Hawaii ties part of unique background that experts say has Tammy Duckworth on VP shortlist
A senator representing Illinois with Hawaii ties, being considered for the top of the ticket. President Barack Obama blazed that trail, and now Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is following.
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A senator representing Illinois with Hawaii ties, being considered for the top of the ticket. President Barack Obama blazed that trail, and now Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is following. She is on the shortlist to become Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate on the Democratic ticket. Duckworth represents Illinois, but called Hawaii home for several years. Her Aloha State connection is part of a broad picture that political leaders say makes her well-qualified.
“We’re very proud of her and of the service and sacrifice that she has made,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
The double-amputee Iraq War Purple Heart Veteran has a unique background, one that includes partly growing up in Hawaii and going to the University of Hawaii.
“People in Hawaii feel a connection to her even though she represents Illinois,” said Gabbard.
Gabbard, who at one point sought the Democratic nomination and also served in the military, would not say if she supports Duckworth to join Biden on the ticket. Gabbard says she is leaving the assessment of potential running mates up to Biden, who she says has a tough decision to make.
But presidential historian Allan Lichtman says Duckworth’s distinctive background and public service credentials are tough to beat.
“Military experience, administrative experience, legislative experience. No one could possibly say she’s unqualified,” said Lichtman.
Lichtman notes the 52-year-old would be a good complement to Biden who would be the oldest president to take office if elected. Lichtman says many women have strong claims to be on the ticket, like Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) or Rep. Val Demings (D-FL). But he thinks Duckworth would be ready to step into the presidency if necessary. And he says it helps that she has links across the country, from Illinois to the Aloha State.
“Hawaii is really very much on the periphery of the American conscience. So I think it would be a boost to the people of Hawaii at least in terms of morale and spirit to have Duckworth on the ticket,” said Lichtman.
It is unclear when exactly Vice President Biden will choose his running mate. The Democratic National Convention begins August 17th.
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