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Tulsi Gabbard plans presidential campaign kickoff in Waikiki

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    U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, shown here at the Democratic Unity breakfast at Dole Cannery in August, will host a campaign event Saturday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard plans to kickoff her presidential campaign Saturday at an event on the great lawn of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki.

The campaign has not released details about the event, but says the public can RSVP through Gabbard’s campaign website to receive the exact details as soon as they are confirmed. Her website says the event, which starts at 3 p.m., will be free to the public.

Gabbard, a Democrat representing Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, announced that she was running for president during a Jan. 11 interview with Van Jones on CNN, saying that an official announcement would be forthcoming within the week. She released a launch video on Jan. 24.

Gabbard’s overriding campaign message so far has been about uniting the country.

“When we listen to each other with a clear mind and an open heart, we will heal the divide and build a majority coalition around our common values of service above self, freedom, justice, love for country, prosperity and peace,” Gabbard writes on her website. “When we act out of compassion for each other and love for our country and the earth, we will rediscover the joy of serving a higher purpose, together.”

Gabbard’s campaign has gotten off to a rocky start. Her campaign manager, Rania Batrice, and her consulting firm, Revolution Messaging, are set to leave her campaign after this weekend’s event, Politico reported Tuesday in a story that described her campaign in disarray. Batrice was a deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential race.

Gabbard’s campaign downplayed the departures to Politico, saying Batrice is a longtime adviser and friend of the congresswoman, and that Revolution Messaging was hired only for the campaign launch.

But Politico described the departures as a blow to a campaign that is already struggling. The news site said Gabbard vacillated over the past couple of months on her campaign rollout, ultimately surprising and frustrating her staff when she announced her bid on CNN.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the campaign event will last from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event starts at 3 p.m., but it’s not yet clear when it will end.
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