Sunday, August 29, 2010

Qualifications watch 

If I lived in California I would vote for Carly Fiorina this fall, although more to achieve the partisan result in the Senate and the end of Barbara Boxer -- who is both liberal and stupid -- than out of any particular wish to see Fiorina's political career advance. I am not at all clear on her accomplishments, other than her having been the female CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a top economic adviser to the McCain campaign [**cough**]. But then, that is a gilded resume compared to many of these clowns.

This, though, is as sad a commentary on the state of American politics as any of seen in a while (and perhaps any that you've seen since my post on Glenn Beck yesterday...):

Carly Fiorina, the Republican Senate candidate from California, will travel to the Middle East over the Labor Day weekend to shore up her foreign policy credentials.

Marty Wilson, her campaign manager, said the candidate wants to be updated on the region, according to the Associated Press.

A freaking trip the Middle East is adequate to "shore up" the "foreign policy credentials" of a candidate for the United States Senate? Fortunately, perhaps, Senators don't actually need foreign policy credentials.

The anticipated benefit of the shoring up must be enough for Fiorina to trade away several days actually campaigning in California less than 70 days before the election. I do not know which is worse, that a Republican political campaign thinks voters are so easily duped (an opinion shared by Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign), or that it is quite possibly correct in its assessment.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 29, 11:40:00 PM:

You forgot to include her accomplishments in New Jersey where, as a top executive, she helped make Lucent into the powerhouse it is today.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sun Aug 29, 11:41:00 PM:

Yeah, my company benefited from that -- many of our best people, particularly in finance, came from Lucent after its sale. I admit, I do not know enough about it to know whether Fiorina is to blame.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Sun Aug 29, 11:54:00 PM:

There is always the possibility that what we are given to read is different than the campaigns intent. Right now there doesn't seem to be anything on Carly's website about this. I am not ready to accept the words of some "reporter" as the what the trip is about. Jurnolist is gone but it's replacement is active and up to something.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Mon Aug 30, 12:50:00 AM:

Why does a senator need 'foreign policy credentials'?

Isn't foreign policy the realm of the executive branch?  

By Anonymous E Hines, at Mon Aug 30, 10:10:00 AM:

So, Tigerhawk's position seems to be that a politician should bring what s/he has to the table, and no efforts to improve those assets are allowed. After all, any such efforts are purely for personal political gain. Exclusively.

Isn't foreign policy the realm of the executive branch? Apparently exclusively so. After all, the "advise and consent" role of the Senate wants no particular expertise in foreign policy since the Executive advises the Senate, and the Senate rubber stamps the Executive.

Eric Hines  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Aug 30, 11:08:00 AM:

Unaccompanied sarcastic criticism is a refuge of a weak mind.

TH's position is that a 'trip' to the Middle East is wholly inadequate to improve anybody's foreign policy credentials, and to claim otherwise is a scam. If I take a trip to Japan, does that make me more of an expert on Far Eastern foreign affairs or Pacific Fleet and defense matters? No, it makes me a tourist.

And yes, foreign policy is the realm of the executive. This is an absolutely settled matter of Constitutional law. 'Advice and Consent' of the Senate extends to Treaty Ratification (because that is also a legislative function, insofar as Treaties are considered to be Federal Law and trump the states via the Supremacy Clause) and the confirmation of Federal officers. But no matter what officer is eventually appointed to, say, an ambassadorial position, said ambassador takes his orders from the President, not the Senate.


A Senatorial rubber stamp isn't even required.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Aug 30, 11:11:00 AM:

So, Tigerhawk's position seems to be that a politician should bring what s/he has to the table, and no efforts to improve those assets are allowed. After all, any such efforts are purely for personal political gain. Exclusively.

Who said that? But when you leave your state in the middle of a close campaign to travel abroad, you are not making "efforts to improve these assets," you are looking for a photo op. The premise that a short trip to the Middle East can possibly make Fiorina in fact more sophisticated in foreign policy to any degree that matters is laughable. So I'm all for improving "assets," but waiting until two months before election day seems silly. Just as it was when Barack Obama did it.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Mon Aug 30, 11:14:00 AM:

Carly is complicated. Every now an then she strikes a clashing note. She's feminine, yet masculine when she needs to be, more inclined to defeat her opponents than buy them off. She likes to lead and make decisions. That on the one hand sounds like a so-so mix for the Senate, but on the other hand, it might be a good fit if we envision our representatives as being citizen legislators rather than professional legislators.

We need to elect her to find out who she really is. heh.


By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Aug 30, 11:17:00 AM:

I hope Fiorina wins, and I hope she turns out to be a good Senator. But I thought Barack Obama's "foreign policy" tour in 2008 was silly, and so do I think this is. Apparently the political operatives in both parties think they help, which is a bit depressing.  

By Anonymous QuakerCat, at Mon Aug 30, 11:59:00 AM:

Part of Obama's tour of Europe and other ports during the 2008 campaign was to show how much other countries loved him. This was a fairly significant contrast to how most of the world felt about G.W.; so for Obama this was a winning idea.
For Carly - I think it is a bad idea, unless she feels she can win the Jewish vote and money by doing this. Even still, for reasons still inexplicable to me and most conservatives, is that 70+% of the Jewish vote still falls for the Democrats; despite not a single policy that supports anything that is important to that cultural voting block. So, once again I am miffed by what she is doing here? It feels like the same move that McCain made when he suspended his campaign to work on the bank bailout. If you recall his campaign was gaining steam and at that time took a lead in the polls. As an advisor, I wonder if Carly recommended that fateful move too?
I like Carly and I pray that she wins. However, somebody has to paint this picture for her that this is something that has no meaning to the average voter.  

By Blogger Sisyphus, at Mon Aug 30, 01:42:00 PM:

Fiorina was the chair of the CIA civilian advisory commission. She has plenty of experience with real foreign policy.

Isn't it more likely that the reporter (a) is too ideologically blind to know that, and (b) didn't consider that Fiorina might have some non-campaign, non-public reasons for the trip?  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Aug 30, 01:56:00 PM:

I suspect, Sysyphus, that the reporter was too lazy to do anything other than report the background characterization of the trip by the Fiorina campaign. Your point about her CIA advisory role is a good one -- note that I was not questioning her qualifications, only the idea that a single trip late in a campaign could do anything to improve those qualifications, whatever they might be. More photo op than anything else, I suspect.  

By Blogger Diane Wilson, at Mon Aug 30, 05:41:00 PM:

If it's a photo-op, it will be interesting to see what photo-op she chooses. Inspecting rocket damage in Sderot would be an interesting choice. So would a border inspection (Israeli side) of Hezbollah fortifications.

By the way, the Senate does have a Foreign Relations committee. Our current president even chaired a subcomittee on foreign relations, dealing with NATO relationships. He did not hold a single meeting.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Aug 31, 01:41:00 AM:

TH, you gotta watch for the MFM. Note the wording:

Her *campaign manager* said she went "to be updated on the region", consistent with Sisyphus' post that she already has some foreign policy experience.

The objective bwahahaha-my-stomach-hurts-from-laughing-so-much "reporter" is the one who characterized it as "shor[ing] up her foreign policy credentials". Still probably a photo op but not a belated attempt to establish credibility where there was none before.

Having said that as a California voter I'm hardly wild about Fiorina. She did a lousy job at HP (I'm a former HP employee, left several years before she came on but still know a lot of people who lived through the Carly years). I'm voting for her just to get rid of Boxer.  

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