Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard Says the DNC Didn't Even Ask Her To Speak

"I was not invited to participate in any way."


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) won two pledged delegates during the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries and stayed in the race longer than Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.). By centering her campaign on a powerful criticism of interventionist foreign policy—a critique that appealed to libertarians, the left, and even many Trump voters—Gabbard was virtually the only presidential aspirant to court people outside the Democratic Party's current base.

But don't expect to hear from her during the last night of the Democratic National Convention: According to Gabbard, the DNC did not even ask her to participate in its programming.

As The Week's Matthew Walther noted, Gabbard was the only candidate to be denied a speaking slot despite winning delegates, which is quite the slight.

"It is strange to think that only four years ago Gabbard was still considered a rising star in the Democratic Party," wrote Walther. "At the DNC in 2016, it was Gabbard who was chosen to nominate Sen. Bernie Sanders as the official second-place finisher in the delegate tally, the role taken on Tuesday night by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. These days Gabbard is a pariah in her party."

Gabbard is not seeking reelection to her House seat. That's a shame. Independent thinking is likely to be in short supply when the 117th Congress is seated.