indica News Bureau
With US presidential election due in 2020, two formidable candidates with Indian links are likely to throw their hat in the ring – California Senator Kamala D Harris and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
Harris and Gabbard are among two dozen aspirants for the Democratic ticket to run against President Donald Trump, reports say.
With mid-term polls just getting over and amid the clamor of Trump headlines, both Harris and Gabbard have made early moves of a presidential candidate by reaching out to party workers and voters in Iowa, whose caucuses kick off the 2020 presidential cycle on February 3, 2020.
Introducing Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, eminent Indian-American Dr Sampat Shivangi said that the 37 year-old could be the next president of the US in 2020.
Shivangi’s brief statement at the Medtronic conference in Los Angeles was marked by a standing ovation, in the presence of the four-term Congresswoman from Hawaii.
“She has been a fresh voice in the Democratic Party, with her support for US-India relations, her opposition to the war in Iraq, her opposition to arms sales to Saudi Arabia and her more recent vigorous opposition to among the rebels in Syria,” Shivangi, who had held fund raisers for Gabbard when she ran for the Congress for the first time in 2012, said.
Gabbard neither confirmed nor denied that she is running for president but people familiar with her thought process said a decision could be taken before Christmas, which might not necessarily result in a formal announcement.
She was elected for the fourth term for the US House of Representatives last week and currently serves on the powerful House Armed Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee. She is also the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus.
If Gabbard declares her presidential bid, she would be the first Hindu candidate ever from a major political party to announce her race for the White House.
It is said that Gabbard’s team has quietly been reaching out to prospective donors, including a large number of Indian Americans, and volunteers to build an impressive campaign for her 2020 run.
Harris, meanwhile, is in her first term as a senator from the country’s largest state. When she won in 2016, the 54 year-old made history as the first African-American woman and the first Indian-American woman to represent California in the Senate.
According to Politico, She’s used her perch on top committees to grill Trump administration officials and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Harris spent much of the 2018 midterm election cycle campaigning for colleagues and building a network of candidates. She also reminisced about her work in Iowa during the historic 2008 Obama campaign.
If elected in 2020, Harris or Gabbard could become the first non-white and first woman president, with the latter being the youngest ever US president at 37.
As of now, none of the Democratic candidates have announced their presidential bid yet.
But with Democrats like former vice president Joe Biden, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar and Tim Kaine speculated to run for the 2020 primaries, the Democratic race is expected to be crowded by the summer of 2019.