I bet Hillary Clinton won’t take any questions at Carly Fiorina’s events, either. As expected, the former HP CEO and 2010 Senate candidate announced her presidential campaign this morning during a round of media appearances. Fiorina also released this video declaration that starts off with … a familiar face:
So clearly, we know that Fiorina’s troll-fu is at Master Po level, anyway. The swipe at “a professional political class” hits not only Hillary but at more than one of the GOP contenders, too, especially Jeb Bush. Fiorina also rejects identity politics, but she has on occasion offered herself as the antidote to it on the basis of her gender, which might be a bit of a conundrum down the line. Salena Zito reports on just how far identity politics might play with Fiorina:
“Carly Fiorina has one of the greatest brand attributes available in a crowded political market — she’s different,” said Bruce Haynes, a Republican media consultant at Purple Strategies in Washington.
She’s an executive, not a politician. She’s a new face and not a conventional political brand name.”
The biggest difference is she’s not a man, Haynes said. “Different worked for the Democrats last time,” he said, “so it’s a strategy that might be attractive to the GOP this time.”
Though Haynes said Fiorina has good political skills, she is a bit of a political novice. She was a senior economic adviser for Arizona Sen. John McCain’s failed run for president in 2008, and she lost her bid for the Senate in 2010 to California incumbent Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, by 10 percentage points during a good election year for Republicans.
“She’s never won a tough race. She’s run one big race and lost it,” Haynes said.
For now, though, the announcement video takes the proper populist, a-pox-on-all-houses message on which a political neophyte would have to run. The big reveal came on ABC’s Good Morning America, where Fiorina made her stronger pitch.
I think i’m the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works. I understand the world, who’s in it, how the world works. I understand bureaucracies, and that’s what our federal government has become, a giant bloated unaccountable corrupt bureaucracy.
I understand technology which is a tool both to re-image government and to re-engage citizens in the process of government. And I understand executive decision-making, which is making a tough call in a tough time with high stakes for which you’re prepared to be held accountable. I don’t think you read about that. You learn it by doing it.
That’d be an apposite argument against the one-term Senators that are already in the Republican primary fight, and certainly against the one-term Senate backbencher in 2008. However, it’s 2015, and this time the GOP has a number of potential candidates who have been “doing it” as governors of states, some with impressive track records of reform. If Susana Martinez and/or Nikki Haley decide to get into the race — although the field is looking very crowded now — that would leave Fiorina without much in the way of unique traction.
Speaking of crowded, Ben Carson says his announcement’s coming soon:
Retired physician Ben Carson told Sinclair Broadcasting on Sunday night that he plans to announce his candidacy for president of the United States, but his campaign said Monday he’ll reschedule a planned trip to Iowa to say goodbye to his ailing mother.
“I’m willing to be part of the equation, and therefore, I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States of America,” Carson told Jeff Barnd.
He is expected to make the official announcement Monday morning at the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. He had plans to travel to Iowa immediately after the announcement, but campaign spokeswoman Deana Bass said Monday that trip would be rescheduled to allow Carson to fly to Dallas to be with his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
Carson’s a good draw, but in a field with so much emerging talent, it’s difficult to see how he can stand out, especially with Fiorina cornering the outside-executive-talent market.
Update: Fiorina ran for the Senate in California in 2010, not 2012. It’s been corrected above.