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.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Fiorina worth a second look

Attending a Carly Fiorina house party this past weekend strengthened my support for the presidential candidate and my conviction that you should give her a second look before Minnesota's caucus night on March 1.

Fourteen conservative activists gathered at a home in Crystal (in the storied SD45 for you activists in the audience) to socialize and sit down in front of the flat screen to take in Citizen Carly, the Carly Fiorina biography produced by the CARLY for America PAC. One couple drove from Stillwater, another activist came from East Bethel. I got to catch up with two old friends who just happen to be on the CARLY for America leadership team: David Strom and Margaret Martin.

We have seen in three debate performances and countless TV interviews that Fiorina has an incredibly detailed and thorough grasp on the issues, from the economy to foreign policy. She debates the issues like a force of nature, without personal attacks. When she is attacked, she knows how to deliver a knockout punch right between the eyes — with class. She can communicate a grand vision unlike few others since Ronald Reagan (listen to her riveting Lady Liberty and Lady Justice allegory from her closing statement at the September CNN debate).

Character matters. Citizen Carly provides insights into Fiorina's character and what makes her so qualified to be our next President and Commander-in-Chief. She is not a politician, but she is a leader, arguably the kind of leader that the United States desperately needs after America's sad decline during the Obama administration. I believe that she could be the president to make America great again. She is a woman of faith, family, and flag.

In her public statements and appearances, Carly Fiorina is not political so much as presidential, in command. She believes, as our Founders did, that all of us are created equal (unlike progressives who believe that government knows best) and that one of the highest callings of leadership is to unlock the potential in others. She is living proof of the American dream. She is the type of leader that you used to think of when "growing up to be President" was actually a positive aspiration.