Carly Fiorina officially entered the 2016 presidential race on Monday, but really she's been running since late 2014. And in that time she's managed to be everywhere without bringing disaster to her campaign. She's responded to tough questions with clever answers and, on Monday night, showed that she could troll with the best of them.
When "Late Night" host Seth Meyers brought up Fiorina's failure to purchase the domain name carlyfiorina.org, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO responded by saying she had purchased sethymeyers.org. The website reroutes users to Fiorina's official campaign website.
In addition to the must-have social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook, Fiorina's already used the newest social media platform, Periscope. On Monday, after officially launching her campaign, she hosted a live chat on the live video broadcasting tool in which she took questions from other users.
Speaking of questions, she hasn't backed down or crumbled when asked the tough ones. During her Periscope chat, she answered a thorny question about her perceived failure as CEO. Fiorina said that while people were laid off and the company's stock plummeted, it was during the "worst technology recession in 25 years," and Hewlett-Packard wasn't the only company to falter. She also pointed out that she doubled the company's revenues from $44 billion to nearly $90 billion.
"We transformed a company that was lagging behind in every single category to leading in every single category, and it takes leadership to grow a company," Fiorina said. "It takes leadership to grow an economy. It takes leadership to grow a nation. And growth is very important if we're going to put people back to work."
Fiorina was also prepared for a question about equal pay. While it's obvious to say that one is for equal pay for equal work (who isn't?), Fiorina found a way to flip the narrative back on the Left — by attacking unions.
Fiorina claimed that seniority pay, in which employees are paid based not on performance but on how long they have been on the job, would hurt women as they often take time out of work to start a family. ThinkProgress was quick to note that the wage gap is narrower for female union workers than for the general population. That might be a good counterpoint to Fiorina's argument, but it's a poor argument for fixing the wage gap (and the economy as a whole). Think about it: Paying everyone a specified salary unattached to actual merit disincentivizes potentially exceptional workers.
But that argument aside, at least Fiorina had a plausible, prepared answer to the question.
Contrast that to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who, although he hasn't officially announced his candidacy for president, had his momentum derailed earlier this year after a series of failed responses to irrelevant questions.
Fiorina has also been everywhere in recent months — she's been on every channel, at every event. She spoke three times during the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, hosted a meet-and-greet, and made herself available to anyone who wanted an interview.
She's done all this without saying or doing anything stupid.
The obvious comparison for Fiorina is to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, since they're both women. But while Fiorina's campaign has been all about introducing her to Americans, Clinton's campaign has been all about hiding and damage control.
Also contrast Fiorina's burgeoning campaign to the campaigns of Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have all but disappeared since announcing last month. Fiorina could fade shortly as well to fundraise, but given her exposure over the past few months — and her still relatively low name recognition — she doesn't appear to be going anywhere any time soon.
Fiorina might not be the GOP frontrunner — and she may never be — but the campaign she's running is definitely something the other contenders could learn from.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Fiorina doubled HP's value as CEO. She actually doubled its revenues.