Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Bold and Daring Move

A study in retrospect: One of the presidential
contenders has, long before the staging of his
party's convention, chosen a Vice Presidential running
mate. Republican Ted Cruz has offered former presi-
dential candidate Carly Fiorina the position, and the
former CEO of Hewlett Packard happily accepted.
Cruz announced his choice this Spring while attending
a rally for his presidential candidacy in Indianapolis.

Why the early VP pick? Isn't this move not only a bit
premature, but also rather foolhardy, in that it gives
one the impression that Sen. Cruz believes that he
already has the GOP nomination in the bag, or soon
shall have, despite front-runner Donald Trump leading
Cruz by 400 delegates at this stage and the mathematics
of Cruz overtaking Trump before the Republican Party's
convention in July? Actually, this gambit has been
employed before, and by a Republican candidate, before
the party's convention in 1976: Ronald Reagan chose
U.S. Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania to be
his running mate just a few weeks before the GOP
gathering in Kansas City. The conservative Reagan
picked liberal Republican Schweiker to run with him
in order to attract delegates who worried that Reagan
might be seen as too conservative for the electorate
in the general election. Although Schweiker was indeed
politically liberal, he opposed gun control and court-
mandated busing to desegregate public schools, making
him at least somewhat palatable to the party's base.
Although Reagan narrowly lost the Republican nomina-
tion to incumbent President Gerald Ford, his ploy was
considered a bold maneuver, one that may well have
netted Reagan nearly enough delegates to wrest the
nomination from a sitting president, the first time that
such a feat would have occurred in over one hundred

Another reason for Cruz' pick of Fiorina: her presence
on this ticket, if Cruz wins the GOP nod, will be a
wonderful counter to Hillary Clinton if she gets the
Democrats' nomination, and at this point that is looking
increasingly likely. But know this: Carly Fiorina is
not simply a hook to get delegates who may place any
stock in playing the gender card in order to battle with
Hillary for the women's vote. This lady is very much
up on the issues of the day, and has strong conservative
stands on them --- pro-life on abortion; economic growth
rather than government growth, especially regarding
lowering taxes on businesses, families, and individuals;
maintaining a strong defense for our country; standing by
our allies rather than turn from them, carping at them all
the while (as our current president has done vis-vis Israel).
And Fiorina has a keen intellect, as well as fine debating
skills (she had exhibited these in the early debates with
the Republican field of presidential hopefuls). She is
neither a  wallflower, nor a shrinking violet.

Cruz explained his borrowing a page from The Gipper's
book thus: "After a great deal of consideration and prayer,
I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be
President of the United States that I will run on a ticket
with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina,".
With these words, he introduced his running mate to the
assembly at the Cruz rally to thunderous applause and cheers.
Carly added, "Ted could not be more right in what he said:
There is a lot at stake, and, in fact, this is a fight, ... for the
soul of our party and the future of our nation ... everything
about the campaign, everything about this election, is
unprecedented ... I think this is a confident leader who knows
what he wants to do for this nation and who wants the nation
to understand who he is, what he believes and who he wants
by his side to fight this fight on behalf of the American

Did this audacious move bring the desired results for Ted Cruz?
Sadly, this strategy did not pan out for Cruz any more than it
did for Ronald Reagan forty years earlier. But when your back
is against the wall, boldness and daring will do more for you than
caution and discretion.


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