1. It’s Thursday, September 17, 2015
2. I didn’t watch all of the Republican debate last night because I was teaching my Journalism class. So I missed about half of the three-plus hour display of what the GOP is offering for the presidency in 2016. That said, here’s my impressions:
3. By all accounts, and from what I saw, Carly Florina was the most impressive of the 11 candidates. But that might be because she knows how to complete a sentence. The rest of them were either completely inarticulate or spew mouth foam that makes you wonder if they aren’t ill.
Florina, a veteran of fractious board and shareholder meetings, always seemed to remember the schpiel she planned to say on specific topics.
4. However – and, yes, it was a silly question – Fiorina’s answer on the $10 bill question was very telling.
Instead of making a point that there are so many American women who deserve an honor that is long overdue, or even paying tribute to a woman in her past, she crabbed on about how the idea of putting a woman on the $10 is stupid. She said that what women really need is true equality in the workplace and in society.
It gets at Fiorina’s problem. Being president isn’t just being CEO of USA, Inc. It’s being a cheerleader, a hand-holder, a fan and the arm around the nation’s shoulder.
So even if she thinks putting a woman on the $10 is an empty gesture, enough people are empathetic to the idea that she should understand. Say something that isn’t churlish.
Empathy. It’s what made Ronald Reagan a two-term president. It’s what made Barack Obama a two-term president. The perception that they weren’t and aren’t above the little things. I don’t think Fiorina gets that.
5. Jeb Bush had the audacity to say that America was safer under his older brother than it is under Barack Obama.
You have to admit it takes guts. Because somehow that conveniently forgets Sept. 11, 2001. It also forgets the 4,000-plus Americans who lost their lives in a dopey war in Iraq.
6. But just to be clear, to Bush and the other Republicans seeking to paint Obama as a guy who has compromised this nation’s security, there was one question I wished CNN’s Jake Tapper had put to them:
Whatever happened to Osama bin Laden?