1. Huckabee and Carson will matter insofar as they continue the process of dividing and sub-dividing the votes of social conservatives. In a real sense, the person happiest to have them in the race is Jeb Bush. Fiorina, however, has the opportunity to reach across ideological lines and can appeal to economic, foreign policy and social conservatives.
2. She knows her stuff. She’s sophisticated when it comes to matters of technology, global economic issues, trade, regulation and more. In addition a CNN report notes,
“In advisory work with the CIA, Pentagon and the National Security Agency, Fiorina provided guidance on computer data-sharing related to national security issues. And by the time she relinquished her role at Hewlett-Packard, the company was operating in 170 countries, 50 more than when she took the job. During that time, she visited many of those places and met with leaders of some of America’s most prominent allies and rivals.”
3. She is really, really good at attacking Hillary Clinton. It is not coincidental that her announcement ad kicked off with her viewing Hillary’s video. In addition to one-liners debunking Hillary’s lack of accomplishments, she can help try to shed light on the Clintons, from some of the deals they were involved with, the erasure of emails, to the conflicts of interest, self-enrichment, and influence peddling, which no CEO could get away with. She also reminds us that Hillary got to where she is– at least at the start — by riding her husband’s coattails. Fiorina, worked her way up from being a secretary. When it comes to attacking Hillary’s sense of entitlement there simply is no one as qualified.
4. She’s going to pose a problem for the senators, in particular. She makes a good point that senators talk, but chief executives have to deliver. The stress on leadership, results and pursuit of common purpose will prove nettlesome for those who have never run a state, a city or a big organization. And given her fluency on national security, she will also be able to challenge governors who are not fully up to speed or whose world experience is limited.
5. She is a woman. Of course. She is a pro-life woman. She is a rebuttal to the war on women, and helps reduce Hillary’s gender uniqueness. Republicans have women, Democrats have women — so what? Is this identity politics in and of itself? I’d argue that like money in politics, gender becomes a wash if the sides are equally armed. Along with the three non-white male candidates, she is a reminder the GOP is not merely the party for old, white guys.