Thursday, November 19, 2009

Carly Fiorina Disses Sarah

by Lisa Graas, editor --

From Preferential Option:

[Fiorina] was asked whether Sarah Palin displayed leadership qualities. The question was asked in apparent sincerity, but her physical reaction seemed to suggest that she considered it a hostile question.

Here's her response, word for word, in its entirety:

"I've never met Sarah Palin. Next question."
There's more at Preferential Option.

This news came at an interesting moment for me. I've been thinking all morning about how the term "populism" is tossed about as a pejorative and how, as of late, it's been so frequently attached to commentary regarding Governor Palin. The pundits, political operatives and politicians whom regular folks now frequently refer to as "elites" are invariably the ones who toss this word "populism" around in a dismissive manner. Maybe they think that if they use technical terminology "the folks", as Bill O'Reilly calls average Americans, won't realize they're being dissed. After all, how many regular folks will you find who can really define "populism" and, further, would claim to be a member of the populist club?

In regard to Sarah Palin, Beltway pundits will tell you something along the lines of "she's fine, but she's a populist and, as such, won't win a presidential campaign." At least, that's the way I hear it. Being among that group of "regular folks", I resent the tone. Providentially, these were the thoughts that were running through my mind when I read the comment by Fiorina -- top economic advisor for the McCain campaign, "I've never met Sarah Palin."

You may remember Fiorina from her very public defense of Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign.

John McCain thinks very highly of Carly Fiorina. It's my understanding that he's endorsed her Senate candidacy in California. We have an equation there, then, of Senator John McCain giving his "golden touch" to a woman for high office. So, why aren't Californians jumping for joy? Call me a rube, but I think it has something to do with populism.

From Jonathan Martin, Politico, August 30, 2008:

GOP Grassroots on Fire

I've been covering the GOP presidential race since November of 2006. In those many months — across many states — I have never seen a crowd with the energy that I witnessed yesterday at the Erwin Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Yes, there was an inherent buzz owing to the pending veep announcement.

But even after the choice was proclaimed, the crowd seemed to become more jacked. And when Sarah Palin delivered, they seemed to instantly fall in love.

They were, if you will, fired up and ready to go.

And outside the arena, far from Dayton, the response I've gotten from Republican activists coast-to-coast has been one of almost joy. My e-mail in-box is bursting with enthusiasm from loyal GOPers who've been either glum, cynical or downright unhappy for the past two years.

This zeal is emphatically not matched by some Republican elites, who are casting a more pragmatic eye on the potential pitfalls of McCain tapping a running mate that
neither he nor many other political types know.

But, heading into the GOP convention this coming week, rank-and-file members of the party have finally found something they've been casting about now for lo these many unhappy months: something to get excited about.

Why can't Carly Fiorina do that? Perhaps she should meet Sarah Palin.
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