“When we were first dating, one of my best friends said, ‘Dude, you’re gonna be in the White House one day,’ and I was just like, ‘Yeahhh.’”
Ms. Gabbard will not say what podcasts she listens to, but she does say she just finished Oliver Stone’s television series “The Untold History of the United States.”
“Check it out,” she suggests. “It fills in the spaces that aren’t told in the history books.”
Mr. Stone has had his own controversy around coziness with Russia: In June he called Vladimir V. Putin’s anti-gay laws “sensible” and asked Mr. Putin to be his child’s godfather, in a transcript on the Kremlin’s website and as reported by Buzzfeed News. Ms. Gabbard has in the past made anti-gay statements, and worked for an anti-gay campaign run by her father, a Hawaii state lawmaker, for which she has since apologized.
In a race with a lot of history-making candidates, Ms. Gabbard lays claim to many potential firsts — she would be the first female president, the first American Samoan, the first from Hawaii, the first surfer, the first vegan.
She would also be the first Hindu. She was raised in part on the teachings of Mr. Butler, who founded The Science of Identity Foundation, and whose work she said still guides her.
“Muslims have imams, Christians have pastors, Hindus have gurus, so he’s essentially like a Vaishnava Hindu pastor,” Ms. Gabbard said. “And he’s shared some really beautiful meditation practices with me that have provided me with strength and shelter and peace.”
Before discussion can continue about Mr. Butler’s role, her communications manager interjects.
“How much do you think Jeremiah Wright affected Obama’s presidency?” Mr. Moore asks.