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Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Kahele: I am a F****** Tiger on Tulsi's Tail
By Selected News Articles @ 6:06 PM :: 4273 Views :: Congressional Delegation, Politicians


by Daniel Newhauser, Vice News, June 18, 2019 (excerpts)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard arrived to a recent Democratic cattle call here to a hero’s welcome, with supporters and staff blowing conch shells and waving signs heralding her arrival at the convention hall.

The reception for her presidential bid has been less warm in her home state of Hawaii. There, Kai Kahele, a 45-year-old state senator and airline pilot, is promising a bare-knuckle fight should Gabbard return to run for re-election.

“She's got a fucking tiger on her tail, and she's gonna be in trouble,” Kahele told VICE News, on the phone from his home on the Big Island. “It's a different Hawaii than what she's used to and I'm a completely different candidate than anything she's ever faced.”…

Kahele said Gabbard’s run is the equivalent of trying to surf a 40-foot wave in Waimea Bay without dying. Basically, he thinks there’s not much chance she survives — and he’s betting voters see the same thing. Already, he’s raised more than $250,000, but he’s going to have to raise much more to topple a prolific fundraiser like Gabbard. It may help that three sitting governors have endorsed his campaign, which he says is a message to Gabbard: “Good luck running for president, but don't come back to Hawaii.”…

“If she did not run for president, I would not have announced I was running against her,” Kahele said. “But I knew that when she did that, that would be a game changer because it would be impossible for her to fight fires nationally and locally. I knew that it would completely take her out of the district for at least a year.”…

he thinks he can exploit her declining local popularity locally after some domestic and foreign policy stances Gabbard has taken recently — plus lingering whispers about her upbringing, culminating in recent a New York Magazine story about her ties to, as Kahele put it, “this super weirded-out cult.”…




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