The core of her message is that of the 17 Republicans running for president, only she is tough enough to wage the daily battles it will take to defeat Clinton. Some observers have taken that to mean that Fiorina is saying that, as the only woman in the GOP field, she could take it to Clinton as only another woman could. That’s not what Fiorina means. She means that she is the only one tough enough to defeat the Democratic nominee for president, whoever that nominee is, woman or man. The flipside of that argument is that all her fellow candidates don’t have the stuff to fight 24/7.
She might be right.
When Fiorina spoke to reporters after the debate, I asked if it was her view that her Republican opponents are in danger of going too easy on Clinton. Fiorina didn’t really say no.
“I am suggesting that this really is a fight in 2016,” she said. “It is a fight about the character of our nation. I believe that. It is a fight between conservatism and progressivism, and yes, I think we need nominee who will throw every punch. I would just observe what others have observed, many in the media have observed — I am the person who most consistently goes after Hillary Clinton. And I think it’s going to take that to beat Hillary Clinton, or whomever the Democrats put up, but I think it’s going to be Hillary Clinton.”