Fiorina Deserves Prime Time

A young conservative makes the case for Carly

Fox has announced the 10 of the 17 candidates who will be part of the main prime-time debate at 9 p.m. Thursday. The top ten were determined based on an average of the five most recent major national polls; the other candidates, including Carly Fiorina, will grapple in a pre­-show debate on the same stage at 5 p.m.

Fiorina campaigned hard to make the main event. Her fundraising emails read, “$9 —­­ Help get Carly to the debates.”
Carly Debates
There are some convincing reasons she could have been an asset in the prime­time line-up Thursday night and why she deserves attention in the 5PM showdown.

The ‘War on Women’
D​emocrats have launched and successfully disseminated a false narrative in past elections. The Republican party is anti­-woman, they say. But can the GOP seriously combat this narrative if all 10 out of 10 candidates on stage are men? Perception matters, and voters should remember there is a successful, viable female contender in the race.

Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, did not make the prime-time debate, so America will see 10 men on the screen. Yes, a few Latinos and one black … but no females. The Republican Party’s message is supposed to resonate with everyone. Why shouldn’t the stage represent that as well?

Sexist Attacks
C​onventional wisdom says that Hillary Clinton will most likely be the Democratic nominee. Because of this, Republican candidates must attack her on a litany of issues. Sadly, Republican men may be called sexist for even the most valid criticisms they throw her way. Fiorina, on the other hand, helps neutralize the gender issue. In fact, Fiorina has already shown her ability to do so time and time again.

“I think we now have enough information to understand that Hillary Clinton as secretary of state has engaged in gross dereliction of duty. She has engaged in a cover-­up and she has blood on her hands,” Fiorina told Megyn Kelly in an interview on Fox News.

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Fiorina, in fact, has addressed the elephant in the room.

“I think that if Hillary Clinton were to face a female nominee, there are a whole set of things she won’t be able to talk about. She won’t be able to talk about being the first woman president. She won’t be able to talk about a war on women without being challenged. She won’t be able to play the gender card,” Fiorina said.

Role Model and Inspiration
Fiorina can be inspirational to other women, ­ particularly young conservative women. In fact, high school and college­-aged students have started a hashtag #GetCarlyOnStage. Their tweets confirm her inspiration factor.

Carly Tweet 1 Carly Tweet 2 Carly Tweet 3

So now Fiorina has one option: Rock the pre­-debate show.

Even then, Fioria will have opportunity to launch zingers at Hillary, inspire other women, and represent diversity within the party. It’s just a shame she won’t be doing those things front and center.

“We believe that the criteria used to select debate inclusion should be reflective of how our party’s nominee will eventually be chosen. The path to the Republican nomination begins in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The voters of those states should be the ones narrowing the Republican field of candidates,” said Steve DeMaura, executive director of Carly For America.

At this point, Fiorina’s best bet is that clips of her one-­liners in the pre­-debate will be replayed and recycled in the days to come.

Fiorina has appeared on Fox News more than 20 times since she announced her presidential candidacy in early May. The network will likely be friendly to playing these clips. Other news outlets may ignore her altogether, but only time will tell.

Follow @LifeZette on Twitter for live debate coverage and commentary from PoliZette staff Thursday Aug. 6th at 5pm and 9pm EST. 

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