For starters, she was a new face. Fiorina did not participate in the Aug. 6 primetime debate because the event was limited to the 10 candidates with the highest poll numbers.
Secondly, Fiorina was the only woman on the stage. As such, she brought a new perspective to the conversation – especially since having a woman on the ticket could help the GOP if the Democratic candidate is Hillary Clinton.
In one of the most memorable exchanges of the evening, Fiorina refused to accept Trump’s explanation for comments he made about her appearance. “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she said.
Later, when asked what woman she would choose to put on the new $10 bill, she deflected the question and used it as an opportunity to speak about more substantive women’s issues – an area in which the GOP could use some help since opponents frequently contend the GOP and its candidates are anti-women.
“I wouldn’t change the $10 bill, or the $20 bill,” Fiorina said. “I think, honestly, it’s a gesture. I don’t think it helps to change our history. What I would think is that we ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group. Women are the majority of this nation. We are half the potential of this nation, and this nation will be better off when every woman has the opportunity to live the life she chooses.”
The question now is what does Fiorina’s performance on Wednesday mean for the remainder of the campaign. Will it catapult her to a spot on the national ticket or will it simply fade over the next few weeks as other issues and candidates grab the headlines?