In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina may not have an awful lot in common. Fiorina was recently confirmed as the vice presidential pick of the ultra-conservative Republican candidate Ted Cruz, whilst Hillary Clinton has been pushed to the left by her opponent, Bernie Sanders. However, Carly Fiorina was once a pretty big fan of Hillary Clinton during her 2008 bid to become President of the United States.
According to CNN, during the 2008 presidential election, whilst Hillary Clinton was running for the Democratic nomination, Fiorina described her as “incredibly intelligent, focused, tough, determined.” That was whilst out on the campaign trail for John McCain, however. That being said, Fiorina was clearly pretty impressed by Hillary Clinton’s run for president as a woman, which could very well have influenced her decision to run for the Republican nomination in 2016.
As reported by the Week, Fiorina used the 2008 video to sympathise with female office holders, speaking about the difficulties that women can face in elected office. “Women in positions of power, particularly bold women, who are trying to drive change as Hillary Clinton most surely is… bold women, women in power are characterized, scrutinized, differently than their male counterparts are,” she said in the 2008 video. That wasn’t to say that Fiorina supported Clinton’s presidential bid, however, Fiorina has long been a Republican supporter, with her spokesperson later saying that she “thinks Hillary is smart and hardworking, but she also believes she is profoundly misguided on the important issues facing this country.”
The political landscape has changed a good deal since those comments were made eight years ago. Fiorina launched her own bid for the Republican nomination last year and during her time in the race, she has deeply criticised Hillary Clinton as the wrong woman for the job. Fiorina consistently criticised Clinton for playing “the woman card,” further casting aspersions over Hillary Clinton’s marriage to the previous Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Speaking to MSNBC in December, Fiorina said “If my husband had done some of the things Bill Clinton had done, I would have left him long ago,” taking a deeply different tone to that towards Clinton during the 2008 race.
Hillary Clinton’s presidential race has largely been centred around the fact that she could become the first female President of the United States. That’s a theme that Carly Fiorina also attempted to capitalize on during her presidential bid earlier this year. However, she didn’t find much success in it, withdrawing from the race on February 10.
Carly Fiorina vs. Hillary Clinton on women's issues https://t.co/TcUwti1Ws1— TIME.com (@TIME) April 29, 2016
Following her departure, Fiorina endorsed Ted Cruz as the only man that could beat Donald Trump. However, she made a leap back into the race when Ted Cruz named Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate should he win the Republican party nomination. Cruz will undoubtedly be hoping that Fiorina’s appeal will help him in a last-ditch bid to secure the Republican nomination and should he secure that nomination, Fiorina will assist in winning voters over from Hillary Clinton. Ted Cruz’s presidential bid hangs by a thread and the likelihood of the candidate facing Hillary Clinton head to head in the general election remains pretty slim.
The 2008 video re-emerging will likely give a boost to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Whilst Clinton and Fiorina are undeniably worlds apart in terms of policy, the fact that Fiorina once commended Clinton for her efforts will only play into the hands of the Democratic frontrunner. Ted Cruz, on the other hand, isn’t likely to be too pleased about the video re-surfacing as he and Fiorina try their best to target the grassroots of the Republican party and secure the nomination.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]