It was the quiet, gentle Congresswoman from Hawaii who eventually broke out the biggest debate during the Wednesday night debate.
Tulsi Gabbard was far from a national name and was in tenth place in the The polling average of RealClearPolitics of the race for the Democratic nomination.
But she came from the first primary debate, the winner of a popular online poll and the most searched candidate on Google.
Tulsi Gabbard was the most wanted candidate in Wednesday's debate
Gabbard has a compelling personal story, including her military service in Iraq
Gabbard, 38, spoke 6.6 minutes on Wednesday evening – seventh out of 10 candidates, according to a Washington Post tracker.
But it was enough to get her the attention of the voters.
The four-term Democratic congressman from Hawaii was the most wanted candidate during the debate, according to Google Trends.
And, according to the participants in a poll on the popular news aggregation The Drudge Report, she won the night.
Nearly 40 percent of those named Gabbard the winner with Elizabeth Warren in second place at 12 percent.
The online search result can easily reflect her unknown status and voters' curiosity to find out more about her.
But that result combined with the online poll showed that Gabbard had an impact, despite a complaint from her campaign, she didn't get enough talk time during the 120-minute debate.
Gabbard was seen as an underdog candidate when she announced her candidacy for the 2020 presidential nomination in January.
Her candidacy came from a rough start – initially she was shaking back and forth as to whether she was actually running before finally announcing her campaign.
Her campaign leader also left the job before Gabbard officially announced upon her arrival, amid reports of chaos in the campaign around the congresswoman's inability to make a decision.
Gabbard also faced various controversies – including her meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a video from when she was younger who demonstrated her opposition to same-sex marriage.
In January 2017, Gabbard met Assad, who has since been charged with war crimes, during a trip to Syria and Lebanon.
No photo has ever emerged from the meeting of Gabbard and Assad.
& # 39; My reason to visit Syria was really because of the suffering of the Syrian people who put a heavy burden on my heart & # 39 ;, Gabbard said at the time. & # 39; Whatever you think of President Assad, the fact is that he is the president of Syria. For any possibility of an enforceable peace agreement to take place, there must be a conversation with him. & # 39;
Gabbard has been criticized for a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2017
Gabbard had to explain after a video appeared of her opposite gay marriage when she was a teenager
Gabbard & # 39; s father Mike is a prominent anti-gay activist in Hawaii
She said she had met him in search of peace.
And in 2019, she said that Assad was no threat to the United States.
& # 39; Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria is not a direct threat to the United States & # 39 ;, Gabbard said.
American officials had not met Assad after his use of chemical weapons against his own people had become widely known.
At a CNN town hall in March, Gabbard refused to say whether or not Assad was a war criminal.
& # 39; I think the evidence needs to be collected, and as I said before, if there is evidence that he has committed war crimes, he should be prosecuted as such, & # 39; she said.
In addition, Gabbard worked for her father's anti-gay organization in the early 2000s – a group that compared same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, and bestiality.
Mike Gabbard, a prominent anti-gay activist in Hawaii now in the state's Senate, founded The Alliance for Traditional Marriage, supported gay breeding therapy, and referred to homosexuality as "unhealthy, abnormal behavior that is not promoted or accepted." should be in society. & # 39;
An advertisement A new face emerged from the group in January, with the Gabbard family – including a teenage Tulsi – opposing same-sex marriage in the late 1990s.
Gabbard, a practicing Hindu, married Abraham Williams in 2015
Gabbard won an online poll after Wednesday's first primary debate
& # 39; Each of us has the right to marry, but we do not have the absolute right to marry anyone. For example, I can't marry my daughter or son, & # 39; says Mike Gabbard in the video.
& # 39; I cannot marry my sister or brother, & # 39; notes a young Tulsi Gabbard.
& # 39; And I can't marry my dog & # 39 ;, agreed on another person in the ad.
Gabbard clarified that she supported gay rights in the consequences, pointing to her legislative record on Capitol Hill.
She expressed her support for LBGTQ rights during the debate on Wednesday evening.
& # 39; Let me say that there is no one in our government who has the right to tell an American who they are allowed to love or whom they should marry, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; Perhaps many people in this country can relate to the fact that I grew up in a social conservative home, held positions when I was very young and that I am not holding on today, & # 39; she added.
& # 39; I have served with LGBTQ service staff, both in training and in downrange. I know they would give their lives for me and I would give my life for them. It is this dedication that I will make as President of the United States, & she said.
Her personal story is convincing and she has repeatedly referred to it during the debate on Wednesday evening.
She repeatedly refers to her time in the army and the deployment in Iraq in her campaign speeches
Gabbard joined the National Guard of the Army after the September 11 attacks and served time in Iraq.
She is still a member of the reserves, where she serves as a major.
She referred to her service during various answers in the debate.
& # 39; Let's talk about the situation we are in, where this president and his cabinet with chicken coop led us to the brink of the war with Iran, "she said when asked about the situation in the Middle East.
& # 39; I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over more than 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in the life of uniforms. The American people must understand that this war with Iran is much more devastating, much more expensive than anything we have ever seen in Iraq, & she added.
She called for the United States to return to Iran's nuclear agreement, where President Donald Trump has withdrawn.
& # 39; It would not be contained only in Iran. This would be a regional war. That's why it's so important that every one of us, every American, stands up and doesn't say war with Iran. We need to go back to Iran's nuclear agreement and negotiate how we can improve it, & she said.
Gabbard also pushed back when Tim Ryan called for more involvement in Afghanistan.
& # 39; The reality is that if the United States doesn't get engaged, the Taliban will grow. And we will have bigger, braver terrorist actions, we need to be there, & Ryan said.
& # 39; Is that what you tell the parents about those two soldiers who have just died in Afghanistan? & # 39 ;, she asked her democratic rival. & # 39; Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you, that answer is unacceptable. & # 39;
& # 39; We must take our troops home from Afghanistan, & # 39; she added. & # 39; We are no better off in Afghanistan today than when this war started. That is why it is so important to have a president and commander-in-chief who knows the costs of war and who is ready to do the work on the first day. I'm ready to do that job when I walk into the Oval Office. & # 39;
Gabbard has served four terms as a member of Congress
Gabbard, shown here with her husband Abraham, was the first American Samoan and the first Hindu to be elected to Congress
Tulsi Gabbard was born on American Samoa, the fourth of five children, and her family moved to Hawaii when she was two.
She is a practicing Hindu and a vegetarian. She often posts about her healthy lifestyle, including yoga, on her instagram account.
Her name is Sandskrit for Holy Basil, a holy plant in Hinduism.
She is married to Abraham Williams.
She was the first Samoan American and the first Hindu to be elected to Congress.
Gabbard was seen as a rising star when she first came to Congress in 2013. She was the youngest person ever elected to the home of the State of Hawaii when she won a seat there at the age of 21.
But she led heads-up with party leadership in the 2016 campaign when she criticized the Democratic National Committee for his decision to hold only six primary debates.
She resigned as vice-president of the DNC so that she could support Bernie Sanders on candidate Hillary Clinton.
In her closing comments on the debate, she focused on offering a vision of hope for voters.
& # 39; Our nation was based on the principles of service above themselves, people who fled from kings, who literally flourished on people's backs and sacrifices, came to this country here, instead set up a government that from, through and for the people, & she said.
& # 39; But that's not what we have. Instead, we have a government that belongs to, by and for the rich and powerful. This must end. As President, our White House – our White House will be a beacon of light, it will offer hope and opportunity, herald a new century where everyone will be able to get the health care they need, where we will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, where we will have well-paid jobs and a new green economy. Join the beginning of this new century with peace, prosperity, opportunities and justice for everyone. & # 39;
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