Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton will cross paths Wednesday in South Carolina. And the Republican — the only woman among the vast GOP field — will try to show up Clinton by holding a regular old press conference…
“Carly Fiorina is speaking in downtown Columbia, SC on Wednesday. And guess what? So is Hillary Clinton,” Fiorina spokeswoman Sarah I. Flores wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.
Clinton will be inside the Columbia hotel shortly thereafter, holding another in her series of campaign roundtables.
“Our events tomorrow are all open to the press. And by open press, we mean we’ll actually take questions,” Flores wrote.
Hillary will be inside the Columbia Marriott today, but the coverage of her next, “no questions please” meeting with carefully vetted participants may be somewhat muted if Fiorina is outside fielding whatever inquiries the press may have. The contrast between the actions of the two candidates is rather stark and it’s the kind of catnip that the press corps can’t resist, even if many of them would rather be helping Clinton out. If you leave the reporters to their own devices for too long they’re eventually going to find something else to talk about and Fiorina is providing the perfect script for them.
It seems that Fiorina’s staff is sympathetic to the stressful situation the campaign press folks are enduring.
“We know it must be hard covering the Hillary for America But Against Transparency campaign,” Flores said.
I’m waiting to see some fresh numbers either nationally or in the early primary states which is less than a couple of weeks old. I don’t know how much Fiorina has moved the needle yet – assuming there’s been motion – but she’s picking up a ton of earned media everywhere she goes. And yet again, the way she’s doing it isn’t by starting a private, internecine grudge match such as the one between Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham. She’s taking the battle to Hillary Clinton’s doorstep… literally in this case.
Is it going to work? Politics can produce odd results in the most “normal of years” and this is anything but. Given the size of the field, there seems to be general agreement among politicos that Iowa and New Hampshire may wind up being carried by someone who can manage only a thin plurality in the high 20s. That pretty much opens up the field. The real question to be answered is if the early debates offer anyone a chance to make a fast move from the outside track and who will even be allowed into the battle. I’m not ready to change the board here and move Fiorina up into the top tier… yet. But given how solidly this essentially gaffe free campaign is being rolled out so far I’m not counting her out, either.