Civil Beat reported a year ago this month that U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard had signed with a well-known literary agency to write a book.

In November, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that the book would be titled “Is Today the Day? Not Another Political Memoir.”

The release date was to be May 7 — last month. Barnes & Noble’s website currently says the date is now Aug. 20.

But a check this week of several other online order sites including those for Amazon and Target say that the publication date is to be May 4, 2021 — nearly four months after the winner of the 2020 presidential election is sworn in.

Today is not the day: A screen shot of the Amazon website on Wednesday.

Inquiries to Gabbard’s D.C. office and her presidential campaign were not returned. A message was also left with Javelin, the D.C.-based agency identified as Gabbard’s literary agent. Same goes for Twelve, part of the Hachette Book Group, reported to be the publisher.

This we do know, according to the internet: Gabbard’s book is said to be 256 pages in length. It has an International Standard Book Number — ISBN-13: 9781478914785. There is even tentative cover art.

But so far, no book.

One blogger had this to say about that: “Has Gabbard been experiencing severe writer’s block? Has the campaign trail been more demanding than expected? Well, the delay does suggest the book will be her own words and she is not using a ghostwriter. And I really do want to hear what she says about the campaign.”

Since the announcement of the memoir last year, Gabbard’s 2020 campaign has had a mostly bumpy ride in local and national media. It includes a deep dive just this month by New York magazine into the congresswoman’s unusual upbringing.

It’s an open question how much Gabbard will open up in a memoir about a past that she has had little to say about publicly.

‘A Reserved Child’

Although there is no Gabbard book yet, there is a summary of it according to Book Depository and several other online booksellers:

Tulsi Gabbard grew up the fourth of five children in a loving, simple, rough-and-tumble home in beautiful Hawaii. Happiest when running around with no shoes on, reading books, surfing, and practicing yoga, she was a reserved child with no interest in politics.

But as life went on, Tulsi began to take notice of the fact that her idyllic world was less idyllic than she thought — the needs of her community went unacknowledged; state leadership was disconnected from the people they’d been elected to serve — and at the age of 21, she was elected to the state House of Representatives, the youngest ever elected official in Hawaii’s history.

It was a defining moment, one that would set the course of Tulsi’s life. “Is Today The Day?” tells that story and many more for a revealing portrait of a true public servant.

Thus far, there are by most counts 23 Democrats running for president, and most have published memoirs. They include the current best-polling candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttegieg.

Gabbard is currently polling at or less than 1%, according to Morning Consult. Some 48% of voters surveyed say they have never head of her.

This is in spite of aggressive campaigning by the candidate, who has made multiple appearances in battleground states. She has plans to attend the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention and participate in events including Jim Clyburn’s Fish Fry this weekend.

Gabbard’s best opportunity to grab attention and elevate her presidential viability may come on Wednesday, the first night of back-to-back televised debates sponsored by the Democratic National Committee. Based on a lottery, Gabbard will share the stage with nine other candidates, including Warren, whose stock is on the rise.

But it is also possible that most of the headlines from the debates will come the next night, on June 27, when Biden (the frontrunner), Sanders (in second place), Buttigieg (a rising star) and Harris (ditto) debate along with six lesser-known presidential wannabes.

The DNC plans another round of debates in July. But with the third debate in September, the party has raised the qualifying bar: candidates will have to poll at 2% in at least four polls later this summer, and they will also need 130,000 unique donors “with at least 400 donors each in 20 states,” Vox reports.

The pundits predict that a lot of Democrats will not make the cut and probably drop out of the race.

Will Gabbard still be around for the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary in early February?

It’s an open question.

A note to our readers

While asking for your support is something we don’t like to do, the simple fact is that our reporters, our journalism, and our impact rely on it. Since lifting our paywall and becoming a nonprofit in mid-2016, our local newsroom has benefitted from a stream of charitable support from people who want our type of journalism to survive. People like you who understand that our work is essential to a better-informed community. If you value the work of our journalists, show us with your tax-deductible support.

About the Author