Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register and I had an email exchange about Carly Fiorina part of which she quoted in an article that published last night. I’ve been impressed with Fiorina who plans to announce her presidential campaign on Monday, May 4th.
Jacobs asked: Is she picking up speed? Is she a contender What is her natural base? What is her pathway to victory considering her standing in the polls?
Here is what I said to Jacobs in full and I publish this with the disclaimer I’ve not endorsed anyone and I don’t plan to until this fall:
I think that is true. I’ve heard nothing but good feedback after events I’ve attended where she spoke.
In particular people I’ve talked to are intrigued by the possibility of a Hillary – Carly matchup. She has had some of the strongest criticism of Clinton out of anyone I’ve seen in the field thus far. Now that she is at a point she will officially announce on May 4th I think Republicans are taking a second look (or third look).
Her natural base is a mystery to me as she can appeal to numerous facets of the Republican Party which could actually be her strength. She is an out-spoken pro-life advocate. She has business experience. She can tout foreign policy chops from her experience advising the CIA and the Department of Defense, not to mention, her international business experience. While I’m not one who puts much stock in identity politics the fact she is a woman among a field of men doesn’t hurt. She is set apart in a number of ways looking at the field as it stands now.
She also comes across, to me, as the “anti-Hillary” who could be a difficult candidate for Clinton to run against. Also, what I’ve seen on the stump is that she is personable and does retail politics naturally, that is something that Mitt Romney lacked and something that it is fairly obvious Clinton lacks. As far as a pathway to victory, well, I think many said the same about Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee this far out from the 2008 and 2012 Iowa Caucus.
So count me as one of the Republicans intrigued by Fiorina and think she’s worth taking a deeper look at. If she doesn’t win the nomination she makes a viable candidate for the VP spot on the ticket. There are some I’ve talked to who think that is why she is running, but I think she has a résumé that is worth looking at for the top of the ticket.