Ok, I admit — I’m so fascinated by Mia Love that I’m actually disappointed that she lost, even though her politics are dangerous and crazy. (Maybe I’ll be lucky and she’ll primary one of the other Republican representatives for Utah, or run for governor or something.) But, I found a new congresswoman to be fascinated by: Tulsi Gabbard, elected to replace Mazie Hirono (Hawaii’s new senator) in the House. The things that most pique my interest:
- She’s 31. (I actually spent much of this election cycle complaining to D about Joseph Kennedy 3rd, the guy replacing Barney Frank in our old district, being too young, and Gabbard is 6 months younger.)
- To quote Wikipedia, “Gabbard was born in Leloaloa, American Samoa, the fourth of five children of Mike Gabbard and Carol Porter Gabbard. … Her father is of Samoan/Caucasian heritage and is a practicing Catholic who is a lector at his church, however he also likes to practice mantra meditation, including kirtan. Her mother is Caucasian and a practicing Hindu.”
- That last bit adds something new to a resume that already includes a number of interesting firsts in the political and military spheres: she’s the first Hindu to be elected to Congress.
Her political history is also somewhat interesting, though not in entirely positive ways: her father is something of a social reactionary, and she used to be as well — she attributes the change to her time in Kuwait. (I’m not sure how plausible I find this, as opposed to the theory that she wanted to be a Democratic congresswoman.) She is also responsible for introducing the bill in Honolulu that allows the police to confiscate property from the homeless and Occupy.