She’s been to New Hampshire three times and South Carolina once. She’s heading to Iowa this weekend, and then North Carolina and Michigan after that. Clearly, Carly Fiorina is thinking about 2016. But is anybody thinking about Carly Fiorina? [National Journal]
BACK DURING Senator John McCain’s presidential run I interviewed Carly Fiorina, who was a leading voice in his campaign until she said McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin were incapable of running a national corporation. I challenged her on McCain’s stance on a woman’s right to make her own decisions. Fiorina dodged the question, because being Republican these days requires butting into women’s business, a notion that’s hardly “conservative.”
It’s one small reason libertarianism has gained some ground. Gary Johnson proved you can be conservative and understand that means personal decisions, including in our bedrooms, is not the business of federal or state politicians. I mention “or state,” because Senator Rand Paul likes to weasel around on women, trying to have it both ways, saying our personal reproductive rights should be decided on a state by state basis. Mr. Paul feels the same way about civil rights.
Ms. Fiorina’s own record on corporate success isn’t exactly stellar, which ended in a very embarrassing and public firing. However, when you think of the other Republican men eyeing 2016 you’ve got to ask why not Carly? At least she doesn’t have a 47% remark out there, at least not that we know of yet.
Republicans desperately need a female candidate in 2016 to even appear to be representing the majority of voters who happen to be women. That’s because to persuade a woman you need a woman making the argument.
“I think we have to take on the shameless, baseless propaganda that is the ‘War on Women,’” Fiorina said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “It is baseless propaganda. Most of it’s a lie. We have to take it on. Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense, but then you have to pivot out and talk about the issues that matter most to women.” [Daily Caller]
And let’s face it, if there’s one thing Republicans need to do it’s wipe away the embarrassment that their female candidates for higher office have turned out to be. Sarah Palin began as a leading light, taking her power into the 2010 election, but then decided money and fame was more important than being in the crucible of where legislation and crafting policy changes lives. Palin’s decision to make, but not exactly a leading light on public service. Rep. Michele Bachmann made history in Iowa for Republicans, the first Republican female to win a straw poll, caucus or primary. However, she’s made statements that make Palin look like a scholar.
When you compare Carly Fiorina to the whispers that Mitt Romney has people pushing him to run again in 2016, you’ve got to ask why Mitt and not Carly?
Romney is a failed candidate who was allowed to run again after learning hard lessons.
Carly Fiorina was a disaster for McCain, and her own Senate campaign against Senator Barbara Boxer failed, but there’s no evidence that she’s less equipped to appeal to a majority of female constituents who might otherwise choose Hillary Clinton.
Granted, Carly’s imperfect, but look at the Republican 2016 wannabe male candidates and you won’t find any of them who aren’t either.
From the National Journal:
Less than an hour later, she was onstage in a classroom nearby, going through a PowerPoint presentation issue-by-issue and explaining to local politicians and activists how the GOP can best talk about them: equal pay, minimum wage, women’s health. Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte opened for her, and GOP congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia listened in from the audience.
“If it looks like testing the water and sounds like testing the water, it’s testing the water,” said GOP strategist Jim Merrill, who ran Mitt Romney’s New Hampshire operations in 2012.
Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster, said the idea of a female business leader in the 2016 mix is “fascinating.”
“If you had phrased your question to me 4 months ago, 6 months ago, a year ago, we would have been discussing the female Republican governors, and maybe even one or two of the Republican female senators,” Conway said.
“But we would not have necessarily discussed a woman in business. She’s a fascinating entry into the mix because you listen to her, you look at her, and you say—what’s not to like?”
It gets down to this: Democrats, who always have women in contention, and Republicans should be expected to field a female in every single race in this country, especially for higher office.
Republicans need at least one female candidate vying for the presidency in 2016. Carly Fiorina is a mighty step forward from Sarah Palin.
Question is, can Carly Fiorina raise money, because she’s going to need a lot of it.