And now, a lesson in political mileage with Carly Fiorina.
Here’s the back story: Fiorina is up in arms because ABC News is excluding her from Saturday night’s Republican presidential primary debate. According to the criteria, candidates must place among the top six Republican candidates either nationally or in New Hampshire (calculated by polling averages) or have placed first, second or third in Monday night’s Iowa caucuses. Fiorina didn’t do these things, which means she won’t be on the stage. John Kasich and Chris Christie did, however, which means they will be — even though Fiorina technically beat them in Iowa.
Part of the problem is the elimination of the so-called undercard debate, where Fiorina faced off against other low-polling candidates like Rick Santorum, who has now dropped out. As the Republican field winnows, it becomes harder to make the debate stage, at least when ABC is in charge, and there’s the rub for Fiorina.
Lucky for the former HP executive, she has prominent friends ready to assist her campaign for inclusion. (Not so for Jim Gilmore, the other Republican candidate who didn’t make the cut.) And as a result of their advocacy, she’s receiving more attention than she has in months.
Fiorina doesn’t seem to be backing down. We can expect to hear about this until the moment the debate starts Saturday night. But regardless of whether she makes the stage or not, one thing is clear: she’ll be getting as much mileage out of this controversy as she can.
Here are the leaders and opinion-makers who think Fiorina should be allowed to debate.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.):
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.):
2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.):
New Hampshire GOP chairwoman Jennifer Horn:
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol:
Real Clear Politics editor Tom Bevan:
Political analyst Michael Barone:
Commentary editor John Podhoretz, no doubt echoing the thoughts of other Twitter users: