Will Ted Cruz Pick Carly Fiorina For Vice President? She's Got A Lot Going For Her
On Monday, The Weekly Standard reported that Ted Cruz is allegedly considering picking Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential pick (If he gets the nomination, that is). The Cruz campaign, according to the report, is going through the process of vetting Fiorina, and the possibility of a Cruz-Fiorina ticket is already being celebrated by some conservatives. (Cruz has not officially commented on the allegations.) So, could Carly Fiorina help Ted Cruz win in November?
There’s good reason to think that it might. I have long been of the mind that the GOP made a mistake by passing on Fiorina in the primaries: She’s eloquent and well-spoken, solidly conservative and clearly deeply intelligent. She’s also a political outsider in a year when outside status is en vogue, and if Hillary Clinton were to win the Democratic nominee, she’d immediately neutralize Clinton’s historic appeal as the first woman president.
Obviously, Fiorina’s chances of becoming the GOP’s presidential nominee are long gone, but as the vice-presidential nominee, she’d bring a lot of these same strengths to the Republican ticket. Her background as a businesswoman would balance out Cruz’s resume, as he’s spent most of his adult life as either a lawyer or a politician, and her aggressive style would potentially make her a very good attack dog against Hillary Clinton.
At least, that’s the theory. Personally, I’m not convinced Fiorina would be all that beneficial to the Republican ticket if Cruz is the nominee.
First of all, her fiery rhetoric could easily work against her in a general election. Like Cruz himself, Fiorina is a politician who more often strikes an angry and fearful tone than an optimism or hopeful one. Of course, there are times and a places for each approach in politics, but a Cruz-Fiorina ticket runs the risk of being a bit too negative and not quite inspiring enough.
Furthermore, while a business record itself is appealing to many voters, Fiorina’s actual performance as a businesswoman is almost universally regarded as terrible. If she’s the vice presidential nominee, there is a zero percent chance that this fact will be ignored by whoever the Democratic nominee is.
Lastly, there seems to be this theory in some Republican circles that because Fiorina is a woman, she'd be able to say whatever she wanted about Hillary Clinton with impunity, and that, the story goes, would really come in handy in November. This is an absurd and incorrect assumption, and it's already been disproved this cycle. In January, for example, when Fiorina made a mean-spirited joke about Clinton’s marriage, the Washington Post rightfully called it out as “outrageously sexist.” You know, just as they would have if, say, Mike Huckabee had made the same awful joke.
Fiorina does have obvious appeal as a vice presidential pick. But she also has some big liabilities, and it’s perfectly conceivable that she could cause more harm than good on the Republican ticket.