It’s July 2020. In the presidential campaign polls, Donald Trump is down by huge national margins to [tk]. He’s also trailing in every swing state, plus a new poll just came out showing him losing Georgia and Texas. Every morning he rages on Twitter about the fake polls and the fake news and how he’s really the most popular president ever. But he knows the situation is desperate.
Mike Pence is obviously a net-zero on the ticket. No one hates him, but no one loves him. He may have been necessary to reassure nervous evangelicals in 2016, but at this point, their fealty to Trump is complete.
Mike Pence may be a wonderful human being and a great family man, but exactly no one would miss him on the ticket.
In this scenario, Trump could see Gabbard as a way to try to break out of his box with hard-core supporters and get to the sort of Ron Paul-ish Democrats on the far left who are maybe reluctant Dem voters or maybe the kinds of people who don’t normally show up to vote. Maybe Gabbard even helps him get a point or two back with women.
The point is: If the race is essentially static and locked in to where it’s been since the spring of 2020, Trump will need to destabilize it in the hopes that some chaos allows him to improve his position. Trump-Tulsi would destabilize the race.
It would be a long-shot and it could have negative fallout. But think about the idea the way Trump thinks: Putting Gabbard on the ticket would create a giant media sensation—a VP being dumped from the ticket, plus a party switch, plus a female vice-presidential nominee? It’s a quick way to dominate media coverage. The crowds would be huge.
And Gabbard looks great on television, which has, historically, been a big selling point for this president.
I’m not saying that Trump-Tulsi is going to happen.
But I am saying that Tulsi Gabbard voting “present” on impeachment was a necessary precondition for it to potentially happen.
Fox News is intrigued . . . maybe even a little curious:
“I was watching the impeachment process when I got home last night and I too would not have voted for it,” McCain said. “And I actually think Tulsi Gabbard has absolute balls of steel to vote present because that’s what I would have done if I were her as well.”
Gabbard skipped the procedural votes in the morning and just as the first vote on impeachment for abuse of power was winding down, Gabbard stunned with her lone “present” vote. She followed with a second “present” vote on obstruction of Congress.
If you don’t think this can happen, you haven’t been following along.