A Critique Of Carly Fiorina

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 25, 2009

I don’t like writing this, because I had a very interesting and enjoyable discussion with Carly Fiorina last year, while she was serving as a campaign surrogate for Senator John McCain. I heard that Fiorina is preparing her own run at political office, seeking to be the Republican nominee in the 2010 Senate race against Barbara Boxer, and naturally, I wish her well in the effort. But she is going to have to do more than she has done up to now, in order to impress potential supporters.

In addition to her political struggles, Fiorina is struggling with a health issue; breast cancer, to be precise. All decent people empathize with Fiorina in her fight, and wish her a full and speedy recovery. As discussed here, Fiorina will miss the upcoming California state GOP convention because of her health situation.

I suppose that I could understand this . . . except that Fiorina was able to find time to attend–albeit, via satellite–a Fortune summit focusing on prominent women and their battles with cancer. I suppose that I could understand that as well . . . except that in addition to her impending no-show at the GOP convention, Fiorina appears to be running an amateurish campaign.

Look, I don’t want to make too much of this. It is still relatively early in the electoral game, the Fiorina campaign has time to get its head in the game, and goodness knows that facing a battle with breast cancer must be extraordinarily difficult. I cannot even remotely imagine the degree of courage Fiorina must summon in order to go about the mission she has designed for herself.

But the fact remains that if Fiorina makes it to the general election as the Republican nominee, and runs a subpar campaign, Republicans will lose a golden opportunity to unseat an increasingly unpopular Barbara Boxer. At this stage, Fiorina has to ask herself whether she is able to go all in for the Senate race, or whether she will need to take some time (well-deserved time, one might emphasize), tending to her health and letting someone else carry the banner for the GOP in next year’s Senate race. I wish nothing but the best for Carly Fiorina, but amateur hour has to come to an end when it comes to her campaign. If she is going to run, she has to significantly sharpen her operation. If she can’t do that, she should step aside, and let someone else take the fight to Barbara Boxer.

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