Monday, May 4, 2015

Carly Fiorina: What Is She Thinking?

With two announcements for presidential campaigns today The Omnivore is strained. Come on, people, choose your own damn day. Then again, there are only so many days one supposes someone had to double-up. Carly Fiorina, ex-head of Hewlett Packard and former (losing) California Senate candidate in 2010. She has been called one of the most powerful women in politics (she was a point-spokesperson for the McCain campaign).

Now she's running for President of the United States. What's she thinking?

She Can't Win . . .
Here's the Gallup poll showing name-recognition vs. favorability (how much the candidate is liked). Check out how Fiorina scored vs. say, Elizabeth Warren (who is not even running):
Uhm  . . .  yeah. Maybe they misspelled her name as Jindal? Like, the letters are right next to each other . . . Okay, let's find a poll she does show up on--it's not easy. Here's the straw-poll from CPAC this year:

There we go: She beats Chris Christie. Now, this is a straw-poll from CPAC which, notoriously, does not count for much (prior winners: Romney, Ron Paul)--but really? Two-percent above Sarah Palin? Furthermore her creds for being in politics include:
  • A failed Senate bid which included her unfortunately-viral 'Demon Sheep' attack ad (on rival Tom Campbell) which has to be seen to be believed. Bloomberg's Fiorina-write-up shows you the "picture Fiorina doesn't want you to see"--her family receiving news they lost.
  • A tenure at HP where she fired 30,000 employees and was criticized as Worst. CEO. Ever.
  • A stint on the (failed) McCain campaign where she 'defended' Sarah Palin by noting that while she was unqualified to run a big company she wasn't running for that (just potentially the President of the US) and then 'fixed' that gaffe by declaring that neither candidate on either side was qualified to run a big company (this, while being a spokesperson for John McCain)--at which point she was summarily thrown under the Straight Talk Express . . . 
So, uh, yeah? She's not exactly grade-A material, is she?

On The Other Hand . . .
Look: while the primaries really have yet to start and we'll certainly see a herd flock murder? gaggle?? clown-car??? throng of Republican candidates battle for the nomination and achieve stellar name recognition, the fact is that the electorate is less plastic than ever before. Polarization has hardened both sides and most demographics. That means that whoever is leading with women and millennials right now? The smart money says they keep leading--that the margins can be eroded but by that much.

If that's the case, check this out:
 This is a Reason Poll that asks young people who they would-vs-would-not vote for. That spike at the tippy-top? Way up there? That's Hillary. That massive gulf down there? That's all the Republican men. How about women?

Here's a massive Fusion poll showing Hillary putting up double-digit leads over all the male Republican headliners:
How important are women in a national election? Well the answer depends on whether it's a mid-term or a presidential one--but since we're going into a presidential cycle . . . Here are the 2012 numbers:
Women basically won the election for Obama. Women might be even more inclined to turn out for Hillary.

Think about that: what if it's Fiorina or lose?

Carly Fiorina might not have a real natural constituency (even fiscal hawks and the business wing are unlikely to want her in the top-slot)--but her value as a woman--a breast-cancer survivor--and someone who has worked for women's empowerment in the workplace (even while holding pretty conservative social views overall) could be a vital part of a strategy to counter Hillary's gender-appeal. A lot of people think she might be running for Vice President and that could be her strategy (that and cyanide get you the Resolution Desk!)--but either way, she's acknowledged as someone whose good to have in the race.

The Net-Net on Carly Fiorina
If you want to know what role Fiorina is going to play just look at her announcement home-page video: It starts with her watching Hillary's announcement video--and then switching it off. The GOP knows it's going to have a problem attacking Hillary. It had the same frustrating problem eight years ago with Obama: if you say anything bad you're a racist. Now, if you say anything bad, you're a sexist.

That's not to mention if you get caught talking about vaginal probes or legitimate rape or stuff like that. Fiorina is an attack-dog that has genetic immunity (that second X chromosome) to the easy rebuttal. She's also maybe not incredibly savvy (Demon Sheep) but she's no idiot. She definitely could shore-up a ticket and while The Omnivore thinks she's unlikely as a VP pick (to, what? Help the GOP carry California?) she may very well have a role to play in a future Walker/Rubio/Jeb cabinet if she plays her cards right.

But what's she thinking??

What IS Carly Fiorina Thinking?
Despite what it may seem like, very few candidates actually have a why-the-hell-not aspect to their running. Firstly, running for president is awful, expensive, and probably kind of degrading. If you don't think you have a real shot at it--even a long shot--you do have a lot to lose: a year of your life (and probably several more years off your life after the misery you've gone through). You also become kinda used up unless you finish in a very strong position after the dust settles.

McCain in 2008 was a long-shot, yes--but not the kind of long shot Fiorina is. On the other hand, right now Fiorina is the kind of candidate who really does serve to further their political career by running-and-not-winning. All she has to do is not come off as crazy or amateur (which should be easy for her if she concentrates on attacking Clinton and otherwise runs as a center-right woman candidate) and she'll both increase her national exposure dramatically and gain favorability on the stage with a bunch of candidate who will treat her carefully and respectfully (or else) this is the kind of launch plan Sarah Palin would come up with if she weren't slightly crazy and fairly amateurish.

What's her train of thought? The Omnivore is telepathic: Let's listen in . . .

TO-DO: Piggy-back on Carson's launch like the Space Shuttle using a booster-rocket . . . CHECK. Laud Jeb Bush--but not too much so as to keep options open with Walker--maybe . . . Wednesday? Photo-Op with Rubio . . . when can I get down to Florida? Okay, put Marci on that. And, uhm, let's see . . . Cruz . . . nope. Not gonna go there.

Now, fund-raising: Gonna make the silicon valley rounds. That should scare up some money. I bet I can get some of those women-in-tech people to sign on if I soft-peddle the SoCon stuff. We're all on the same side of that, aren't we? Good-little workers--virtually half price for the same quality, right?

Then I just need to brand-manage so I get on Fox without looking too old or too sold-out like . . . who was that? Huckelbee? Huckelberry? Whoever that guy was. Good to go. Campaign Beta is LAUNCH.

Oh, and, Hillary? Get ready to rumble.

No comments:

Post a Comment