
One thing that is worth pointing out is that in every thread I've seen on pro-Trump message boards about "What Democrat could you see yourself voting for?" or "What Democrat do you think could beat Trump?" she and Joe Biden both tend to top the list. It seems like both a bad thing (they do have bad taste in humans) and a good thing (more votes?).
A lot is already being made of the fact that Gabbard was born in American Samoa -- a U.S. "territory" (colony -- it's a colony, but we don't like to say we have colonies here in the States because that would be gauche) where citizens are not granted U.S. birthrights (because it's a colony) to a mother who was born in Indiana and a father who was born in American Samoa to a U.S. citizen father. This is because idiots are still debating "what it means" to be a "natural born U.S. citizen" and whether or not that means you have to have been born on U.S. soil. Which, let me just be clear -- makes no fucking sense whatsoever. If one of your parents is a U.S. citizen, so are you, whether they were on vacation when you were born or not. If you automatically get citizenship that way, then you are "natural born."
Honestly, right now I'm willing to hear everyone out, and I just think it's a good thing that so many people want to run, and that so many of them are not just white dudes.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse