Vice President Fiorina

CPAC 2015

Josh Kraushaar is the third person I’ve read saying that former HP CEO Carly Fiorina is actually running for Vice President in 2016. And he’s the second person I know of (Bill Whittle was the first) to say she’s come a long way from her unimpressive bid to unseat California Senator Barbara Boxer in 2010. Kraushaar saw her speak at CPAC and came away with this:

After watching her latest stump speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, it’s clear that she’s got more potential than many have given her credit for.

She’s an engaging speaker who has articulated a more cogent contrast against Hillary Clinton than any of the other prospective Republicans. She earned one of the loudest applause lines at CPAC on Thursday when she argued that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking before Congress not to offend the president but to warn the world of the dangers of a nuclear Iran.

Most significantly, she was one of the few speakers who actually delivered a speech that was focused against Hillary Clinton—the GOP’s all-but-certain opponent in 2016—rather than dwell on President Obama’s shortcomings.

Think about this for just a moment, and having Fiorina at the bottom of the ticket makes an awful lot of sense.

Need a Spiro Agnew-type attack dog to keep her teeth sunk into Hillary? Fiorina is all that and a woman, neutering at least some of the Left’s cries of “Sexism!” (I say some because you know they’ll cry it regardless.) Fiorina also stands as a woman of actual accomplishment, as opposed to Hillary having ridden her husband’s coattails to fame and fortune and having served as one of our least-distinguished Secretaries of State.

Fiorina’s weakness is of course her tumultuous time at HP and her messy exit from the company. She may very well have saved HP, but she laid off an awful lot of people, and worse yet ruffled an awful lot of feathers — there’s a lot of oppo to be had from her former employees. Like Mitt Romney, she will be hit and hit hard on her record. Unlike Romney, she can be an excellent counterpuncher.

(As an aside, I had a brief conversation with Tammy Bruce on just that topic a year or two ago, between taping Trifecta segments when she was filling in for Bill or Scott Ott. I mentioned what a terrible counterpuncher Romney was during the campaign, and she stopped and thought for a moment and added, “He probably would have been a terrible President.” Politics doesn’t take time off between campaigns, so a sitting President has to be just as good at taking and returning a hit as a candidate. It’s easy to see how the Democrats would have made short work of Romney, even during the so-called honeymoon period.)

So Fiorina would come in as Veep with considerable strengths and just one liability — but it’s almost impossible for me to see how any successful business leader could survive the Progressive Hate Machine. What do you think? Would her time at HP hurt the ticket more than her other skills would help?

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