I touched on this particular presentation last week while Ed and I were down at CPAC, but we finally have the video from the event. This is the video of remarks delivered by Carly Fiorina at a panel on the subject of “Putin’s Russia: A New Cold War?”
This was a particularly enlightening panel with a great slate of speakers on a subject which will be at the forefront of foreign policy debates during the 2016 election. With Fiorina looking seriously at a run for the nomination, it seems all the more appropriate to share this so everyone can get a feel for how she views challenging foreign policy questions. (Coming from a business background, it’s an obvious question regarding her qualifications.)
She handles herself very well, touching on her various international forays and what she’s learned from them, and really drills down on the subject of Vladimir Putin as a man. Here’s one excerpt from early in the speech where she explains what is required of an American leader who has to deal with Putin and hints at why the policies enacted by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on that front have been such a dismal failure.
This is a leader, Vladimir Putin, who is willing to go to any lengths necessary to eliminate opposition… When someone is gunned down, virtually on the steps of the Kremlin, and he is your only real opposition left standing, we should be realistic about why that happened.
If you were to meet Vladimir Putin, and I have, you would be potentially charmed. He’s quite intelligent. Very intelligent. Very charming. Speaks exceedingly good English. Exhibits a disarming sense of humor. He has a really good grasp of what’s going on in the world, popular culture… this is an engaging man. And of course that’s part of where he gets his power. I’m sure it’s part of the reason why, unfortunately, President George W. Bush made the comment that he had looked within his eyes and seen the soul of a good man. It’s why Mrs. Clinton and President Obama believe they can talk with him about find a better path and resetting our relationship. He is a formidable man and he is a charming, facile and intelligent man.
We know, for example, that he has no compunction about looking into the television cameras and saying with absolute and complete sincerity, Russia has nothing to do with what is going on in Ukraine. We are not violating the cease fire. We do not have tanks rolling across the border. He looks into the camera and he says this with great conviction, even moral rectitude when it is absolutely false. So let us begin by acknowledging that we realistically can not underestimate this man.
There’s plenty more. I was particularly moved by a story she tells of meeting a Russian woman who had lived through the era of the Soviet Union and is still there today. The woman actually missed the days of the old empire because, as she put it, everyone was assured a job, food and a place to live. All they had to do in return was give up their freedom. But today, she continued, they still have no freedom, but the jobs, food and housing are no longer a sure thing. In this way, Fiorina sees hope for progress in Russia if the people get sufficiently fed up with their poor conditions.
The video is approximately 15 minutes long. Let me know what you think of her delivery.