On Wednesday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his VP pick. It's a bold move, but also kind of a weird and desperate one. Cruz has zero chance of heading to the party's national convention in Cleveland as the uncontested GOP nominee, and it's not anything resembling standard operating practice for candidates to tap VPs before they've been awarded the actual nomination. Granted, there's aren't usually contested conventions — which is where we very well might be headed — but that doesn't mean Cruz isn't grasping at straws here.
Back in March, Fiorina endorsed Cruz following the inauspicious end of her own once-briefly-kind-of-promising campaign in February. Since Cruz's only shot at the nomination is a contested convention this summer, he needs all the momentum he can get. Trump winning all five of Tuesday's GOP primaries was, obviously, not super conducive to that. Cruz picked up a measly five delegates, and his future as the Republican nominee seems only further away.
The decision to tap a VP this prematurely just exposes how on-the-ropes Cruz's campaign must truly feel. Fiorina went out of the race with barely a whisper, despite the attention she got last fall for maybe being the answer to the Trump Conundrum.
The timing of Cruz's choice kind of just seems like a wild grab, a desperate play for the woman vote or the anti-Trump vote or the people-who-hate-Hewlett-Packard vote (Fiorina was forced out of her CEO role). But, I don't see how this will possibly give him anywhere near the momentum he needs. All it does it make him look pretty pathetic.
There's been buzz for the last couple of weeks about whether Fiorina would indeed be the TrusTed choice for the Cruz campaign. Maybe this is all riding on the belief that she can help him in the California primary on June 7, which will award 172 GOP delegates. Which, I guess? Do people like Fiorina in California? As the AP reported, Sen. Barbara Boxer, who beat Fiorina in the state's senate race in 2010, said:
The best way to describe that ticket is mean and meaner ... He [Cruz] wants to throw people out of the country and she threw thousands of jobs out of the country. Perfect match.
A few lines after that, the article noted that "Among all Americans, 45 percent didn't know enough about Fiorina to rate her, while 22 percent rated her favorably and 32 percent unfavorably." This does not seem to be the momentum Cruz is looking for to somehow finagle the Republican nomination.
For what it's worth, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump — the only GOP candidate who does still have a mathematical possibility of getting the nomination outright — thinks Fiorina's "not going to do the trick" for Cruz. I never thought I'd write this, but on a Cruz's premature selection of Fiorina, Trump may be right.