Hillary's Attacks on Tulsi Gabbard Appear to be Backfiring

Hillary Clinton's bizarre accusation that the Russians are "grooming" Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard for a third party run at the White House appears to be having the exact opposite effect she intended. “She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” Clinton said on a recent podcast.

That comment has led to an outpouring of support for Gabbard and harsh criticism of Clinton. In fact, Gabbard, who is barely registering in polls, is now fundraising off of the comment.

The Hill:

"Hillary Clinton accused Tulsi Gabbard — a combat veteran, soldier and Major in the Army National Guard — of being 'groomed' to be a 'Russian asset,'" reads a fundraising email sent by Gabbard's campaign on Saturday.

"Tulsi fights back and demands Hillary join the race and face her directly," it continues.

Gabbard in the email said Clinton "finally came out from behind the curtain yesterday, accusing me of being a Russian asset" while asking supporters to pitch in $25 to her campaign.

"If this a fight she wants to have, one that has implications for all of us and the future of our democracy, then I challenge her to come out from behind her proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media, and face me directly," Gabbard added.

Gabbard pulled no punches on Twitter:

Clinton didn't reply directly. Instead, she politely cancelled an appearance at "The Most Powerful Women" summit in Washington where Gabbard is scheduled to speak.

Townhall:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday backed out of  Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C. because Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen are also scheduled to speak,  Fox News reported. Her team, however, said it was because of "scheduling conflicts."

I guess she prefers hiding behind her proxies.

All of this has led to a surprising turn of events. Tulsi Gabbard is rising in Iowa.

Bloomberg:

On Saturday, Gabbard found fans among the many Clinton skeptics across Iowa, where Clinton barely won the 2016 Democratic caucuses against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"What is this horrible thing that Hillary said about you?" one person asked Gabbard at a house party in West Branch.

Gabbard responded that "it revealed the truth that I have been experiencing for a long time now — which is that, because I have been trying to bring about an end to our country's long-held foreign policy of waging one regime-change war after the next . [sic] I am labeled as a traitor."

"This is a message that is being sent to every single American . [sic] who speaks out for peace," she said.

Donald Trump gleefully fanned the flames of Democratic discord by jumping into the fray with both feet.

Is Hillary really crazy? Or is this some kind of bizarre strategy to get Democrats to begin calling for her to save the party from the loony left?

The former is possible. The latter is delusional. So maybe her close loss to Trump has finally taken its toll on her mental state and she's lost touch with reality.

I think there's a real possibility that this blow up between Clinton and Gabbard will, temporarily at least, blunt the momentum of Elizabeth Warren, who had become the putative front runner in recent days. The two have sucked all the oxygen out of the race, leaving Warren gasping for air, and Biden and Sanders being forced to interrupt their "comebacks."

The furor will die down this week, but it's possible that the food fight between the two has scrambled the second tier of candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination.