One reason U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye was so valuable in the Senate was that he brought the experience and perspective of a war veteran. Of the 100 members of the Senate today, only 18 have any military experience and not a single one has served in Afghanistan.
Like Sen. Inouye, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is a war veteran who has served two tours of duty in the Middle East, including in Afghanistan. Appointing Tulsi Gabbard to replace Inouye would have perpetuated the war veteran perspective in the Senate at a critical time when our leaders are struggling with how best to deal with the conflict in Afghanistan.
Gabbard's military experience combined with her relative youth and resultant ability to develop real seniority in the Senate, would have made her an extraordinary replacement for Senator Inouye.