If Carly Fiorina keeps sounding prepared, sensible and appropriately aggressive, she is going to get some votes, maybe a lot of votes. She is demonstrating that “outsider” is not synonymous with rash or ill-informed or inexperienced. And that should be a lesson for all conservative grassroots activists: Aim high. It is not a virtue to be unpolished, unrealistic or unknowledgeable.

Fiorina, in another Hugh Hewitt interview (why does he not have a Sunday morning show?), had this entirely level-headed observation in response to a question on her views on Iran:

I think it’s very important that the Senate be a part of this process. So I think the Senate is sort of the last chance we have. If you’re asking me would I vote to approve the Iran deal, the answer is absolutely not. And the reason is absolutely not is because we haven’t achieved a single goal. As you and I have talked on your show many times, not a single nuclear facility will be dismantled, not a single one of the 19,000 centrifuges will stop spinning. They’re not willing to ship any of their enriched uranium out of the county anymore. Russia is now going to sell them uranium. They’re selling them military weapons. China and Russia, of course, have not been on our side of the table during any of this negotiation. This is a terrible deal, and it should be rejected. But on the other hand, hopefully if the Senate passes this bill so that they get a say in this deal, it will slow it down some, and we need that. It needs to be slowed down and stopped, because clearly Kerry and Obama are going to sign anything that’s put in front of them. . . .
I, look, I know that people’s hearts are in the right place when they put forward amendments that can’t possibly work. I mean, Iran is never going to recognize Israel’s right to exist. That’s just an impossibility, and so I don’t understand what the purpose of that is. As I said, I think it is useful to have the Senate force a 90 day review period. Maybe nothing will be different at the end of that 90 day period, but I think all time is on our side before we sign this deal, because the truth is the minute we sign this deal, Iran is marching towards a nuclear weapon as fast as they can get it. And that’s a very bad thing. Now if it were me, I would immediately impose crushing financial sanctions on Iran. We have a great deal of influence over whether Iran can move money through the financial system. We ought to be using that influence and that leverage, and I wouldn’t let that pressure up until they agreed to full, open inspections of every nuclear facility they had. We’re not there, unfortunately.

I don’t know how you could answer any better than that. Tough, reasoned and practical. Moreover, she does not talk in abstract theory or try to convince you that hers is the most conservative position. She just says succinctly what she intends to do and why. Perhaps she will help the party redefine what an “outsider” can be and why we need leaders who don’t necessarily have political backgrounds, but who are nevertheless accomplished:

I understand the economy and how the economy works. I understand the world, who’s in it, how the world works. I’ve met with these world leaders not for photo ops, but to talk about business or to talk about charity, or to talk about whatever they wanted to talk about in a serious, substantive way. I understand bureaucracies and how they work. And the government is a giant, bloated bureaucracy that’s got to get cut down to size. I understand technology. And technology is a really important tool to reimagine government and to reengage citizens in the process of their government. And I understand, Hugh, maybe to the point of your question, accountability and executive decision making, the ability, the experience, the wisdom to make a tough call in a tough time with high stakes for which you are prepared to be held accountable. And in the world that I grew up in, which is the world of business, which is the world many Americans, most Americans grow up in, we’re used to being held accountable. Words are just words. Speeches are just speeches. Gestures are just gestures. People are used to being known for their character, their integrity, do their actions match their words. And I grew up being taught, as I think most of your listeners did, that actions speak louder than words. And we’re prepared to be held accountable for our actions. And right now, there are some very important actions that the next commander-in-chief needs to take.

That’s a tough argument to combat if you are a senator with a paltry record of accomplishment.

Now, I acknowledge that it is not unreasonable to say that someone with no elected experience shouldn’t take on the presidency as her first job, although we’ve had presidents who did just that, including Dwight D. Eisenhower and Howard Taft, to name two who had wide-ranging and impressive leadership experience. But she is making a solid point that in whatever background you bring to the job, what you know and what skills you have acquired should be given more weight than they generally are. Most of all, we need to stop electing people whose careers are built merely on talking. Presidents more like Fiorina and less like Obama might be in order.