Cruz/Fiorina ’16: A Marriage of Convenience, For One


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I really liked Carly Fiorina when she was running for President. I admit: even though I voted for Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, Fiorina would have been one of my top choices early on in the campaign. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s confusing, I know. Anyway, a friend of mine who knew this was the case asked for some of my thoughts on whether her choice as Ted Cruz’s VP pick made me any more inclined towards Cruz. Well, here were my thoughts:

Man, if Cruz was going to do anything to make me even consider voting for him, this was it.  Even though I would have voted for Kasich over Fiorina, Kasich as VP wouldn’t encourage me to vote for Cruz as much as this pick. I really like Fiorina and think she could be an incredibly powerful and effective Vice President.

That being said, however…

First, Cruz is still just as blindly power-hungry and calculating as ever, and as much as I like Fiorina, there’s no way that a Cruz administration would give let Fiorina have any influence or say in how things are done.

That means this pick just chokes with the kind of political nihilism and cynicism that Cruz is known for. He spends his entire political career assuming (or at least feigning) the absolute worst about the state of our country, the moral nature of progressives, and gullibility of the American politic. He picked Fiorina because she is a woman, that’s it. Not for what she can contribute in any way other than votes.

She is a trophy VP, that is all. And that’s not a statement about her, that’s a statement about Cruz’s unique brand of over-the-top Shakespearean opportunism. She is capable, powerful, and competent. She should be given a platform. Cruz won’t give it to her.

Similarly, it looks like he is simply trying to pick a running mate that will play best to Trump’s weaknesses. Cruz can now talk about how terribly Trump is treating women any time Trump criticizes Fiorina. She is the one candidate that Trump wasn’t able to make look small, and the only one that got any real blows in against him.

If Cruz got the nomination (which is all but impossible),  this pick also balances out the ticket against a Hillary nomination. Cruz can’t be accused of participating in a “war against women” if his VP is a woman and yet, we see where that same tactic got McCain (although I would not insult Fiorina by implying she is in any way like Palin.

I’m assuming that the Cruz campaign’s hope in making this pick is to dampen Trump poll numbers so that, going into the convention Cruz looks all the more appealing for a second round of ballots.

And yet…

Trump has got this thing in the bag. For Cruz, this is way too little, way too late. Cruz’s last stand is in Indiana and, as far as I know, Fiorina doesn’t help him in any way with that. Yes, she may help in California, but Indiana is where this could be decided. Trump will likely blow Cruz away in Indiana, though, all but sealing up the 1,237 delegates he needs for the nomination. (Actually, with unbound delegates, he probably needs a lot less.)

Both primaries are done. It’s Trump vs. Clinton.

And this is a shame, you know? Growing up in the 90s, I internalized enough of a wariness (and weariness!) of the Clinton’s that my first inclination this year was not to vote for Hillary.

(Although, she impress me with how well she knows every single issue out there. Say what you want about what she does with what she knows, but you can’t deny her experience and knowledge and intelligence.)

I was genuinely excited to vote for a Republican this year. I was begging the GOP to give me someone to vote for. They had the best slate of candidates they’ve had in decades. I would have seriously looked at Kasich, Bush, Rubio, Paul, and Fiorina. And yet, they managed, out of 17 candidates, to leave standing the only two people in the whole race I would most certainly, without hesitation, choose Clinton over: Trump and Cruz (well, and Carson).

Therefore, as it stands, no matter Cruz’s Fiorina pick, unless things change dramatically, it looks like this born and raised Texan is voting for a Clinton.

What do you all think about this race?

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