If there had been any doubt before CPAC about whether or not former HP executive Carly Fiorina would be running for President in 2016, that doubt is now gone. Fiorina gave a largely biographical speech that met with polite approval, and, at times, rousing applause. It seemed to be the kind of speech that is meant to introduce a candidate to her constituents – and I think that is exactly what it was. Fiorina was “introducing” herself to the conservative grassroots in hopes of winning their support in 2016.
I think calling her a “long shot” is an understatement, but she seems to recognize this. She seems to simply be laying the groundwork for what will be a long primary season – starting here at CPAC.
Despite her underdog status, there are some definite positives in her column, and it would probably be a mistake to minimize her efforts so early.
Fiorina has a compelling personal story. In fact, it might even be called a quintessential American story, and it will definitely connect with a large portion of the electorate. She had humble beginnings in her professional life – starting as a secretary in a real estate agency. Through hard work, she rose to become CEO of one of the world’s largest corporations, HP. She even threw out the old Don King line – “Only in America” could someone go from Secretary to CEO. She’s a cancer survivor and the mother of a child lost to addiction.
Fiorina spoke most knowledgeably about domestic fiscal issues – specifically mentioning that for the first time in America history we are destroying more small businesses than we are creating. She wandered a bit from conservative orthodoxy when she spoke about the welfare state, saying “everyone needs a helping hand,” but she clarified that we need to stop creating a nation of dependents.
Fiorina also gave a nod to some foreign policy know how by mentioning her friendships with both Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and King Abdullah of Jordan. She reminded the crowd that Netanyahu came to California five years ago to speak about the dangers of Iran, and he was right. Now he’s coming to Washington, D.C., not to offend Obama, but to warn America again that Iran is growing ever more dangerous.
She also offers a brilliant foil for Democrat Hillary Clinton. One of Fiorina’s best moments came while focusing her attacks on the former First Lady and likely Democrat Presidential candidate.
Of Hillary, Fiorina said, “Flying is an activity… not an accomplishment!” Like Clinton, Fiorina has travelled the world but unlike Hillary, Fiorina has a record of accomplishments (like successfully running a HUGE corporation).
The most important thing that Fiorina mentioned in her speech was a simple statistic. She said women now make up 53% of the electorate. Women are the majority in our nation, and our voting patterns are starting to bear that out. This may well be the reason to seriously consider Fiorina in 2016.
To sum it all up, Fiorina is a qualified candidate to lead our nation. She’s had a ton of success in the business world, and when compared to Hillary Clinton, Fiorina is a picture of REAL success. She’s smart, she’s relatable, and she’s tough. The real question is…
How conservative is she, really? She talks a good conservative game, but there are moments when she seems to be more of a moderate than a true conservative.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com