More importantly, the idea that the Republican party has a deficit of female leadership that needs to be addressed by Carly Fiorina – a woman who does not actually hold a position of leadership – is patently false and insulting and plays directly into the media narrative on this score. As it turns out, the Republican party has a number of female leaders who have actually won election to high office and have a record of accomplishment (as opposed to tokenism) that they can point to – women like Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, and Mary Fallin, to say nothing of the several Republican women currently serving in the Senate. Nominating one of these women could be easily defended on the merits as the nomination of a person actually qualified to assume the Presidency instead of as an appeal to tokenism. And before anyone jumps down my throat for using that term, notice that the Fiorina campaign is basically asking to be taken seriously on this basis.
The simple fact is that while there is some overlap in the skillset between successful business person and successful politician, they are not identical skill sets. In particular, the application process is a significant part of the actual job when it comes to being a politician (whether we like it or not). And we have seen numerous times in the recent past that exposing people to too much increased scrutiny too fast does not end well. And nothing about Fiorina’s 2010 campaign indicates that she has some sort of savant ability that will allow her to escape the spectacular flameouts of Herman Cain, et al. Losing an election does not disqualify someone from being a serious presidential candidate; never having won one is.