White House Dreams
SOCIETY|February - March 2019

Tulsi Gabbard and Kamala Harris have Indian first names. But there is more to these charismatic American oliticians who are aspiring for the job of the President of the United States

Biswadeep Ghosh

Two remarkable American women politicians have been making headlines in recent times. Purposeful, ambitious and articulate, their first names are an indication of their cultural link with India.

Tulsi Gabbard is one of them. Born in Tutuila, American Samoa’s main island, on April 12, 1981, Gabbard has been making news after she launched her campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the upcoming presidential election in 2020.

Kamala Devi Harris, or, simply, Kamala Harris, is the other. Born in Oakland, California, in October 1964, she has also launched her campaign for the Democratic nomination for the top job.

The current President Donald Trump’s momentous ongoing tenure has divided the world of observers into two, more or less, equal halves. On the one hand are those who like him unconditionally. On the other are those who cannot stand the man.

Gabbard and Harris want to be where Trump is. There is many a slip between the cup and the lip, of course. Both of them are optimistic though, and their journeys towards the destination of their dreams have already begun.

Gabbard’s father is of European and Samoan ancestry, whereas her mother is a practising Hindu of German descent. She opted for Hinduism as her religion during her teenage days. A graduate from the Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 2009, she became the youngest woman to be elected to a US State Legislature when she was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives at 21 in 2002.

After joining the Hawaii Army National Guard in 2003, Harris created a record by becoming the first state official to relinquish his or her public office to serve in a war zone. Her’s is a military career with distinction, which includes her deployment in the Middle East. She was deployed in Iraq where she was part of a field medical unit with 29th Support Battalion medical company and even helped train the Kuwaiti Guard.

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