Carly Fiorina Was Good Last Night, But She Wasn’t Great

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


After he was quoted in Rolling Stone insulting Carly Fiorina’s looks, Donald Trump said he was really talking about Fiorina’s “persona.” So last night Jake Tapper asked Fiorina if she wanted to comment on Trump’s persona. She paused, then replied stonily, “Women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

Not bad. She didn’t get down in the mud with Trump, but still responded with some vigor. But that wasn’t enough for a lot of commenters. Here’s a smattering of reaction:

  • Vox: Carly Fiorina’s mic-drop response to Donald Trump’s comment about her looks
  • New Republic: Carly Fiorina is the best thing to happen to the Republican Party this year
  • Chris Cillizza: Carly Fiorina is absolutely killing it. KILLING it.
  • Mother Jones: The moment when Carly Fiorina completely owned Donald Trump
  • Daily Beast: Carly Fiorina slays sexist Trump onstage

I guess there are two possibilities here. First: It really was a killer moment and I’m just too jaded to see it. Second: It’s an example of the internet’s penchant for everything being the BEST EVER. John Oliver demolishes something or other every week. President Obama delivers the perfect response to the outrage of the day. Carly Fiorina owned Donald Trump.

For now, I’m still going with door #2. It was a good moment. And Fiorina did well in last night’s debate: I’d say she and Marco Rubio probably helped themselves the most. But she didn’t slay, kill, or own Donald Trump. She just delivered a decent jab.

And by the way, Trump was more right than wrong about Fiorina’s tenure at Hewlett-Packard. Her star is going to fade considerably once the press starts relitigating that. Now that she’s one of the front-runners, that should happen pretty soon.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate