And in dealing with climate change, she did not feel compelled to deny science; instead she made the policy argument that it makes no sense for us to destroy jobs when other countries continue with their unabated emissions.
In a more serious setting she easily conversed on CNBC with a panel of business reporters. She gave one of the better descriptions of crony capitalism and embraced the notion of empowering all individuals to achieve their own dreams. When asked to differentiate herself from Jeb Bush, she objected to comprehensive immigration reform but made clear how vital legal immigration is to our economy. She also took issue with Common Core, which she characterized as more big bureaucracy. (To be more accurate, it has been used within the No Child Left Behind bureaucracy as a condition for federal aid.) She knows the base’s hot buttons, but rather than dumb down her message and appeal to a reactionary strain of populism, she is offering a sleek, technology-driven version.
In response to a question as to whether a chief executive whose word was the final say could work in government with other branches, a bureaucracy, and other obstructions she gave a superb answer: She had to persuade and enlist a board, shareholders, suppliers, employees and others. It was a solid point that reminds us that the sort of dysfunctional squabbling we see in government isn’t tolerated in fields where you must get things done.
For those who have not seen her or even heard of her, she could well be a pleasant surprise. She has figured out that being conservative doesn’t mean being stodgy. And she learned along the way as a CEO, party surrogate and board member on various advisory commissions how to make her point forcefully, but congenially. She is able to communicate by her mere presence that being anti-Hillary Clinton does not mean you are anti-woman. For the MSM, which became used to mocking Sarah Palin and former congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), she will not be easily dismissed. In contrast with both lifelong politicians pretending to be “outsiders” and inexperienced pols pretending to be prepared, she makes the case that relevant experience and leadership might better come from those who have been out in the world, in the corporate and philanthropic realms and learning international relations and global economics by doing it. To be blunt, she is going to make a number of her opponents look boring, uninteresting and under-prepared.