Rumors are swirling about town that former U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is eyeing a run for Chairwoman of the California Republican Party.
Matt Cunningham broke the story in Red County, suggesting that he would back Fiorina if she decides to run.
Make no mistake: if Carly runs, it’s a game-changer. Even the mere speculation of a run reminds one that perhaps we haven’t been thinking “big enough” in our quest to rebuild the Republican Party.
But early reactions are proving that Vice Chairman Tom Del Beccaro’s service may not be able to be brushed aside so quickly. Right or wrong, the Republican Party on both the State and National level historically rewards those who have “paid their dues” and worked their way through the ranks (read: Mitt Romney 2012). To that end, Del Beccaro has worked tirelessly to make “Conservative” cool again and has been at the forefront of a movement making its return – even if the Statewide party fell short at the ballot box in November. (In all fairness, the responsibility didn’t rest on his shoulders full stop; he wasn’t the lead dog in that sled race.)
In fact, in the wake of the November upset I think the silence has been deafening from leaders at the top as to where the Party goes from here. Except for Del Beccaro. He has thoughtfully laid out a detailed, three-point plan speaking tough love on why Republicans as a “brand” failed (hint: there was no brand), what we can learn from it, and where the Party goes from here. To his credit, Del Beccaro is not afraid of the Media – he has appeared on nearly every TV and radio outlet in the state during the past two years, and he’s got an open-door policy that is very attractive to Reporters.
Carly has an impressive list of strengths. She certainly has the national profile, the fundraising prowess, and the nerves of steel required to serve in a role where the constituents (big donors and the Party faithful) are so often at odds. During the elections, Carly impressed many by proving she was the same candidate on November 2nd as she was on June 2nd – and was able to do so without being offensive or vitriolic to her rather offensive and vitriolic adversary. As a CEO, she would bring top-level management skills to an organization that just might turn the Titanic around.
A Fiorina run would also be exciting for women. To my memory, the California Republican Party has never had a female Chair and traditionally, the woman’s place in the Republican Party has been in the trenches of the various Republican Women Federated organizations (not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld would say.)
But I digress. Carly hasn’t officially announced. If she does, needless to say it will be an interesting race. Already, folks are drawing battle lines. Just another reminder of how rapidly changing this game of Politics can be. Stay tuned!