This is a reworking of my first prospective presidential candidate (PPC) Facebook post from Dec 2, 2018. It has been edited to more closely mirror the format and depth I adopted with later posts. I believe the gist of my edits, which are based on my now nearly two month old recollections, are in keeping with the presentation Tulsi Gabbard made. However,
while I try to be as true to their words as possible, and as true to the spirit of their remarks, I have not recorded these meeting and I am not quoting candidates. Therefore my presentation here will not directly match the wording, phrasing, and terminology used by the candidates.
Tulsi Gabbard’s strongest asset is her commitment to deriving policies and positions from a place of love, carrying Aloha with her. I was impressed with the passion and sincerity she spoke with about this.
She was direct and broad in her approach to policies, favoring just do it type answers over in-depth discussions of issues.
Edit here: In retrospect, my commentary on Tulsi Gabbard’s overall presentation is quite brief. I’ll try to expound a bit. Her primary aim was to distinguish herself from the Trump administration and the general political approach was to present herself as a proponent of the Hawaiian way of being. From my now poor recollection this carried over into her responses, which tended to directly respond to the question in brief, and then return to her overall philosophy. I don’t recall any particularly novel policies one way or the other.
Potentially of interest given other commentary about Tulsi Gabbard. There has been some discussion in the news about her stances on civil rights, and she was asked about her current positions regarding the LGBT+ community given her past associations with those having different views. She acknowledged being raised in a manner that exposed her to less tolerant views, but that she developed her own opinions over time and that her record reflects a commitment to tolerance and equality.
I was able to ask her my go to question for politicians one on one after the formal town hall questions. I asked about how she makes decisions and would instruct her administration to make decisions. She said she decides based on what is best for people (again, her overarching theme). When I pressed a bit more noting I’m a decision analyst and asked if she has a process she stated that she has her staff present issues from multiple perspectives and talk through the approaches suggested and selects the approach that will help the public. This is a bit more specific on how she interacts with staff than some candidates have given.
Overall, I wasn’t persuaded one way or the other. I think she would be fine, and therefore better than most. I would like someone with a more structured approach to policy making.
Summary: I found Tulsi Gabbard to be strong on ideals, and consistent with many of the common democratic policies of the day. I don’t think she has the same charisma to gather others to her cause that other candidates do, or their problem solving ability.
Ranking of those I’ve meet so far:
- Tier 1: Andrew Yang
- Tier 2: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders*
- Kamala Harris
- Tier 3: Cory Booker
- Tier 4: Tulsi Gabbard
- Tier 5: tbd
- Tier Nope: tbd
- *(Based on past meetings, not 2020 events, and w/o the decision-making question response)
Expected distribution of candidates is:
- Tier 1: 1 or 2
- Tier 2: ~3
- Tier 3: ~1/4 of remaining
- Tier 4: ~1/4 of remaining
- Tier 5: ~1/4 of remaining
- Tier Nope: ~1/4 of remaining