Coming off a fresh win over her Republican opponents in Tuesday’s primary, Carly Fiorina may have uttered the very words she will regret in November. Speaking without knowledge of a live microphone, viewers caught Fiorina discussing the most non-political issue concerning her opponent; namely, Barbara Boxer’s hairstyle.
The short clip is now an internet hit, showing how the internet’s viral nature has transformed politics. Damage done with hasty words may not be repairable in the long run, and this may just be the case with Fiorina’s comment.
If voters wish to give her the benefit of the doubt regarding the hair comment, Fiorina said on the Greta Van Susteren show that she was quoting a friend. Regardless, her comments may further complicate matters in a state where she cannot merely settle for the votes of her conservative base to survive in November.
In California, Fiorina’s victory must come by her ability win over moderates. The conservatives Fiorina won over to her side a minority in the Golden State. Moderates in the state disagree with her on many issues like abortion, West Coast oil drilling, and her opinion of President Barack Obama, according to the AP.
Former governor Sarah Palin, not necessarily viewed as the most unifying figure in California, may also add to the perception that Fiorina will be a divisive figure in the coming months. The former governor’s endorsement also corroborates the idea that Fiorina is not a fresh new voice to California, but is rather just another example of the Republican Establishment conducting business as usual.
The showdown between Fiorina and Boxer will be an election determined by issues voters view as most important. Right now, these very issues are jobs and the overall economy. If Fiorina desires to have any serious political clout against Boxer, then issues such as jobs and the economy are what she must address.
Real, tangible fallout has yet to be seen with Fiorina’s hair comments; however, she is not alone with the possible stings inflicted by the sound byte. Her opponent, Senator Boxer, is also prone to fall victim, if not cautious. Most recently, Boxer gave a speech on the Senate Floor in which she invoked the safety of U.S. troops to espouse the idea that “climate change will be, over the next 20 years, the leading cause of conflict, putting our troops in harm’s way.”
In essence, while many Californians are concerned about jobs and the economy, Senator Boxer is portraying herself promoting a partisan agenda, being out of touch with the primary concerns of her California constituency.
At this early stage, it appears as if both candidates facing off this November are currently on bad footing when it comes to reaching voters with relevant solutions. Who will be the first to rebound?