Fact: Carly Fiorina is winning.
Another fact: Americans love winners.
Whether at a campaign event, a Happy Hour gathering or standing at a podium for 3 hours in front of Air Force One in the library of President Ronald Reagan, former technology CEO Carly Fiorina is defining herself as knowledgeable, savvy and purposeful. The former is immensely important, but it’s the combination with the latter that may be what’s really separating Carly Fiorina from the dozen+ other candidates vying for the Republican nomination.
Quick note: All the immature bickering and name calling by a few of the candidates was unwelcome, especially in the presidential library of Ronald Reagan, a strong leader and a gentleman above all else. It was incredibly disrespectful and I have a feeling viewers noticed who said such things in the place built for the man whose conduct was antithetical to such juvenile behavior. Visually, a tipping point may have been reached for some.
Carly Fiorina is a political outsider in the sense she’s never held elected office. She ran for senate in the deeply blue California in 2010, but lost. She guided HP through the difficult tech bubble, but was ultimately fired by her board. However, as she mentioned last night, industry colleague Steve Jobs made sure to offer his condolences and shared experiences in that area.
That’s what we call a ‘mic drop.’
Mrs. Fiorina’s answers to questions during the past two debates demonstrate she is one of the best candidates in the presidential race, regardless of party. What’s more is it’s still early in the race and more opportunities will arrive to showcase skill and strength on each and every issue. And we haven’t even heard the questions and answers about specific economic policies, like tax reform, entitlement reform, healthcare, spending, etc.
It seems like (along with Marco Rubio) that Carly Fiorina has a purposeful reason for running for president of the United States of America. There’s a sense she has a grand vision of American exceptionalism that’s rooted in service to her fellow citizens. She recognizes that the country’s economic foundation is unmistakably shaky and that the foreign policy identity of the United States is lost when its power (soft and hard) and resolve is needed most. She’s offering clear, intelligent solutions so that the American people can succeed.
Equally important is there’s a genuine goodness and sincerity about Carly Fiorina.
Despite professional and political shortcomings and personally devastating hardships, including the tragic death of a child, she has an inspiring success story. In a condensed manner, she was secretary of a small real estate company and rose to become the CEO of a major technology company in an industry dominated by men and she led Hewlett-Packard to impressive results. And, above it all, she beat breast cancer.
Don’t dare question her personal strength and determination to make something life-changing and positive happen.
Not everybody excels at everything, not everybody succeeds at the time everyone thinks they should and not everybody is uniquely qualified to be president of the United States, but when each of us discovers our true path in life, it usually leads to a bottle with lightning in it that ignites into a remarkable sight for all who see it and experience its wonder. Throughout history, people look to individuals with this electricity in them, leaders they can have confidence in, for a story to connect with and a vision to follow.
Ronald Reagan offered eternal optimism and a sunny, opportunistic tomorrow.
Carly Fiorina is showing us what sparks in a bottle looks like.
Actually, that looks a bit more like lightning…
“In a victory for the former HP CEO, the cable network announced Tuesday that it is amending its rules for qualifying for the Sept. 16 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to include all candidates who are polling on average in the top 10 in surveys conducted after the Aug. 6 Fox News debate.”
–Zeke J. Miller (TIME)
This recent development is the sensible response by CNN. Plus, the second Republican debate on September 16th could prove to be the pivotal debate for Carly Fiorina. Why? Her fantastic performance at the “Happy Hour” debate was her first positive introduction to the country and Republican electorate, but now she has high expectations. Mrs. Fiorina has been given the opportunity to articulate her conservative message and vision at the wondrous Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
If Carly Fiorina, in front of Nancy Reagan, can channel the charming wit and grand inspiration of the man for whom the library was built, her ascent in the polls will continue and sustain during the coming months.
To stand out in the house of Reagan, she must not fall victim to or engage in shouted interruptions by desperate poll climbers, but instead rise to inspirational storytelling that illustrates how the United States of America can successfully deal with its dangerous foreign policy threats and how it will rebuild its economic foundation (opportunistic tax reform, spending reductions by focusing on the priorities of the times, structural entitlement reform, a specific plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, legal and illegal immigration, etc.) that will lead to an optimistic (yet attainable) future.
This is her chance at a very rare second first-look. There will be a particularly bright spotlight on Carly Fiorina in how she will deal with the widespread anxiety and turmoil at home and abroad.
What would Ronald Reagan do?
“Peace through strength.”
That seems like a savvy approach for the debate’s venue and for the American people tuning in.