Mention former New York Gov. George Pataki or Carly Fiorina in the 2016 GOP primary and many voters will say: “Who?” Nonetheless, Pataki has been giving speeches in New Hampshire, has made plans to speak at the Iowa Agricultural Summit, and is getting his 15 minutes of media buzz. Both Fiorina and Pataki are most likely going to be in the GOP mix.
But if you are looking for long shots, Fiorina is the one to take seriously. True, Fiorina (the first female leader of a Fortune 20 company) has not held any political office, and she lost her 2010 bid in California to unseat U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. The last nonpolitical candidate to receive the nod from a major political party was the conquering general Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.
So, what has separated Fiorina from the George Patakis in the race? One major factor is that she has not shied away from her pro-life principles, and she has even made them a major part of her campaign, telling the Christian Post that “life is an important issue that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about.” Fiorina recently gave the keynote address at the Heritage Foundation’s event: Welcoming Every Life: Choosing Life after an Unexpected Prenatal Diagnosis.
After the Iowa Freedom Summit, Former Oklahoma GOP Chairman Gary Jones told the Washington Times that:
“Carly Fiorina, whom most people had never heard of, got the best response. She came across as a highly intelligent woman and a strong leader as the ex-chief executive of the biggest tech firm in the world. She did herself the most good.”
Her performance at the summit, which also included speeches from Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee among others, showed that she can hold her own with the higher profile candidates. If Fiorina can build on the recent buzz surrounding her potential candidacy and translate that into a strong result at the Iowa caucus, she could be a potential dark horse to watch in the primary.
Joshua Pinho works for the American Principles in Action.