Fiorina: The Falling Star

The rapid rise and equally rapid fall of Carly Fiorina deserves our attention.

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Before the most recent GOP debate, she was languishing in the polls at only 4 percent of the vote, according to a Sept. 9-Sept. 13 CBS survey. After a smashing performance at the event, she soared into second place with 15 percent (CNN, Sept. 17-Sept. 19). Now the most recent polls have her falling back into the pack with only 6 percent support (CBS, Oct. 4-Oct. 8).

What happened?

Her initial rise was partially due to her headline-stealing riposte to Donald Trump for his ill-considered comments demeaning her physical appearance. By linking her cause to that of all women, she effectively played off the GOP front-runner’s publicity and vaulted to the top of the field.

But the deeper reason for her climb was that Republicans want to nominate a woman to counter Hillary Clinton; they found Fiorina, a self-made woman, a far more authentic model of female advancement than they did the former first lady. Here was a woman who did not depend on her husband’s career to move ahead and who did not have the baggage of scandal and secrecy that burdens Clinton’s candidacy.

Fiorina showed an eclectic knowledge of national affairs and fluently recited key facts about our weakened defense posture. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO seemed like a non-ascorbic, scandal-free alternative to Clinton.

There has been no major scandal or faux pas to bring Fiorina down. While the impact of her debate performance may have worn off over time, why is she suffering this fate while Trump, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio have continued to gain from their debating styles?

While The New York Times contributed to her fall with a front-page article chronicling — and bashing — her record at HP, it was the bloggers who brought Fiorina down. The Times story regaled the saga of how Fiorina had induced HP to buy Compaq despite evidence of its declining clout and emphasized the 30,000 layoffs under her tenure as CEO.

But the bloggers really did a number on her conservative credentials. They quoted her 2010 comment during her contest with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California that Roe v. Wade is “settled law” and noted her endorsement of Rubio’s (R-Fla.) plan for amnesty for illegal immigrants, as well as her support for Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court and her willingness to weaken Proposition 13, which holds down property taxes in California.

The blogs left Fiorina bleeding.

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Originally published on on October 13, 2015



  1. I long ago stopped listening to the “sage” advice of Dick “Toe-sucker” Morris.

  2. RETIREDXLR8R says

    My observation is that her or any other candidates will fail because of journalistic partisanship. If they don’t agree with the main stream tabloids they get hammered!.
    And, considering that Obama was elected twice, when we all knew that he was a serial liar! Maybe we have an epidemic of stupidity among our voters?
    And there is the “voter identification”. Can’t have voter ID because all the ignorant voters couldn’t voter. Maybe they shouldn’t vote, ever think about that?
    America voters don’t know their Constitution or related founding documents, and they no longer look to a higher moral authority.
    There is no more respect for the law when it is treated as this president does, or as Clinton did, not to mention what Ms Hillary did most recently
    All this tells me that the America People don’t think before they vote, they check their bank balance, job security, union support, and what’s in it for them.
    Fiorina’s history sounds to me like she’s human and right now she’s still my candidate.

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