Tag Archives: Carly Fiorina

Cruz-Fiorina: that’s the ticket


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz wanted to “shake up” the Republican Party presidential primary contest.

So, what does he do?

He selects a former fellow GOP candidate, a failed U.S. Senate candidate and (some would say) a failed business executive as his vice-presidential running mate.

Welcome back to the battle, Carly Fiorina.


I don’t have a clue how this will catapult Cruz to the GOP nomination at this stage of the primary campaign.

Donald J. Trump scored a five-state sweep Tuesday. He took several big steps toward cinching the party nomination. So, his main rival picks a has-been candidate to shore up his failing bid?

Go figure.

I’m going to give Fiorina some praise. I thought she was the best candidate of all the then-large GOP crowd during that first debate. When was that again? I can’t remember.

She was on the so-called “happy hour” roster of candidates who didn’t fare as well in public opinion polling as the leaders. I thought she killed it with her crisp answers and command of the facts.

I’m still trying to figure out how she gets past her failed effort at being elected senator from California and her forced resignation as head of Hewlett-Packard.

That initial debate performance was her high-water mark, as near as I can tell.

This is the first time in 40 years that a major-party presidential candidate has named a running mate in advance of the party convention. The last one to do so was former California Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1976, when he picked moderate GOP U.S. Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania. Reagan still fell short in his effort to topple President Ford in his bid for election that year.

I cannot fathom how this derails Trump.

At least Cruz has enlisted a fearless and ferocious critic of Hillary Clinton.

Come to think of it, that might be Cruz’s strategy: soften up Hillary for Trump.

Before you think that’s an utterly preposterous notion, then consider that Donald J. Trump is about to become the presidential nominee of a once-great American political party.


GOP now settling in on (mostly) serious hopefuls

carly and chris

Let’s call it a form of political natural selection.

The presidential primary campaign slogs on from state to state and as each state’s votes are counted, the candidates at or near the pack of the pack, bottom of the heap, end of the line — whatever — find themselves with little to zero support.

Why keep fighting?

Two more Republicans threw in the towel today: Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina called it a campaign. They’re suspended, which is a nicer way of saying they’re kaput.

Now it’s up to the GOP grownups to march on.

Except that the remaining candidates isn’t composed entirely of grownups. Donald J. Trump is the frontrunner. Enough said there.

The Democrats started this race with five hopefuls. Three of them dropped out. Now it’s just Hillary vs. Bernie.

But the Republican field still comprises seven candidates. For the life of me I’m not sure why Jim Gilmore is still in the hunt. Ben Carson also must be assessing his chances of ever attaining the White House. Jeb Bush? I had high hopes for him; silly me. Before he bid adieu to this campaign, Christie did a masterful job of peeling the bark off of Marco Rubio at the most recent GOP debate.

Let’s see, who’s left . . . after Trump?

Don’t get me started on the Cruz Missile, Sen. Cruz of Texas. My disdain for him rivals how I feel toward Trump.

My main man is still John Kasich, the serious-minded Ohio governor who’s now trying to call himself a “staunch conservative,” when in reality he’s demonstrated a nice bipartisan touch that today’s hard-core right-wingers deem to be soft, squishy, RINOish.

There will be more Republican dropouts in the next few days. Then we’ll be down to the real serious contenders.

Just as natural selection works wonders in the wild, it does have its way of creating a race where only the fittest can compete.


‘Failed presidency’? Hardly


Ed Rogers’s bias is crystal clear.

The Republican operative, writing in the Washington Post, calls Barack Obama a “failed president.” The president’s alleged “failures,” Rogers asserted, has led to the rise of Donald J. Trump and the crippling of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Read the essay here.

I am acutely aware that there are those who side with Rogers’s assessment of Barack Obama’s two terms in the White House. I also am aware that others disagree with him, who believe that the president’s tenure has been anything but a failure.

I happen to one of the latter.

I’m enjoying, however, listening to the field of Republican presidential candidates harp on the same thing. They decry American “weakness.” They blame the president for it. They say we’re weak militarily, economically, diplomatically, morally . . . have I left anything out?

I shake my head in wonderment at those assertions. Then I realize that they’re all politicians — yes, even Donald J. Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson — seeking to score points.

That’s what politicians do, even those who say they aren’t politicians.

Democrats do it as well as Republicans.

However, I am going to let history be the judge about whether this presidency has failed.

So far, I’d say “no.”

The economy is stronger than it was when Barack Obama took office; we’ve continued to wage war against terrorists; our military remains the most powerful in the world; we’ve scored diplomatic victories, such as securing a deal that prevents Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons — irrespective of what the critics allege; we’ve kept our adversaries in check; we’ve avoided a second major terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Has this been a perfect seven years? No. Has any presidency skated to completion with a perfect score? Again, no. Not Ronald Reagan, FDR or Ike. All the great men who’ve held the office have endured missteps and tragedy.

However, this “failed presidency” talk comes in the heat of a most unconventional election year.

I will continue to keep that in mind as the rhetoric gets even hotter as the year progresses.


Is hell about to freeze over? Will GOP nominate Trump?

trump and carson

I listened to a couple of Sunday morning talk shows today and heard something I didn’t think I’d ever hear.

From the mouths of a couple of Republican-friendly pundits I heard that the GOP might — just might — nominate Donald J. Trump as its next nominee for president of the United States.

National Review editor Rich Lowry said on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that if Trump can survive in Iowa — where Dr. Ben Carson is now leading — and win New Hampshire and then South Carolina, there may be no stopping him.

Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said on “Meet the Press” that it’s quite possible, indeed, that Republicans could nominate Trump.

Much of the discussion this morning centered on how the Republican “establishment,” whatever that means, plans to deal with a Trump nomination should it come to pass.

Some of us out here have wondered from the very beginning of Trump’s candidacy how he would hold up. So help me, I’m utterly baffled by it. I’ve heard the punditry talk about the mood of the electorate and particularly the mood of the GOP “base.” They’re tired of “politics as usual” and the politicians who keep striving to maintain the status quo.

Thus, Trump, Carson and Carly Fiorina all have gained traction.

It’s the Trump phenomenon that is giving me heartburn.

Trump insults Hispanics. He denigrates a genuine war hero, John McCain. He makes hideous comments about a Fox News anchor spewing blood from “her whatever.” He says he’d be dating his daughter if she weren’t his daughter. He hurls personal insults at his GOP primary rivals.

And through it all, he remains the front runner.

There once was a time when a candidate’s utter disregard for any semblance of decorum and dignity would cause him to be laughed off the political stage.

Not this time.

Someone … please pass me the Tums.


Now it’s Dr. Carson’s faith drawing Trump barbs


You might have heard Donald Trump score another one for the tasteless, tactless and thoughtless.

Will this latest insult doom his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination? I doubt it.

The object of Trump’s latest bit of scorn happened to be Dr. Ben Carson … specifically his faith.

Trump was rambling over the weekend about his being a Presbyterian. Then he launched into a brief riff wondering about Carson’s Seventh-day Adventist faith.

It was as if Trump didn’t think much of Carson’s belief.

Let’s see, Trump has gone after:

John McCain’s war record; Carly Fiorina’s appearance; broadcast journalist Megyn Kelly’s line of questioning; Jeb Bush’s “lack of energy”; the media in general; talk-show host Hugh Hewitt’s so-called “gotcha” journalism; Hispanic immigrants.

Anyone else? Oh, probably. I just can’t think of them.

Will any of it doom him. One would think. But wait! This isn’t a normal election year.

Goofiness is what many of the GOP faithful seem to want.

Heaven help them … and the rest of us.


So long, political predictions


My days as a political prognosticator are long gone.

I have been given several hints that I’m no longer able to predict political outcomes. They occur every time a prediction turns out to be, umm, wrong!

Not everyone has gotten the message, apparently, that I’m through making these predictions.

My wife and I were shopping for groceries the other day. I’m standing in the aisle with our shopping cart and a gentleman walks by, stops, looks at me and out of the blue asks: Does Trump have a chance?

I don’t know this gent. Never seen before in my entire life. My wife believes he recognized my picture from the days I wrote for the Globe-New here in Amarillo.

Man, the guy’s got a memory and a half; I left that gig more than three years ago!

My answer? Normally, I’d say “no.” But this is no ordinary election year.

And that brings me to why I’ve given up predicting anything.

Donald Trump continue to lead the pack of Republican presidential contenders/pretenders. And for the ever-lovin’ life of me, I don’t know why.

He denigrated John McCain’s Vietnam War service and declared he was a war hero only because he was captured by the North Vietnamese, who held him captive for more than five years and beat him within an inch of his life — on multiple occasions.

That did it, I said at the time. Trump is finished.

But oh-h-h-h no! There would be more.

He imploded at that initial GOP candidate joint appearance at the question posed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News about his views of women. Then he made that hideous remark about Kelly spewing blood “from her whatever.” That would do it, right? Hardly.

Then he poked fun at fellow Republican candidate Carly Fiorina’s appearance. Everyone in the country knew what he meant when he wondered whether anyone would vote for someone “with that face.” Trump said he was talking about her “persona.” Sure thing, Donald.

One more? Sure. How about when he said most recently that if Ivanka Trump weren’t his daughter, “I’d be dating her”? Who … on God’s Earth talks about their children like that?

There are other incidents. I dare not call them “gaffes,” because many among the Republican faithful seem to love this guy in spite of his serial tastelessness.

The McCain statement should have done him in. So should his remark about Kelly, or his quip about Fiorina, or his hideous reference to his daughter.

I was certain we would witness the end of this guy’s so-called “candidacy.”

Silly me. I was wrong, but I take small comfort in that other observers were wrong, too.

That’s how wacky this election cycle has gone.

Actions and statements that used to pass as committing political suicide have now become some kind of weird badge of honor.

How in the world do you ever hope to predict an outcome based on what you hear from the likes of Donald Trump?

That’s why I no longer won’t even try.

This is no normal election season.



Fiorina: business miracle worker or misfit?


Carly Fiorina is giving me fits.

I happen to think several good things about the Republican presidential candidate.

I like her stage presence. She’s a commanding individual. She’s articulate and unafraid. She holds up well when asked tough questions. She claims to be friends with several world leaders.

I believe Fiorina has acquitted herself beautifully during those two joint appearances with the other GOP candidates.

Then I run into this little thing about her business experience, specifically her tenure as head of Hewlett-Packard.

Fiorina boasts about her leadership of the computer giant. I can’t understand why.

She was forced to quit by the H-P board. Why? Board members said the company stock value had declined precipitously; earnings were down; they disagreed with her about the company’s overall performance and, finally, they disliked her refusal to delegate more authority to division heads.

Fiorina sweeps all that away.

However, I keep coming back to the fundamental question: If Fiorina is such a brilliant business mogul, why did her bosses on the Hewlett-Packard board of directors feel the need to push her out of the way?

If the only Republican woman running for president intends to stay in the game, she’s going to have to answer for that — and explain in detail how her business history at H-P doesn’t disqualify her from taking command of the world’s greatest economy.

I’m all ears, Carly, er, Ms. Fiorina.


HRC is an ‘outsider’? Really?


Hillary Clinton calls herself an “outsider.”

Hmmm. I heard that this morning on “Face the Nation.” I’m still trying to process her logic.

The Democratic presidential candidate answered a question about the leading Republican candidates — Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson — given that they are political outsiders.

Clinton then said something quite astonishing. Clinton said her gender makes her a supreme outsider.

Outsider label

Let’s see what the record shows.

  • Eight years as first lady during her husband’s two terms as president.
  • Eight more years as a U.S. senator from New York.
  • Four years as secretary of state.

OK, she’s run for president once already, getting closer than any woman in history to winning the presidential nomination of either party.

Is she an “outsider” in the mold of, say, Trump, Fiorina and Carson? Not by my — or most folks’, I’m willing to reckon — definition of the term.

She’s been at or near the center of power in Washington going back to when President Bill Clinton took the oath of office in January 1993.

That’s 22 years!

Outsider? I don’t think so.


Trump in everyone’s sights now


Donald Trump relishes the role of front runner.

He’s the man to beat — at the moment — in the wild Republican Party race for president of the United States.

And soon, he and the other top-tier GOP candidates are going to discuss their respective campaigns on national TV at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Who has the most to gain from this?

My hunch is that it’s Carly Fiorina, who wowed ’em at the “happy hour debate” broadcast this past month. She has worked her way onto the first-team stage. Trump has made fun of her appearance, in addition to other GOP foes.

Trump the target

I have no clue how this is going to shake out when the debate ends.

My hope is that someone in that pack of contenders can reveal to the Republican Party faithful that their guy — Trump — is the sham they say he is.

I’ve said all along there is no way on God’s green Earth that the Republican Party is going to nominate this clown to run against whomever the Democrats nominate next year.

But I haven’t done well on these projections this year. Then again, I don’t feel too lonely. Few other observers have predicted this campaign would take this turn, either.

My wife and I are on the road and we might not watch it live. I’ll wait for the reviews in the morning.

I’m hoping for the best … however it turns out.

Has Trump done it now … finally?

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015.

Just about the time I think Donald Trump has made the single public utterance that dooms his campaign, the polls surprise me.

He’s been brash, tasteless and thoughtless. He’s crossed so many lines of good behavior, it’s as if those lines never existed in the first place.

The latest, though?

He made fun of a fellow Republican presidential candidate’s appearance. The other person also happens to be the only woman running in the GOP primary field, Carly Fiorina.

He talked about Fiorina’s face and asked “Would you vote for that?” Trump said the next day or so that he was referring to her “persona.”

Sure, Donald.

I learned long ago, perhaps when I was a boy, that there are two aspects about someone that are off-limits: their name and their appearance.

I got kidded a lot as a kid about my name. It’s an ethnic name and some folks found it hard to pronounce. So, they’d poke fun at my name. I didn’t get it a lot, but I got ribbed about it some of the time.

As for my appearance, if my fellow junior high or high school pukes made fun of my looks, they did so behind my back.

If Trump — the GOP “front runner” in this presidential campaign — can get away with saying what he said about Fiorina, well then I’m going to worry greatly about those who keep standing behind someone such as that who seeks to become the head of state and government and commander in chief of the world’s greatest nation.

This individual disgraced the presidential campaign a long time ago.