My instinctive, visceral reaction to Carly Fiorina’s presidential aspirations was to dismiss her out of hand. There were two reasons for this.
Number one: I have grave reservations about the presidency being anyone’s first political position. While I don’t like giving the nomination to “the next person in line,” and I find that career politicians frequently lose touch with life outside the Beltway, going straight to the presidency seems too big a jump.
Number two: I despise any argument that begins with, “This will be a good way to get the (fill in the blank) vote. I actually believe in certain principles, among them supporting policies that help America. I abhor the idea of passing legislation that is wrong for the country in the hope of getting women, African-Americans, Asians, young people, citizens of a certain state, older people, Hispanics etc., etc., to vote for you. Aside from being wrong, I also think it is foolish as there is no way to out ‘identity politics’ the Democrats. The number of people who were promoting Carly Fiorina because, “We need a woman to go against Hillary,” primed me to dislike her campaign, even if she did not make that argument herself.
What changed? A friend told me to take a look at a speech Carly (I never know how to refer to candidates. Are we on a first name basis?) delivered. I did and was impressed. Then I clicked on a few links and saw her go on the offensive when media tried to make her defensive about abortion. Little makes me angrier than Republicans slinking around with their tails between their legs, so that got my attention.
I have signed up to follow Carly on Facebook and have given her campaign the green light to send me emails. There are too many candidates in the race to be able to pay attention to all of them, but I am going to start looking more closely at her. She is joining the ranks of those I am most interested in as I seek someone with principles, guts and the ability to communicate.
It is early and my antipathies and allegiances are fluid, so I’m interested in hearing who is causing you to take note. Is there anyone whose campaign has attracted your attention?