DNC Releases December 19 Debate Criteria, Musings on Tulsi Leaving Congress
The DNC announced the criteria for their December debate: 200,000 unique donors and 4% or more in 4 qualified polls from the four early states or nationally. That's the general gist at least.
Right now only 7 candidates have met those numbers. Tulsi, of course, is still trying to meet the criteria for the November debates.
As humphrey noted in my previous essay, Tulsi has announced that she will not be seeking another term in the House of Representatives (she is currently serving her 4th two-year term). There is a lot of discussion at that previous essay thread, but I'd like to summarize the most likely possibilities as to why she is doing this. Honestly, all signs point to this being a major strategic decision, and I feel there is a lot of intent behind it.
--At a minor level, this keeps Tulsi in the news after the Hillary fight was quieting down.
--Tulsi will keep running for president, and this lets her focus on that.
--Despite my (and a lot of people's) hopes, for the time being it seems unlikely that Tulsi will skyrocket into the top candidate tier and win the presidential election. Unless she came into tens of millions of dollars after the Hillary thing, and has a radical plan to win the early states unexpectedly, she must be thinking of next steps.
--There are 4 real options for Tulsi if she does not get the presidency, if she wants to remain in politics.
1) Join the Biden team and become a cabinet member under Joe Biden. Biden has been super nice to Tulsi, and Tulsi has been super nice to Biden (oddly so, in both directions). This could indicate that Tulsi has cut a deal with the Biden team behind the scenes to be Sec. of State, VP, Sec. of Defense, or something of that nature. I'm guessing it won't be VP, because if Biden does end up getting the nomination, I'd think Warren would be the obvious VP pick.
2) Join the Bernie team and become a cabinet member under Bernie Sanders. Throw any delegates she gains to Bernie's cause in the Democratic convention (assuming she remains, she might have 20 or so delegates from Hawaii).
3) Run for governor of Hawaii. Tulsi is very well liked in Hawaii, and she may have a real shot at the governorship there. She was very upset how the current governor handled that missile scare last year.
4) Run to become a US Senator from Hawaii. This would raise her profile in Congress, and bring another strong progressive voice to that body of congress, which in general can have greater impacts than the House.
In my view, she has either made the personal decision to do one of the above after running for president (if she fails), or she will choose to exit politics.