Who Wants Carly Fiorina?

Carly Fiorina knows she’s a long shot for the presidency.

She’s never held elected office and has less name recognition than several other potential GOP rivals, two things she readily concedes. Her detractors, meanwhile, note that her one past attempt at elected office was a dud and her tenure as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO — her big private-sector bona fide — was rocky.

“There is no doubt that as the only nonpolitician in the race, if I were to get in, that I have hurdles to overcome,” Fiorina, 60, said in an interview.

Yet even strategists who wonder why she’d bother running admit that, with expectations so low, a Fiorina 2016 campaign would have upsides for her image — as well as for the Republican Party as a whole.

Fiorina is positioning herself as a business-savvy outsider with a compelling personal story who can command a stage. If she avoids stumbles, a run could boost her standing in GOP circles; some speculate her real goal is the vice presidency or a Cabinet slot.

Fiorina also is the only woman so far considering running on the Republican side, a blessing for a party criticized for its dearth of female leaders.

“[S]he is someone who Republicans need to have in the race because she is a woman and she is a successful woman,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said.

Read more from Jonathan Topaz at Politico

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Analysis & Political Strategy