By Alex Knepper
We have to wonder who else Ted Cruz asked to join him in this desperate, cockamamie scheme before having to settle for Carly Fiorina. (Marco Rubio? Mike Pence?) Who else but Fiorina would agree to this? She has always been supremely ambitious in politics despite there being little to recommend her for high office — and since she has nowhere else to go after this election, remains as hungry for power as ever, and despises Trump, she has nothing to lose. It’s now or never for her.
Fiorina adds a few not-minor assets to the Cruz team: a burst of novelty and excitement over an all-non-white-male GOP ticket, connections in California Republican politics that will help him organize ahead of the crucial June primary — we should expect Fiorina to focus all of her energies there after the Indiana primary — and, much like Cruz himself, an articulate demeanor, albeit one that comes across as a bit rehearsed. She also retains something of a claim to ‘outsider-dom,’ having never been elected — although that is not exactly for any lack of trying.
But her liabilities are as obvious as they were in 2010 and 2015: as a walking, talking PowerPoint presentation, a repeat political loser, and a history as one of the faces of corporate incompetence being rewarded with ‘golden parachutes,’ Fiorina would manage to make Hillary look naturally warm and ‘likeable.’ No matter how convincingly she can articulate right-wing ideology, she still comes across as a little robotic, and anyone who scratches even slightly below the surface of her resume will rediscover the litany of issues that held her back in previous elections.
Perhaps the biggest mystery of this move — aside from the chutzpah of announcing a running mate the day after coming in 3rd place in four contests — is this: Who is a Fiorina voter? Or, more precisely: Who is a Trump or Kasich voter who is so taken with Fiorina that he’d switch to Cruz? For whom does this selection tip the difference? The move to announce a running mate is audacious, but it doesn’t actually seem to make much strategic sense. But it does steal him the limelight. Nonsensical limelight-grabbing has worked awfully well during this cycle, though, so maybe the senator is onto something.