Carly Fiorina enters the PanderDome

It was a sad time for the remaining Carly Fiorina fans who were on Twitter last night. And since I’ve been very open to her candidacy since she got into the race, it was particularly depressing for me when I saw her (or some aide of hers) chime in on the outcome of the Rose Bowl. (Fox News)

Carly Fiorina’s tweet rooting for the University of Iowa in the Rose Bowl over alma mater Stanford University resulted in a flurry of online backlash about the GOP presidential candidate appearing to pander to voters in the first-in-nation balloting state.

“Love my alma mater, but rooting for a Hawkeyes win today #RoseBowl,” Fiorina tweeted hours before the start of the Hawkeyes’ 41-16 loss to Stanford.

The Iowa vote is on February 1, with Fiorina polling at roughly 2 percent and not expected to have a top-three finish behind leader Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

That tweet very quickly had more than a thousand retweets with many, many comments, most of which are not fit for reprinting here. Some of the more “safe for work” entries came from notables such as Justin Amash.

Even the Iowa Starting Line seemed to not be terribly grateful for the “support.”

The entire affair was tawdry, and Aaron Blake at the Washington Post captured why that is.

But then you have to come to your senses and realize that this was just a ridiculous thing to do, especially considering how little chance Fiorina has of actually winning the Republican nomination. Pandering on political issues is one thing, but our sports teams should be sacred.

Changing one’s position on immigration for political expediency is forgivable; you are supposed to be doing what your constituents want, after all. But doing it on sports teams demonstrates a character flaw that, to any sports fan, simply cannot be overlooked.

I really do like Carly as a candidate and found her refreshing. She took some unpopular stands in the beginning of the campaign and her performances at the first debates seemed to set her apart. Unfortunately, that campaign has essentially fizzled and the clock is quickly running out. Whatever the primary electorate was looking for it doesn’t seem to have been Fiorina, barring a late game miracle. But perhaps it was desperation that drove her to that move of galactic level pandering.

Sure, it may sound like something trivial, but as Aaron Blake noted, something like this probably puts more people off their feed than simply having an unfavorable position on one of the standard platform planks. We take our sports seriously for the most part and it speaks to our passions more than just our policy preferences. As an example, let’s say that George Pataki had somehow caught fire in the primary and was challenging for a spot in the top three rather then being out of the race. (George is a Jets fan, in case you didn’t know.) Now, I don’t expect every candidate to be a Jets fan… heck, it’s pretty hard for most New Yorkers most seasons. But if you do happen to be one and then you go and root for the Patriots as the playoffs begin because you think it might swing you a couple of extra votes next door in New Hampshire, well… I’m washing my hands of you. That would really be an unforgivable sin.

Stanford is Fiorina’s alma mater. She’s willing to turn her back on them for a couple of votes in Iowa? What would she do to us if we put her in the White House when it came to a close vote on something important?