Carly Fiorina for President?

Carly FiorinaFormer Senate candidate and HP CEO shows some signs of presidential interest

by Brian Leubitz

If you ask a bunch of Republicans who they think will be their presidential nominee, you will get, well, a bunch of different answers. And without that seemingly strong candidate to scare away others, a lot of prominent Republicans are looking into it and starting to hang out in Iowa and New Hampshire.  Like, say, a former losing Senate candidate in California:

Fiorina slipped into the Granite State last week to promote her new political group, dubbed UP for “Unlocking Potential.” Its mission is to engage women with new messages and combat the gaping gender gap that’s hobbling Republicans in races up and down the ballot. In addition to headlining a breakfast last Thursday for more than 200 GOP activists in the business and political spheres, Fiorina attended a GOP gala the night before honoring Joe McQuaid, the conservative publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, the state’s largest and most influential newspaper.(US News)

Now, considering the current rumored field, it is hard to say that Fiorina is any less qualified than such notable statesmen as Rick Perry and Chris Christie. In fact, I think you could make a pretty strong case for her against most of the Republican field. But, in many ways that is damning with faint praise.

In 2010, Fiorina lost to Barbara Boxer by 10 points, 52-42. That was a 5 point swing from the drubbing that Bill Jones took in 2004, and she outperformed Meg Whitman who spent a lot more money. That being said, the campaign was never close to seriously threatening Sen. Boxer’s position. California is clearly not the nation, but from the demon sheep ad to the “weather” ad, it is clear that Fiorina would be far from a leader we can believe in.

The thing that ultimately do her in is the fact that her place in the field is not really known. Is she a secret moderate playing a right-winger, or a right-winger playing as a moderate? If you look hard enough, you can find evidence of both. And in a primary dominated by the Tea Party, can she make a place for herself?

At least one thing is clear, 2016 will be an interesting campaign cycle.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore