Every now and again, I support a candidate for public office, only to find that the more I study his (or her) record, the more I find he (or she) has a firm grasp on the issues of greatest concern to me. This is not to say I agree with the candidate on every issue, but, his focus is where mine would be if I were running for office.
So it is today with Carly Fiorina as it was in 1994 with Jim Miller. Who is Jim Miller, you ask? Miller was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in Ronald Reagan’s second term who, in 1994, ran unsuccessfully against Oliver North for the Republican nomination for a United States Senate seat in Virginia. I initially supported Miller largely because I didn’t think North would make a good candidate in the general and that he would make an even worse Senator.
My instincts (and not just mine) served me well. In a very Republican year, North was one of the few well-funded Republican challengers who lost his bid for federal office.
In the run-up to the Republican convention in Richmond (where the Senate nomination would be decided), I learned more and more about the Gipper’s former budget director and became increasingly impressed with his command of economic issues and his unflinching support for free markets.
Last night, after reading John Fund’s piece on my gal for the 2010 Senate race in California, I became increasingly enamored with Carly Fiorina, finding in her a similar commitment to free markets. Surveying the business climate in the Golden State,
Ms. Fiorina is not shy in pointing out what’s to blame. “The high tax, big government, regulatory regime we see in California is the current course and speed for where the nation is headed,” she warns. “California is a great test case, a factual demonstration that those programs don’t work.” She notes that while state spending has significantly outstripped inflation in recent years, every year government services perform more poorly and it becomes harder to open a business. “I very much doubt Hewlett Packard could be founded today as a manufacturing company in California,” she adds soberly.
In short, Carly gets it, not just where California politicians have lost their way, but also where Republicans have lost their bearings. We need keep a clear eye on our principles, that the solutions to most social and economic problems don’t lie with government, unless we’re looking for ways to reduce government’s intrusion in our lives and pocketbooks.
We see a similar dynamic in the race for the GOP nomination for the California Senate seat to that we saw nearly sixteen years ago in the Old Dominion, two conservative candidates of different backgrounds vying for the chance to take on an incumbent Democrat.
Like Jim Miller, Carly Fiorina intends to keep her focus on the economy and the failed big-government policies of Democrats–to which all too many Republicans in recent years have acquiesced. And with a message not unlike that of the greatest Republican even to come out of the Golden State, she points the way forward for the GOP.