Carly Fiorina, the new hit of the week

Carly Fiorina is the new hit of the week. Due to two confident and polished debate performances, she has surged in the polls and drawn a new following. In last week's column, I urged the candidates to "stay in there" because no one has yet cast a vote and not one delegate has been chosen for next year's Republican convention in Cleveland.


Obviously, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) did not take the time to read my column; or he did read it and decided to ignore my advice. The more I see and hear from Fiorina, the more I find her unqualified, most of all, and her candidacy unappealing.

She radiates a stubborn inflexibility and in no way resembles the "sunny" optimism that Republicans so admired and loved in their hero, President Reagan. Fiorina is so intent on being taken seriously, so concerned about her own gravitas, that one stops listening to what she is actually saying. I find myself saying out loud, "lighten up!" Have some fun and enjoy the experience.

Another beef I have with her is that she makes things up, and then, confronted with the truth, defiantly won't admit she was wrong. Graphically, at the last debate, she said the following about a nonexistent Planned Parenthood video: "Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain." The only problem with this description is no such video exists the way she described it.

Fiorina would also like her GOP audience to believe the rags-to-riches story from secretary to CEO. What she conveniently leaves out is that, by most accounts, she seriously damaged the standing and reputation of not one, but two huge corporations when she was leading them (Hewlett-Packard and Lucent).

Another point which I have not seen mentioned anywhere and is worth considering is her ignorance with regard to the U.S. Constitution. In discussing the requisite numerical requirement for ratifying a constitutional amendment, she said that two-thirds of the states have to ratify it. The requirement is actually three-fourths. If any other candidates had displayed this lack of knowledge, the media would have been all over them. But she was given a pass.

Fiorina's Senate campaign five years ago has not been examined closely enough. She was soundly rejected by the citizens of California. Many have forgotten that she, too, was guilty of making snide remarks about her opponent's appearance. On camera, her statement about Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBottom line Trump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status MORE's (D-Calif.) hair was caught: "God, what is that hair? So yesterday."

The GOP has problems with women. There is a gender gap when it comes to voters. Just like Ben Carson and black voters, the party is looking for a way to make up for this disadvantage. What an instant solution: Find a Carson, discover a Fiorina! I understand the need, but these two, by their intrinsic qualities, are by no means the answers.

There are black Republicans who are qualified to be president. There are female Republicans who are qualified to be president. But their names are definitely not Carson or Fiorina. Carson and Fiorina have this in common: They saw an opening in identity politics and they eagerly sought to fill it. Good for them; no one should stop them for trying. Very strategic. But GOP voters will one day have a bigger field of black and female quality aspirants — they shouldn't have to settle for the present choices.

One final thought. In a recent column, Richard Cohen compared Carson to Chauncey Gardner in the unforgettable film "Being There" — how perfect! Fiorina — I'm sorry, I can't resist — reminds me of Nurse Ratched in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Didn't Alice Roosevelt Longworth doom GOP presidential nominee Thomas Dewey in 1948 by saying that he looked like the "little man on the wedding cake"?

Plotkin is a political analyst, a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner.