Written by Kevin Fobbs on September 18, 2015

For three hours, with sweat and popping off the brows of the GOP presidential combatants, there appeared to be one debate warrior who stood above the Donald. Carly Fiorina unleashed a stare that was worth all of the $10 billion Trump fortune, when she responded to CNN Jake Tapper’s question concerning the Donald’s Rolling Stone comment about her face, saying, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.

While it is true one answer to one question in a 180 minute debate may not improve the political fortunes of most presidential aspirants, Fiorina is not typical. From the moment she fought her way to be on the stage at the main debate event she has been proving that the Fox Debate performance on the undercard stage was certainly no fluke.

It was all but fitting that the event was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, because it brought to mind another iconic moment in debate history involving Ronald Reagan. It was Reagan who firmly reminded the debate moderator in January of 1980 that he would not surrender his microphone and sternly pointed out, “Mr. Green, I am paying for this microphone.

From that snowy, New Hampshire debate day, the political fortunes of Ronald Reagan improved dramatically and set him on the road to capturing the GOP nomination and the presidency. For anyone who looked into the steely eyes and determined stare of Fiorina, it was easy to see that she was channeling her inner Reagan, and it worked.

Trump, was out trumped by her comment as well as the thunderous applause that followed. Perhaps history was indeed repeated and this time Fiorina had more than a steely stare to go along with her political determination.

While Trump sputtered in his responses to foreign affair questions, Fiorina not only stepped over him, she actually demonstrated an incisive command of details and strategy that showed her stuff as a potential Commander-in-Chief.

Unlike Trump, who is comfortable with issuing platitudes which are entertaining and even enjoyable to his supporters, Fiorina showed her CEO qualifications that showed toughness and caring that the American public may still remember and hold fondly regarding celebrated attributes.

There is also another quality that Fiorina has been able to nail down successfully in her campaigning that has lead up to her Wednesday debate night performance. The growing numbers of Fiorina supporters have begun to embrace her style of standing on principle without using talking points. She is real in how she discusses her support for traditional marriage and her defense of life.

Unlike Trump and the other GOP debaters on the main stage, she knocked it out of the park with her Planned Parenthood statement concerning the undercover videos taken of fetuses. She looked into the camera and stared into the hearts and souls of America’s 22 million viewers and stated,

Anyone who has watched this videotape—I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, to watch these tapes. 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 do not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.

With that fierce look of determination Fiorina may have just had not only two Reagan-like debate moments, but perhaps she may have paved her way over Trump in the GOP race to the White House.


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Kevin Fobbs
Kevin Fobbs has more than 35 years of wide-ranging experience as a community and tenant organizer, Legal Services outreach program director, public relations consultant, business executive, gubernatorial and presidential appointee, political advisor, widely published writer, and national lecturer. Kevin is co-chair and co-founder of AC-3 (American-Canadian Conservative Coalition) that focuses on issues on both sides of the border between the two countries.