Archive for the ‘Carli Fiorina’ category

Vetting A Presidential Nominee

November 24, 2015

Watching the Republican Presidential nominating process unfold has been a lesson in fund raising, possessing the “right stuff”, and standing up to public vetting.  The GOP hopefuls list which began at nearly two dozen is slowly dwindling but the serious list (those with a chance) still remains close to 10.

Who will prevail and how long will it take?

Most everyone has been amazed at the success to date of non-politicians Donald Trump and Ben Carson. For a few weeks these two “outsiders” garnered over 50% of the polls. Trump still is hanging in at around 30% while Carson has fallen back to the high teens.

Carson’s recent drop in the polls highlights the amazing aspect of his prior success. Carson has no idea about foreign policy or current events. The Paris attack, ISIS and Syrian refugee issue, when vetted in the public forum, has shown he is not ready for prime time.  He would be a dangerous choice for Vice President since he appears to lack even the remotest background in diplomacy and world events.

Donald Trump is a quite different story. He has offered some of the most outlandish proposals on immigration, 9/11, taxes, and refugees and still is standing tall in the polls.  Trump seems to have offered a segment of voters someone who “says it as it is”, at least in their minds.

Anti-immigration, xenophobia, and gigantic tax cut promises have boosted Trump’s support even though his specific claims or proposals are patently unfounded. But 30% of the maybe 30% card carrying GOP base in a national election is not enough to win. Hmmm.

While Trump and Carson occupy the top positions, gradually Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasick are rising. This trio still are not a numeric challenge to Trump but are making life pretty rough on Jeb Bush and Carli Fiorina. The rest, Chris Christy, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, and Lindsay Graham have absolutely no chance and must be staying in hoping to get a VP nod.

The Primary race has been marked by pledges and promises which cannot reasonably be believed. No candidate is immune to the urge to say things which in hours are shown unfounded or unattainable. With the exception of Donald Trump, each candidate who has put forward some policy position crafted to appeal to the right, has lost a point or two in the polling standings. If things continue on the same path, by February or March, it should be clear that none of the current candidates has enough support to win in the general election even if they can secure the GOP nomination.

There is one unannounced candidate, however, who does poll well and would make a formidable candidate. That person is Mitt Romney.

Recent national polls show Mitt as by far and away the choice of Republican voters and a solid candidate against Hillary Clinton. If Mitt can stay patient, he could get the nomination without having to announce he is “severely conservative” again.

As time passes, the GOP should recognize in an election where less than a third of voters are true GOP believers (same percent holds for Democrats),  that unless the GOP offers a sane, responsible alternative, the mass of independent voters will side with Democrats and again keep the GOP out of the White House.

For my money, Mitt is by far the best choice if there must be a GOP President.

Unforced Errors

September 22, 2015

This morning, following a weekend of political gaffs by several GOP hopefuls, Republican pundits and apologist are lamenting the withdrawal of Governor Scott Walker. Walker withdrew after his poll numbers dropped below 1% reaching almost the same level as his funding accounts. Walker had been conducting a national campaign while he frittered away a substantial Iowa lead. There in lies an important message for other candidates. If your campaign is suppose to go through Iowa, make sure it does a respectable job even if you are not destine to win.

Instead Walker focused on building a national staff and breezed around acting as if he was above the fray of every day retail politics. He also built his campaign around the narrow plank of Union busting as opposed to something positive. Frankly the world has not lost much in his campaign suspension. Remember Scott Walker would not confirm that the thought the earth was more than 5,000 years old.

Ben Carson broke into jail on Meet The Press. He volunteered that he could not recommend a Muslim to be President but depending upon the individual Muslim, he might vote for that person for a lesser job, like for Congress. On one hand this speaks to Carson’s sincerity and on the other his naivety. The only acceptable answer is religion does not count as long as the candidate is qualified and their policies are acceptable. Religion, or the lack of any religion is expressly prohibited as a test for public office in the Constitution.

Donald Trump lost an opportunity earn a “statesmanship” badge when a questioner claimed President Obama was a muslim. Instead Trump ignored these allegations and later said it was not his job to defend the President. Hmmm. If you are a Democrat, you can’t hide your glee that Trump is still leading the GOP pack.

Carli Fiorina made a dramatic pronouncement on Planned Parenthood during the debate and got her facts all wrong. For the pro-life choir, it made no difference. She was speaking to them.

The lesser names, like Huckabee, Santorum, and Bush each picked contradictory targets. Huckabee jumped on the Kim Davis bandwagon and hitched his “religious freedom” kite to it. Religious freedom is a nebulous right that if one claims their religious view prevents them from adhering to some law, it’s ok. I wonder whether a Muslim’s beliefs count too? And this guy wants to be President?

Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush want to go a le carte with Pope. Since the Pope’s views on global warming don’t fit the GOP take on this subject, the Pope’s still a great person but they don’t listen to him on climate or monetary matters. Hmmm.

Oh, and Ted Cruz is still full speed ahead for a government shutdown.

The immensity of the hole the GOP is digging one candidate at a time is impressive. GOP leaning pundits are now waking up to their plait. There are few candidates in the current field who have currency to turn this around. Marco Rubio has been far more careful with his public statements. John Kasick is clearly the most experience executive with conservative credentials. And the seven dwarfs (Graham, Pataki, Gilmore, Paul, Christie, and Jindal, ok just six) can’t mount a credible campaign separately or together.

Following the 2016 elections GOP bigwigs gathered and concluded they needed to modulate their rhetoric so as to not alienate so many voters. No one proposed they reexamine their policies and confirm their policies were right for the times. The problem with the current GOP field is not their answers to specific questions, it is their fundamental policies on subjects like women’s rights, sexual orientation, taxation and economic wealth distribution, foreign policy, and healthcare for beginners.

The GOP seems more in love with the idea of being President than what policies are appropriate for the country as a whole.

Is It Really Time For A Third Party?

September 1, 2015

With Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Bernie Sanders attracting so much attention in the Presidential Primary polls, the question being bandied about is whether it is time for a real third party in American politics. Discounting this question a little because the media will fan the flames of anything that will sell more advertising, regardless of its newsworthiness, the question seems attractive if only as a possible way around the current Washington gridlock.

Trump, Carson, Sanders, and add, Fiorina do not see eye to eye on most all issues so the notion they represent a third party is bogus. They might legitimately each represent a potential third party but together they represent four new parties to add to the existing two. Hmmm, six altogether.

Trump has raised some interesting propositions in his unorthodox campaign. Recently he has hinted at raising taxes and imposing import duties (both GOP no-no’s) and this has raised the spector that should Trump get the GOP nod, there could be a schism within the party. Carson, Sanders, and Fiorina all propose personal behavior were they elected which has no room for the unproductive “shut down the government talk” which predominates the GOP controlled Congress now.

The Washington law making process has become so crippled with the combined burdens of hugely expensive campaigns and the need for Congress Members to continually raise money (at he expense of legislative work).  Add in the equally corrupting influence of special interests and lobbyists, one gets the formula for no action.  If it would take a third party to change this, then “bring them on”.

But is taking away the money enough?

A somewhat overlooked perspective on Washington gridlock is why do these otherwise intelligent people engage in such patiently destructive behavior?

IMO, another big factor stems from unstated beliefs.  The “thinkers” on both sides of the aisle believe their opponents, if left uncheck, will create laws which simply will not work. There is unfortunately no willingness to share these feelings or to attempt constructive compromise.

From the GOP perspective, more entitlements and government jobs will sap the energy out of average Americans who instead of working hard and preparing for the future, will instead demand another handout from Uncle Sam. In time the cost of this path will squeeze out defense spending and soon leave the country defenseless. Democrats, on the other hand, highly suspect that the GOP will continuously tweak the tax code in a way that dilutes the value of entitlements, reduces the role of government, and builds permanent barriers between classes while increasing the wealth of the wealthy.

Hmmm. Cynical or realistic?

One reality in today’s world is globalization and that it offers the lowest cost, highest productivity option. Sourcing some manufacturing in lower wage countries is a must for America. How does the US keep the playing field level?  Another reality involves global warming and coming to grips with changing the climate and rising seas is a must. The world is a big place and US only measures will most likely make little impact.  Consider also economic and political refugees and how they will impact America even if these immigrants land in Europe.

And changing social values such as gender, gender ID, sexual orientation, and race which we have come to accept in the US will continue to cause difficulties with other nations and their religions and mores.  A third party could address all these realities in a fresh manner.

If there is to be a third party, it would make only sense if this new party populated Congress too. Further the work of a new third party would need to be aimed at pragmatic solutions to US domestic and foreign policies, not some ideology. If the US ship of State does not steer a more sensible course, our status as the world’s wealthiest land could soon change.

On the other hand, if the lazy media just wants to talk about something and cares not what the underlying issues and implications might be, then talk of a third party is as good as any.  Hmmm.