The Promise, and Peril, of a Cruz-Fiorina Ticket

by Jim Geraghty

A lot of Republicans would be happy with a Cruz-Fiorina ticket. A big question is, would 1,237 Republican convention delegates like it?

There’s a lot to like about Carly Fiorina. She does her homework, she excelled in many of the debates, and nobody tears into Hillary Clinton the way Fiorina does.She’s got more experience in the arena of national security than most people know. Despite the claim that she’s “establishment,” she actually ran pretty conservative back in her 2010 Senate bid on issues like abortion, gay marriage, and the Second Amendment.

But the Cruz camp shouldn’t be blinded to the challenges that come with a Cruz-Fiorina ticket. For all her strengths, Fiorina didn’t do that well in the 2010 Senate bid and didn’t do much in the early primaries this cycle. Lots of Republicans may like Fiorina, but not many voted for her when push came to shove this year.

The Democrats are sure to run ads featuring Hewlett-Packard workers laid off during her tenure. Defenders of the multi-millionaire Clintons and those six-figure speaking fees to Wall Street will insist Fiorina is too wealthy to relate to the problems of average Americans. While naming her quickly could move the needle a bit in the California GOP primary, it’s hard to believe she would alter the Electoral College map much.

Cruz still has to win the primary, and a lot of voices will chortle that he responded to a year of populist anger by picking a former CEO with a net worth of about $60 million.

Trump will probably claim that a Cruz-Fiorina ticket is more “Washington insiders.” This doesn’t make much sense, but then again, precious little that Trump says does. This is the year “insider” and “outsider” ceased to mean anything.

Trump, who sees himself as an outsider, is a longtime huge donor to both parties, who first flirted with running for president in 1988, who built his real-estate empire on favors, special tax breaks, federal projects, and earmarks.

Ted Cruz, who Trump has somehow Jedi-mind-tricked otherwise sensible people into believing is an “insider” or the “establishment candidate” is the guy whose colleagues can’t stand him because of his efforts that led to the government shutdown.

Remember, Hillary Clinton is convinced that she’s can’t possibly be the “establishment” candidate because she’s a woman.

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