Carly Fiorina announced this afternoon that she is leaving the race. I am sad to see her go.
Everyone will say that the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, who has not previously held political office, never had much of a chance—a talking point with which I think we can dispense given that the winner of the New Hampshire primary by a two-to-one margin is a real estate mogul and former Democrat whose most recent wedding was attended by the Democratic frontrunner.
I think it very likely that we will be seeing more of Fiorina if our next president is a Republican not named Donald Trump. Like Stanley Fish, I think she would make a good secretary of education. But abortion is the issue—if we can call it that—with which I associate her. My favorite moment in this season of debates remains her indictment of Planned Parenthood in Simi Valley last fall, a few months after the Center for Medical Progress released the first in a series of videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal body parts.*
"I dare Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to watch these tapes," she said. "Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up in and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us."
Shame indeed. She was similarly candid earlier in the year when the first video in the series was released. The Free Beacon‘s Bill McMorris emailed all the presidential campaigns, Republican and Democratic, soliciting comments. Many were reluctant to respond. Not Fiorina, who was the first person in the race to address the videos. "This isn't about ‘choice,'" Fiorina said. "It's about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it's about empowerment."
This is the kind of unambiguous language I wish we heard more often from Republicans. At a time when scare headlines about the poor having more children are common and columnists at the New York Times refer with disgust to "Medicaid childbirths," as if they were a different species, prevarication is not very welcome.
Good luck, Carly!
*To those of us who watched the series as it was released, it was immediately clear that she was referring not to a single video or segment. Other journalists who accused her of conflating the footage in her remarks—most of them people who from the beginning had sneered at the idea of watching the videos at all and carried water for the abortion industry by repeating the "highly edited" non-sequitur—should have been clued in by the word "tapes," which—wait for it—is plural.