On Monday, two days after Gabbard’s big primary election win, Trippi sent out an email about the “stunning come-from-behind victory.”
Trippi continued: “If Tulsi wins in November, she will become the first female combat veteran ever elected to Congress.”
Is that true?
Yes, it is — mostly.
Civil Beat contacted Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania (and an occasional visitor to Hawaii).
The Annenberg Public Policy Center runs FactCheck, a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters “that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”
Jamieson forwarded us an email from FactCheck author Eugene Kiely, who wrote, “There has never been a female combat veteran in Congress, according to an op-ed in Time magazine by a military veteran.”
Kiely checked with the U.S. House of Representatives, which provided this link that explains that New Mexico’s Heather Wilson was the first female veteran of the U.S. armed services to serve in the U.S. Congress (1998-2009).
But Wilson did not see combat. (According to the House, several early female members of Congress served as nurses during World War I.)
If elected in November, Tulsi Gabbard might actually be one of several female combat veterans in the House.
The Time article notes that there are three others still in the running this year, including Tammy Duckworth, who is seeking a House seat from Illinois. Duckworth is a graduate of McKinley High School and the University of Hawaii.
BOTTOM LINE: Joe Trippi is getting a little ahead of himself in his zealousness to promote Tulsi Gabbard. Right now, she is on track to be one of several female combat veterans elected to Congress. But the others will have to lose for her to be, as Trippi proclaimed, the first female combat veteran elected to the House. That rates this statement as MOSTLY TRUE.
Stay Up To Date On The Coronavirus And Other Hawaii Issues