Friday, February 19, 2016

After Carly

The Republican Party and this country lost an opportunity to elect the leader that this country needs when Carly Fiorina suspended her campaign for President of the United States. The tipping point was when Fiorina was barred from appearing on the presidential debate stage prior to the New Hampshire primary election and her campaign's loss of momentum from the Iowa caucuses.

Being a part of Team Carly was fun and over way too soon. The CARLY for America Minnesota leadership team was principled and un-cynical without being idealistic or naive. Many of us carry vivid memories of many political campaigns won and lost, from school board to President of the United States. We mourn the loss of the American dream yet believe that it can still be regained. The CARLY for America website thanked the candidate exactly how we would have phrased it:
Thank you for fighting to make ours a citizen government, to restore the character of our country and to bring accountability to our government.  You inspired us to believe in the unlimited potential in each and every one of us and you stood strong while others tried to define you, disparage you and dismiss you.
Fiorina's supporters are a loyal bunch. Some of us are still in shock. We were looking ahead to Super Tuesday and beyond. For those candidates looking to appeal to #CaucusForCarly delegates, here are some ideas:

Look for common ground. Fiorina had the potential to reach out to Democrats and independents by being a problem-solver, not an ideologue. While unapologetically pro-life, Fiorina was committed to finding common ground and enacting common-sense abortion reforms.

During primary season, put your Republican rivals in their place without putting them down. When asked to respond to Donald Trump's insult about her "face," Fiorina said, "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said." She left it at that. Brilliant. We are sick and tired of the mud slinging between Republicans. President Ronald "Eleventh Commandment" Reagan is surely weeping in heaven.

Demonstrate your readiness to lead. Fiorina said that her first two telephone calls as president would be to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him that we stand with the state of Israel. She said that the second one would be to the Supreme Leader of Iran to tell him "new president, new deal." Fiorina acknowledged that Khamenei would not take her call, "but he would get the message."

Inspire the voters and our nation with a grand vision for America. Fiorina's "Lady Liberty, Lady Justice" debate-closing statement was positively Reaganesque.

As Fiorina summed up her vision on Facebook and on her campaign website:
We must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable. Republicans must stand for conservative principles that lift people up and recognize all Americans have the right to fulfill their God-given potential.
It remains to be seen which of the remaining Republican candidates for President can best carry this torch and win the election.