Don’t cry for Fiorina

In a tough, fact-filled column from last January, Michelle Malkin details the self-touting “conservative” Carly Fiorina’s very close ties with Jesse Jackson and her support for proportionality of outcome by sex:

“I like to remind people that women are not a constituency—women are a majority,” Fiorina said during her Wednesday night speech in Sacramento, hosted by California Women Lead, a nonpartisan group that encourages women to seek public office. “Women are the majority of voters and we will never have a truly representative democracy unless women make up half, at least, of our elected representatives.”

And now that Fiorina and her political twin Meg Whitman (about neither of whom was I able to summon the slightest bit of enthusiasm during the campaign) have lost their respective races, Malkin sums up the dynamic duo:

Where is the introspection about these loser bids? Who takes responsibility for fielding two unlikeable candidates who reinforced the GOP stereotype of out-of-touch, condescending corporate magnates seeking to buy office and donning conservative clothing only when expedient, just like their chief GOP establishment advocate, John McCain?

Regarding the same article, if you dislike the odious Bushite Michael Gerson as much as I do, you’ve got to be grateful to Malkin for taking “Karl Rove’s water boy” apart.

- end of initial entry -

November 12

Clark Coleman writes:

Michelle Malkin is correct to point out that the failures of GOP establishment candidates Fiorina and Whitman are just as notable as the failures of Tea Party candidates Christine O’ Donnell and Sharron Angle. However, there is something interesting to note here. What do these four failed GOP candidates have in common? Hint: It is not something that Michelle Malkin would be likely to point out.

sent November 12, posted November 15

Clark Coleman continues:

By the way, in case I was being too subtle, I was not just referring to the fact that all four failed candidates were women. Lots of men also lost elections on November 2. I was referring to the fact that all four candidates were pushed forward as nominees because they were women, even though there might have been better male candidates.

The GOP establishment types push female candidates like Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman because they think that everyone worships “successful career women” and no one will make nasty attacks on a woman, etc. Angle and O’Donnell were pushed by Sarah Palin, a feminist wolf in conservative sheep’s clothing, because of her girl-power obsessions. Whenever a female candidate was available in the GOP primaries, she was right there handing out endorsements, making speeches, etc. A particularly egregious example was her endorsement of some unknown woman for Georgia governor, when Nathan Deal had excellent conservative credentials, name recognition, political experience, grass roots support, etc. Luckily, Deal got the nomination and won in November. Perhaps he should apologize to Sarah Palin for putting a damper on her “Year of the Women” festivities.

Given that Michelle Malkin was one of the “I am Sarah Palin” video stars, I doubted that she would see this point of similarity.

JC from Houston writes:

To answer Michelle Malkin’s question as to who was responsible for fielding this unattractive candidate, we need look no further than … Sarah Palin!

From CBS News, May 6, 2010:

“Carly is the Commonsense Conservative that California needs and our country could sure use in these trying times,” Palin said in a release. “She’s not a career politician. She’s a businesswoman who has run a major corporation.”

“I’m a huge proponent of contested primaries, so I’m glad to see the contest in California’s GOP, but I support Carly as she fights through a tough primary against a liberal member of the GOP who seems to bear almost no difference to Boxer, one of the most leftwing members of the Senate,” Palin added.

That was a shot at former Rep. Tom Campbell, one of the three Republicans in the race. (The other is Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who has Tea Party support—and who cannot be happy with the news.)

Palin also trumpeted the endorsement on her Facebook page, where she called Fiorina “pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-military, and pro-strict border security and against amnesty.”

“Carly is the only conservative in the race who can beat Barbara Boxer,” she wrote, in a possible explanation for why she isn’t backing DeVore. “That’s no RINO. That’s a winner.”

November 16

Dale F. writes:

Regarding JC’s comment on Palin’s support being the reason for Fiorina’s successful primary run: I don’t think so.

Fiorina’s opponents in the primary were Tom Campbell and Chuck DeVore. Campbell is a down-the-line establishment figure, a liberal Republican with impeccable credentials—undergraduate work at the University of Chicago, Harvard Law JD, then a PhD in Economics under thesis adviser Milton Friedman. Clerked for Byron White. Served in the Reagan administration. Five terms in Congress. Professor at Stanford.

He strongly supported same-sex marriage, as you can see here. He’s a fan of immigration. Also, he had tried and failed in two previous Senate attempts, first by failing to win a primary race to challenge Boxer, and several years later winning the primary only to be defeated by Feinstein in the general election by a wide margin. (By the way—he’s also a very nice guy, and almost certainly would have been good on fiscal issues.)

Chuck DeVore is one of the most conservative politicians in California, in a class with Tom McClintock. He’s bright and very personable, and a great off-the-cuff speaker. He represents a very conservative district in the State Assembly. I’d love to see him as U.S. senator from California, but it was widely believed that someone that far to the right didn’t stand a chance in the general election in liberal California. I think the election results proved that belief correct—every major state office was won by a Democrat, with the possible exception of attorney general, which is still too close to call.

Fiorina was the least well known, and that worked in her favor. She was neither as conservative as DeVore nor as liberal as Campbell. I think a lot of voters believed that she had the best shot at defeating Boxer, and though I don’t think Palin’s endorsement hurt her, I doubt that it was decisive, for the reasons I’ve given above.

Dale F. continues:

A couple of other thoughts:

In the Malkin article, Fiorina’s publicist referred to Fiorina as a “mainstream conservative.” That term in itself pretty well sums up the difficulties conservatives face in getting elected to statewide office in California. “Mainstream” in the context of California means “not a hard-core social conservative.” It’s an attempt to be just enough right of the tired category “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” to attract the Republican base without alienating the unaffiliated middle. But it’s a hopeless task, because the simple tag “conservative” is enough to turn off liberals without a second thought.

Second, people who don’t live in California generally have no idea how pervasive is the power of the unions, both public and private. Every “bad” proposition on the 2010 ballot was sponsored by unions. Every Democrat in the state gets massive support from the unions. For instance, in our local Assembly race, the Democrat/socialist who won received nearly 50 percent of his total direct campaign contributions from unions. SEIU California alone spent $11.2 million just on Jerry Brown (they also claim to have contributed 90,000 hours of phone banking and precinct walking to Brown).

With that massive Democratic advantage in advertising and get-out-the-vote troops, Republican candidates who have large personal financial resources are among the only ones who stand a chance. I’m not saying that private wealth is sufficient (obviously), but in California statewide races it has become virtually a necessity for non-leftist candidates.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 11, 2010 05:27 PM | Send

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