What Fiorina does for Cruz — and the Republican Party

REUTERS/Chris Keane
Jennifer DeJournett: “Carly [Fiorina] got people to believe a woman is competent to be president.”

Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina seemed to take pains to avoid the gender issue when the Republican Texas Senator announced Fiorina as running mate for in his bid for president.

But in an election year that has seen GOP frontrunner Donald Trump take delight in disparaging women, including Fiorina, she gives Republicans a chance to improve the anti-woman image that has been on the rise since former Missouri congressman Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” in 2014.

Jennifer DeJournett, the former Minnesota state director of Carly for America, the SuperPac working to promote Fiorina’s candidacy, called thousands of Republican voters on behalf of the candidate and said she was electrified by their responses.

“Carly got people to believe a woman is competent to be president,” she said. “For women, no matter what political stripe, for some one to put that last smack in the glass ceiling — it’s an amazing thing to watch.”

DeJournett is an authority on conservative women candidates. She founded Voices of Conservative Women, the only group in the country dedicated to electing women solely on fiscal and economic issues. She has qualified views on the contributions of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin to the election of conservative women to national office.

“They [Bachmann and Palin] never crossed the threshold of where people believed a woman was qualified to be president in her own right,” DeJournett said. “Carly Fiorina crossed the threshold and walked ten miles past.”

Electoral math

With critical primaries May 3 in Indiana and June 7 in California, Fiorina is seen as moderately useful in helping Cruz improve his dwindling chances to knock down Trump’s delegate lead in the nomination battle.

She has a poor track record in California politics. Democrat Barbara Boxer beat Fiorina by ten points in the state’s U.S. Senate race in 2010. Fiorina’s controversial tenure as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard became a campaign issue that dogs her today.

But Fiorina won a competitive California Republican primary and may still hold influence with those same voters who go to the polls in June. “Her voice will be amplified in Indiana but the big bucket is going to be California,” DeJournett said.

DeJournett is a Cruz supporter who is running to be a Minnesota delegate supporting either Cruz or Rubio at the national Republican convention. There, she can accomplish one more task to support Fiorina. Because delegates at the Cleveland convention vote separately on a vice-presidential nominee and are not bound to a VP choice, DeJournett can cast her vote to nominate Carly Fiorina for vice president.

Comments (23)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/28/2016 - 10:57 am.

    Veep

    “But in an election year that has seen GOP frontrunner Donald Trump take delight in disparaging women, including Fiorina, she gives Republicans a chance to improve the anti-woman image that has been on the rise since former Missouri congressman Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” in 2014.”

    I don’t think the act of putting a woman on the ticket, in itself, improves or changes the image of the Republican Party. If there ever was a time women voted their gender, that time is past. On the other hand, Fiorina would always be an attractive candidate for a Republican ticket because she can attack Hillary harder while being less vulnerable to charges of sexism. Fiorina also has the advantage of being extrordinarily articulate. She is a superb attack dog. This gives her a huge advantage over Clinton who just doesn’t express herself very well. The disadvantage with Fiorina is that her communication skills aren’t tethered to any reality or truthfulness.

    • Submitted by David LaPorte on 04/28/2016 - 11:58 am.

      Fiorina won’t debate Clinton

      Fiorina would be much more effective as an attack dog if she and Clinton ever met in a debate. However, even in the unlikely event that Cruz/Fiorina are the Republican nominees, she’d debate whoever Clinton selected as her running mate. And the VP debates have little effect on the election.

      This is an act of desperation by Cruz, much like is non-starter anti-democratic (small D) pact with Kasich.

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/28/2016 - 11:06 am.

    What Carly Fiorina Adds

    How about “an air of desperation?” Consider that Senator Cruz:

    Opposes abortion under any circumstances;

    Voted against funding and expanding the Violence Against Women Act; and

    Voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, a law that strengthens equal pay protections for women.

    Now, women voters are going to overlook that because, in the increasingly unlikely event Senator Cruz wins the nomination, he has pledged to name as his running mate a woman who ran a major corporation into the ground, escaping with a lavish severance package, and whose only electoral victory was winning a Republican primary (she rode that success to defeat in the general election).

    This is supposed to improve the Republicans’ anti-woman image? Back to the drawing board, folks.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/28/2016 - 11:22 am.

    Women

    The reality is that many women react differently to many women than they do men. We see this in the poll numbers where Hillary doesn’t run particularly well with women. Just recently, when some prominent women suggested that women should vote for Hillary because of her gender, their comments were greet with widespread scorn among women generally. Fiorina’s gender does matter and it is significant, but it isn’t because women will automatically vote for a ticket that has a woman on it, or that the image of such a ticket is improved. One thing that is significant however, is that Fiorina’s candidacy can target Trump’s alleged misogyny. Another thing to note is that as a successful business person, Fiorina’s skills match Trump’s strengths. She is just as articulate, just as forceful as The Donald if not more so. No other candidate in the race is equal to her in that regard.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/28/2016 - 02:22 pm.

      Both Trump and Fiorina

      have been business failures.
      Trump’s three bankruptcies and Fiorina’s being booted out of HP after the Compaq acquisition disaster.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/28/2016 - 11:34 am.

    I believe

    …Hiram and RB have already covered the relevant ground.

    What does Fiorina do for Cruz and the Republican Party? Not much.

    Adding a thoroughly dislikeable VP candidate to a potential ticket featuring a thoroughly dislikeable presidential candidate doesn’t strike me as a winning combination. Hillary may be less articulate off-the-cuff in response to insults, but that isn’t usually a trait thought to be vital to someone who might occupy the Oval Office. Sometimes fun, but not vital. Anyone with a functioning brain can compare the public record of the two and, without having to think very hard, realize that Fiorina’s exceedingly modest accomplishments pale in comparison to Clinton’s.

    • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/28/2016 - 01:30 pm.

      What does Fiorina do for Cruz and the Republican Party?

      She is articulate, and she has a lot of drive. Those are things the Republicans could use in campaigning against Hillary, but she won’t get that far.

      “Hillary may be less articulate off-the-cuff in response to insults, but that isn’t usually a trait thought to be vital to someone who might occupy the Oval Office.”

      Hillary isn’t very articulate generally, or maybe more precisely, isn’t a very effective communicator. It’s one of the reasons why she is having some trouble putting perhaps the most implausible candidate for president possible, Bernie Sanders. It will be a problem for her presidency.

      “Anyone with a functioning brain can compare the public record of the two and, without having to think very hard, realize that Fiorina’s exceedingly modest accomplishments pale in comparison to Clinton’s.’

      I am not one to attach great significance to accomplishments as a reason to choose a particular president. Some of our greatest presidents didn’t have much of a record of accomplishment upon taking office, and some pretty lousy presidents did have a solid record of accomplishments. But the fact is that while Hillary does have a great resume, she doesn’t have much of a record of actually getting things done.

      I think Fiorina would be a horrible president, but I don’t think the reason for that is her record of accomplishments. In many ways she is a very capable and talented person, it’s just that her capabilities and talents aren’t relevant to the presidency or politics.

  5. Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/28/2016 - 11:53 am.

    Dream team

    A guy who was a complete failure at goverment joins with a complete failure at business. There are no limits to the amount of failure these two can accomolish.

  6. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/28/2016 - 11:56 am.

    No political value for anyone.

    Fiorina adds nothing to Cruz who is on his way out of the race. Early on Fiorina was declared unacceptable by GOP voters. Fiorina has the same depth of political usefulness as Bachmann and Palin do. Beyond sarcasm all three of them have nothing of any value to offer the country. Bachmann is devoid of facts and common sense, Palin can see Russia from her porch, and Fiorina failed at leading a business. No political value for anyone.

  7. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 04/28/2016 - 12:09 pm.

    30,000 votes she won’t get…

    from the HP employees she laid off. Besides are Planned Parenthood lies, which is about all I remember about her “campaign”, choosing her demonstrates that the “traditional” conservative ticket is all about the rich and opposed to anything that helps the poor and middle class. Has anyone used the word despicable yet in this thread? I wanna say this would be the most despicable ticket in history. Two nasty people.

  8. Submitted by C.S. Senne on 04/28/2016 - 12:38 pm.

    Way to go, Carly!

    “Fiorina is seen as moderately useful in helping Cruz improve his dwindling chances to knock down Trump’s delegate lead in the nomination battle.” Oh, please. Diaphanous treatment of Ms. Firorina does not erase facts .During Ms. Carly’s stint as CEO of HP, stuff happened: the stock fell 60%. Mergers were grossly mismanaged. 30,000 people were fired. Finally, HP fired Ms. Carly. But, not before she had “earned” $102 million, then was “awarded” a $22 million golden parachute that included $50,000 in “career counseling.” 100,000 more jobs were lost at HP as she left.Then she ran for Senate in California and lost miserably. Yes, this fabulous face of corporate greed certainly deserves another chance as Vice President of the USA. Think of what she could do with a larger canvas!

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 04/28/2016 - 01:13 pm.

      I remember when she first became HP CEO

      Back then I thought, way to go America. I work in a technical field and there generally aren’t many female engineers and techs so I was pulling for her. Years later I changed my mind, a flip flop if you will. Now, after that Planned Parenthood false attack, I can’t stand her. She will tell any lie and probably do pretty much anything for power. Ick!

  9. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/28/2016 - 01:37 pm.

    During Ms. Carly’s stint as CEO of HP, stuff happened: the stock fell 60%.

    Fiorina’s time at HP wasn’t a success but that had more to do with her being the wrong fit for a company for whom there might have been no right fit. If the ability to succeed at tech companies is what we are looking for in a president somebody like the late Steve Jobs or Bill Gates would have been a top choice, or maybe Mark Zuckerberg now, although actually Zuckerberg isn’t currently old enough. But we don’t seem to think of those guys as possible presidents.

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 04/29/2016 - 08:07 am.

      Stuff happened?

      Stuff didn’t “happen”, it was created.

      “Success has many fathers (or mothers); failure is an orphan”.

      • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 05/02/2016 - 06:14 am.

        Stuff happens

        Yes, but it was the wrong stuff. Carly created the merger with Compaq. Steve Jobs created the iphone. Which sold better? Carly had the generic skills taught in business school, and she was a good salesman. But she was not the CEO to lead a technology company in an industry that reinvents itself every couple of months. There is a widespread assumption that business ability translates into an ability to govern. I see little evidence of that. I don’t think the great businessmen of our time, people like Gates and Jobs would have necessarily been great presidents. And that being the case, I don’t see how the business experience of vastly less successful business people, folks like Fiorina or Romney, gives them a compelling argument to be elected president either.

  10. Submitted by chuck holtman on 04/28/2016 - 01:59 pm.

    “Carly got people to believe a woman

    is competent to be president.”

    An interesting reveal about the political demographic for whom Ms. DeJournett speaks. Among the sort of folks over here in the other part of the world, its been a good many decades indeed since it would ever occur to anyone to think of this as a question.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/29/2016 - 08:52 am.

      Agreed

      I was completely floored when I heard interviews of the people who needed to be convinced that a woman can be competent to be president. Astoundingly, they were mostly women who believe women have no worth without a man. I have not heard a single interview from a man that was convinced by Fiorina that a woman is competent to be president. Maybe that’s selection bias, but it blew my mind nonetheless. It’s notable, in any case, that Fiorina was not selected in any state as a favorite for GOP candidate for president…

  11. Submitted by Tim Walker on 05/02/2016 - 09:10 am.

    Fiorina: Downsizer In Chief

    “Fiorina’s controversial tenure as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard became a campaign issue that dogs her today.”

    Actually, her experience will come in handy when it comes time to fire all Ted Cruz’s campaign staffers!

  12. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/02/2016 - 12:19 pm.

    The same thing…

    Palin did for McCain.

  13. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/03/2016 - 09:36 pm.

    And he’s out.

    That didn’t take long,

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/04/2016 - 08:04 am.

    Ya Know….

    I have to admit I never actually read this article, because it was obvious that Fiorina would do nothing for Cruz, even in theory. What’s funny is that some republicans would actually entertain the possibility that she COULD boost Cruz in some way. This just confirms that the republican capacity for rational political thought has basically disintegrated.

  15. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 05/04/2016 - 08:51 am.

    That didn’t last long

    Clearly no one cared about Fiorina. Trump! Trump! Trump! (Serious about the Fiorina, not serious about the Trump)

Leave a Reply