Can Carly Fiorina seize her moment?

Lest we get carried away, Fiorina’s rise is—for now—something well short of a surge. She has advanced safely beyond the land of the 1 percent in polling, and she appears well-positioned to take a spot in the top-tier debate when Republicans converge on the Reagan Library next month. But she has yet to top 10 percent in either a national survey or in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, which show her trailing Trump and three or four other candidates. As Politico’s Katie Glueck observed, many people at the RedState convention said they liked Fiorina, but few said she was their first choice for the nomination. On policy, she has stayed well within the bounds of traditional conservative orthodoxy…

Fiorina’s problem is that neither her business record nor her political résumé is all that impressive. After presiding over mass layoffs, a sharp decline in the stock price, and a controversial merger with Compaq as the head of Hewlett-Packard, Fiorina was removed by the company’s board. She became an adviser and surrogate for Senator John McCain’s presidential run in 2008 before making a failed bid to unseat Senator Barbara Boxer in California in 2010.  “She got fired, and she ran for office, and she lost in a landslide,” Trump said of Fiorina. “I don’t see that as being necessarily great credentials.” (Factcheck: Fiorina lost by a respectable 10 points in a very blue state, although her defeat did come during a favorable year for Republicans.)

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