Carly Fiorina’s Center Seat performance sets the stage

June 14, 2015

No Sunday Globe column this week. Just too many things happening in too short a time to do justice to the print space that it occupies. But fear not. The weekly dose of indigestion for liberals the world over will return next Sunday.

In the mean time I’m asking you to take a few minutes and take a look at Carly Fiorina. Yes, she’s a long shot for the Republican nomination, yes I have my doubts about such a candidacy. But I also must admit that much of my doubt centered around her tenure and Hewlett Packard, the ugly manner in which the board dispatched her. Other than that I knew little about her.

The past couple of months I’ve seen her on shows here and there and her demeanor and straight forward approach to answering questions put her in my “long shot or not, she’s worth a deeper look”.

The video is from Thursday evening’s “Center Seat” segment of Bret Baier’s “Special Report” on Fox News. (If you’re not watching it or DVRing it, you are missing THE most insightful news and analysis of national and international affairs available on any channel at any time.)

Center Seat is a segment where a news maker of the time comes in and takes unscripted questions from Bret and the panel. Over the years I have seen everything from “wow, now THAT was good” to “another day, politician wasting my time”.

Ms. Fiorina’s segment was above even the good mark.  She was straight, direct and answered without hesitation.  No pushing the talking points to avoid the question.  She engaged eagerly and with confidence.

I cannot remember anyone at any time turning in a more impressive performance.

This however is not an endorsement of Fiorina the candidate.

There is still more I want to see, more I want to hear, but if you’ll take a few minutes and watch the video, I think you too will want to know more about this straightforward candidate with no excuses and no expectations.  She knows she is entitled to nothing and she accepts that she will have to  work for everything.

And an added bonus comes at around the 14:10 mark where Bret asks the closing question submitted by some guy living in Fly Over Country named Geoff Caldwell.

Her answer to my question leads directly into the Bonus section below:

After taking the “Center Seat” on Bret Baier’s Special Report, she went over to the Competitive Enterprise Institute and gave a speech on the “State of Women in America”.

Why there is no text or video of the speech on either the Fiorina campaign site or the CEI site is a mystery to me, but in the mean time here are some clips from around the web on the speech: (I’ll upload video or transcript if ever becomes available)

International Business Times:

“I thought it was important to have a conversation about the state of women in America,” Fiorina told reporters in a press call on Thursday afternoon previewing the speech. “I think for too long actually, the left has controlled this conversation, they have defined the term ‘feminism’ and ‘feminist’ in a certain way. I think it’s important that we reclaim that term and have a conversation that is both honest about how women are faring today in America and also lays out some policies that I think work to lift women and men up.”

In the speech, Fiorina will also call for making birth control available without a prescription, supporting women-owned businesses and reforming safety net programs so that women can go back to work without losing benefits…………“If we’re going to move forward with some of these programs we need to be very judicial, very careful not to overreach, so women are helped, not harmed,” she said.

Editor’s note: The following is adapted from a speech delivered by Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on June 11, 2015 in Washington, D.C. at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner. It is reprinted with permission.

When I was a little girl, my mother told me: “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.” My mother and father would encourage me always to work hard, to aim high, to find and make the most of my gifts. I didn’t feel gifted as a young girl or a young woman, but my mother’s words seemed like both a promise and a challenge.

I would start my career as a secretary in a little nine-person real estate firm. One day, two men who worked there approached my desk and said: “We’ve been watching you and we think you can do more than type and file. Do you want to learn about business?”

They saw potential and possibilities in me and so I came to see these things in myself.

Whether it is in business or in charity or in any other human endeavor, my experience tells me that human potential is limitless. Usually, it is underutilized or worse, squandered and wasted. It is the only limitless resource we have in this world, and it is all we need to solve every problem.

John Hinderaker over at posts a Fiorina ad and notes: (It’s worth the click to watch the ad)

Carly Fiorina is rapidly carving a niche in the Republican field as the candidate who most aggressively and effectively goes after Hillary Clinton. This new campaign ad is a good example. The truth is that Hillary is a corrupt mediocrity with no significant accomplishments to her name, other than marrying Bill.

In a call with supporters previewing her speech on the state of women in America tonight at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Carly Fiorina said, “It is important to have this conversation as conservatives. It is important to have this conversation as Republicans.”……….“We need to redefine feminism. We need to reclaim the word ‘feminism.’” Rather, she says a feminist is anyone who chooses the life she lives.”

I have not a clue yet who I will support in the Republican primaries but I do know that America will be better served by having her message heard more rather than less.

Hopefully she will make the cut into the top 10 candidates in the average of national polls that FoxNews has set for the first debate of the season on August 6th.

But if she doesn’t make that, I have a feeling that her performance in the 90 minute forum for the rest of the field will push her into the top ten before the next debate.

And on second thought, that might not be a bad scenario. Because this is one pundit that would love to see how all those egos who have no business even running deal with a candidate offering solutions rather than soundbytes.

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