Democracy Dies in Darkness

The Fix

Carly Fiorina on her Rose Bowl pander: 'That was a tongue-in-cheek tweet'

January 3, 2016 at 11:10 AM

An update: After her tweet on Friday, Iowa got trounced by Stanford, 45-16. On Sunday, Fiorina told CNN's Dana Bash the tweet was "tongue-in-cheek" and that people in Iowa "knew my heart was torn" between Stanford and Iowa. 

"Oh, for heaven's sakes, Dana -- for heaven's sakes, can't a girl ever have a little bit of fun? That was a tongue-in-cheek tweet, which the people of Iowa understand, because I was asked over and over again in Iowa, having attended a Hawkeye tailgate, I was asked," Fiorina said. "They knew that my heart was torn. You would think, based on this reaction, that I had some -- said something really controversial, like, you know, 'ISIS is a J.V. team,' or this demonstration was a result of a video. Let's just say, if the biggest mistake I make is a tongue-in-cheek tweet about a Rose Bowl, the America people will sleep safely when I'm president of the United States. … I guess it was a slow news day for the media." 

The original post follows:

I will disclose at the top of this post that I am an alumnus of the University of Minnesota. The University of Iowa is Minnesota's rival. And thus, I am predisposed against people who root for Iowa for any reason.

But when Carly Fiorina declared Friday afternoon that she was rooting for Iowa in college football's Rose Bowl, despite being from California, that's not even why it was bad.

It was bad because Iowa is playing her alma mater, Stanford University.

That's right: Carly Fiorina is conveniently rooting against her own school and for the school from the state that just happens to be politically important to her current ambitions.

You almost have to give Fiorina credit for the brazenness of this pandering — the shamelessness of her sports allegiance being available to the bidder with the most political currency. And perhaps her campaign thought this would be kind of a fun thing to do. "Nobody would seriously think she's actually rooting for Iowa," you might picture her staffers saying to themselves.

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.

And it wasn't.

This one is from a top strategist for Ohio Gov. John Kasich:

And former congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.) might have won with this response:

Aaron Blake is senior political reporter, writing for The Fix. A Minnesota native, he has also written about politics for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Hill newspaper.

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