Wednesday, May 6, 2015
The clown car is filling up
Yesterday the news was all about Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson. Dr. Carson went back to his roots, too, and made his announcement in Detroit. The clown car is filling up.
I can understand why Huckabee wants to take another shot at campaigning. He made a career of being a self-righteous hypocrite after his 2008 candidacy but enough time has elapsed that he's not the right-wing darling he used to be. Fresh faces have emerged. He needs to pump up his public profile again, do something that will help keep his appearance fees high and maybe even give his current book another press run or two. I can also understand why politicians like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have ambitions -- they managed to get elected to the Senate so they figure if they're electable in one part of the country, they're potentially electable everywhere. There's nothing quite like success at one level to encourage a person to believe he or she can rise higher. What I don't get is why Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson have decided to get into the race.
I'm going to cheerfully predict that Fiorina's candidacy will evaporate long before the primary season actually begins in 2016. She doesn't have much name recognition, and the recognition she does have is not particularly positive. She touts as experience as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard as a reason to believe she can lead the country. Unfortunately, she did such a great job of running Hewlett-Packard that she got fired. Hewlett-Packard paid her an outrageous amount of money to go away. That's not exactly a glowing endorsement of her management skills. Then when she ran for the Senate in California, her one and only venture into elective politics to date, she lost by a large margin. Why she thinks she's a viable candidate now is a mystery. The only explanation I can think of is she's pulling a Huckabee. She's trying to raise her profile enough to gain her more appearances on the "news" shows on Fox and elsewhere. That in turn would up the amount she could request in speaking and consulting fees. Maybe she fantasizes about being as popular as Ben Carson. Dr. Carson reportedly collects fees as high as $250,000 to give speeches at various conventions and meetings.
Or maybe she's annoyed that she doesn't get as many phone calls from the producers at Fox News as she used to. In any case, at this point the only real mystery about her campaign is how long it's going to take for her to figure out that it's doomed, that Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers have no interest in giving her any money, and without money there is no campaign. Who knows? Maybe the Republican candidate pool over the next few months is going to look more like a revolving door than a clown car as one would-be candidate after another enters, figures out he or she has zero support, and ends up exiting the race long before any ballots are cast. It almost makes me wish I still watched C-SPAN.
Fiorina, incidentally, provided an almost instant example of her lack of connection with the real world. She failed to lock up all the most obvious domain names that would include her own name. For someone who claims to be technologically savvy and a business guru, that's a rather glaring rookie mistake. Not that it matters much -- I have a hunch she'll have sunk out of sight long before the real election season gets here.