Grownup at the Kid's Table
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Politics and Activism

Grownup at the Kid's Table

Why Carly Fiorina Won the Undercard Debate

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Grownup at the Kid's Table

Carly Fiorina came out of the 5:00 undercard debate yesterday with 82% approval rating on a Fox poll of viewers after the debate. In comparison, the next most popular candidate, Governor Rick Perry, only had 7% approval ratings. Based on social media, google searches, and this poll, Fiorina is beng touted as the winner of her debate. You can read a transcript of the debate, which is the one I pulled all of my quotes from, here. This article is my take on why she did so well, but why she still won't be a strong contender for the GOP nomination.

In a marked contrast to a majority of the other six candidates in her debate, and a majority of the ten candidates at the later debate, Fiorina actually answered the questions she was asked. Rather than talking off topic, she responded to the questions she was given, and did so in a straightforward and timely manner. Watching the debate, I was impressed by her hard-hitting and thoroughly fleshed out answers. She especially shone on the foreign policy questions she was asked about the Middle East, and the Iran nuclear deal.

She was able to name drop multiple world leaders, calling a few of them close personal friends in her responses, and came out strongly in support of shoring up Israel and other allies. In response to these questions, she said, "I would hold a Camp David summit, with our Arab allies, not to talk them into this lousy deal with Iran, but to say to them, what is it that you need to defeat ISIL? King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I've known for a long time, has been asking for bombs and material. We haven't provided them. The Kurds have been asking us to arm them for three years. We haven't done so." With this list of allies she didn't feel had enough American support, she clearly lays out her ideas about peace and defense in the Middle East.

She clearly had a strong command of the facts, and arguably possesses the most foreign policy experience out of all seventeen of the Republican nominees. As the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, an international corporation, she gained a great deal of international business experience. In addition, she has a great deal of hands-on experience in advisory roles with the CIA, Pentagon, and NSA. All of this experience is commendable and valuable.

As she said herself in the debate, she knows "more world leaders on the stage today than anyone running, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton." However, she does not have more foreign policy experience than Clinton, who can claim her roles as both First Lady, and Secretary of State to bolster her foreign policy resume. More importantly, none of Fiorina's experience has been in a public office or a diplomatic role.

Fiorina isn't polling well; most of the reason for that is a name recognition problem, which is exacerbated by the amount of people she is currently running against. With the addition of Donald Trump to the GOP nominees, she has even lost the distinction of being the sole business-oriented candidate. After this debate, however, we should expect to see her featured in the more serious debates with the more well known candidates. Hopefully, she will begin to be recognized as a savvy and serious contender for the Republican nomination.

She may have won the debate, but I still don't think that she is a likely candidate to win the nomination. I find it concerning that a person would run for president with a complete lack of a political resume, having never held public office. She may have business experience, but in sharp contrast to the political elites she is currently up against, she has no political experience. It is unlikely that she would ever gain the backing needed to gain the presidency.

However, she is well spoken, and her foreign policy experience shouldn't be overlooked. I think she would be a valuable cabinet member or foreign policy asset for a different candidate, maybe even a possibility for vice president.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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