TNT: Why Trump-and-Tulsi Could Be Dynamite

Talk of Trump picking Tulsi Gabbard for VP gains steam after former Democratic candidate's speech at CPAC.

By Al Perrotta Published on February 25, 2024

Suddenly Al’s crazy talk these past several years about Tulsi Gabbard being an inspired choice for Trump’s VP doesn’t sound so crazy. Not only did Trump admit to Laura Ingraham last week she’s on his short list, it was announced Thursday the former Democratic Rep. from Hawaii is going to be hosting a fundraiser for Trump at Mar-a-Lago on March 7. Then at CPAC Friday night, Gabbard offered full-barrel defense of Trump that, as Post Millennium reports, left the audience buzzing about her as VP.

Just four years ago, Tulsi Gabbard was a Democratic candidate for president.

We were going to wait to lay out why she’d be a perfect choice for Trump, but now that others are picking up on the idea, we might as well lay it out now.

First, let’s start with the obvious.

The Presidential Bearing

Donald Trump himself says the first thing he’s looking for is someone he thinks would be a good president. Gabbard is strong, smart, savvy, a fierce defender of this country, a vet and has the bearing and gravitas to sit behind the Resolute Desk. Can you imagine her delivering an important address to the nation, standing strong at a gathering of international leaders, saluting the soldiers at the bottom of Air Force One?

The Basic Political Calculation

Traditionally, nominees pick a V.P. who can deliver something for them politically. If Trump has trouble with suburban women, is considered by some to be too long in the tooth, and supposedly has trouble expanding beyond his MAGA base, who better than a young female who a few short years ago was a rising Democratic star?

A Proven Kamala Slayer

Nikki Haley’s been arguing that the next President is going to be female: Either her or Kamala. And there’s some truth to that. It’s assured Kamala will quickly become president if Biden wins and Trump’s VP will likely end up president sooner or later if he wins.

So what does a Kamala Harris — Tulsi Gabbard VP match-up in 2024 look like? An absolute slaughter. We know this because during a 2019 Democratic primary debate, when Kamala was still the next great thing, Tulsi Gabbard destroyed her in about 90 seconds without raising her pulse. Gabbard went after Harris on her record in California of putting black men in jail for minor pot offenses, keeping black men in jail past their sentences to do labor for the state, hit-after-hit, punch-after-punch. Kamala collapsed under the assault, offered no comeback, just shrill and ugly personal insults and dismissing Gabbard as not being a top-tiered candidate. Harris’ campaign never recovered.

What would Tulsi do to Kamala in a 90-minute debate with Kamala being Kamala and forced to defend Biden’s record? Which would leave the stage with voters going “She could be president”?

But What Does President Donald J. Trump Need?

Donald Trump is a unique figure in American political history. His strengths and weaknesses are open and obvious. What characteristics would Donald J. Trump need out of his Vice President in a second term to be most effective?

First, he needs a fighter. Someone who is unafraid to go on the offensive, successfully take on those that come at Trump, so Trump doesn’t have to. Mike Pence did not do that. Sen. Tim Scott is far too genial. You won’t see him putting rhetorical shivs into anybody. Gabbard has proven she can take the heat and has the grit. She can do the rumbling, the street fighting and let Trump concentrate on the job and showing off the grandfatherly side of his personality, rather than be Mr. Mean Tweet. Having a proven fighter out front would keep Trump away from his worst instincts. This is CRUCIAL.

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Second, he needs someone as dedicated to putting America First as he is, someone with as deep a loathing of the Deep State, Big Tech, the globalists and war-mongers.  Someone who is not part of the old Republican guard. Someone who would scare the elites and not back-stab Trump’s agenda. Again, CRUCIAL. Again, something he lacked his first term. 

Third, he needs someone who can articulate Trump’s policies better, clearer, more effectively than he can. 

What Does The Trump the Person Need?

Tulsi Gabbard brings one more gift to the table that is absolutely crucial. Donald Trump needs a Vice President who can tell him he’s wrong or an idea is whack without him getting defensive or dismiss it out of hand. Someone he will listen to and respect. First, Tulsi’s mellow, even-keel Hawaiian demeanor is a perfect complement to Trump’s Guy from Queens over-the-top temperament. Yet, she’s strong enough not to get rolled. Can you think of anyone else mentioned as a potential VP that has both qualities? She’s also got “star power,” but unlikely to turn into a spotlight-stealing diva. Serving the country, not her ambition, will always come first. 

Second, Trump tends to “cast” people who “look the role.” Sure, they’re qualified, but they also fit his image of what the role should be. Take Mike Pence. He looked like a Vice President. Or Trump’s first Secretary of State, Rex Tillison. Straight out of central casting. Rick Perry, a big ol’ Texan for Secretary of Energy. It may sound shallow, but Tulsi Gabbard looks and carries herself as a female Vice President would in the movies. 

Finally … and far more seriously, and something you likely won’t hear anywhere else: Tulsi Gabbard fits perfectly the mold of those who have held sway over Trump over the years. She is a strong, independent woman of both beauty and grace.

Think back: Ivana Trump, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, daughter-in-law Lara Trump, Hope Hicks, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, KellyAnn Conway, Kayleigh McEnany, former White House Domestic Policy Council Director and America First President Brooke Rollins. Throw evangelist Paula White in there as well. Even Nikki Haley fit the bill until she turned on Trump, entered the race, and is now going scorched earth. (Though one suspects Trump still has a soft spot for her and she may still end up in the cabinet). Heck, go back to Carolyn Kepcher, the woman who was his sidekick on The Apprentice before Ivanka took over in 2006.

There is an archetype to which Trump responds. Tulsi Gabbard fits that it to a T.

A Prediction: Keep an Eye on the Mar-a-Lago Fundraiser

Back in 1992, Bill Clinton made what at the time was a shocking choice for running mate, then-Senator Al Gore. Both were young southerners. Nominees just didn’t pick someone who, politically and geographically, was so similar. However, when you saw the two together, it fit. It clicked. It looked right. “Yeah, that’s the ticket.”  And America agreed. 

On March 7, Tulsi Gabbard will be hosting a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. At some point, she and Trump will share the stage together. The combative construction guy from Queens and the shrewed, even-keeled military vet from Hawaii. “Mahalo” and “Hey, I’m Walkin’ Here!” Young and not-so-young. Republican convert, former Democrat rising star.

An unimaginable prospect just a few short years ago. An odd couple, one would think. 

The image of Trump and Tulsi together may well decide the direction of the election. Does America go, “Yeah. That fits. That looks right. That’s the ticket”?

We’ll see. But our hunch is the others on the VP short-list will go, “It’s over,” and Republican voters will go, “It’s on!”


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and co-author of the counter-terrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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