The Next GOP Debate Might Actually Have A Woman Onstage

Photo: Jim Cole/AP Photo.
Carly Fiorina didn't break through a glass ceiling, but she did win a big victory in her fight to be taken seriously by Republican Party gatekeepers. CNN announced on Monday night that it is changing the criteria for joining the channel's main GOP candidate debate on September 16. This means that the debate stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library will look more diverse than ever before.

Fiorina has worked hard to capitalize on the publicity she received from her strong performance in the August 6 Fox News debate (for those who weren't in the top 10 of the 17 Republican candidates). While all eyes were focused on Donald Trump and his feuds with virtually every one of his opponents, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO stayed focused on introducing herself to voters and arguing her way into the next big event.

In short, the fight was over which polls CNN would use to determine the top 10 candidates to feature at 9 p.m., and which would end up in the early time slot. Fiorina argued forcefully that CNN was planning on relying on too much information from before the first debate, when she saw a huge surge of attention. (She's still not in the top 10, but Fiorina has done better than most of the higher-profile candidates, who have all suffered at the hands of Trump).

One of the best lines from the early Fox debate belonged to Fiorina, and it could be a preview of what's to come if she occupies a podium near Trump in a few weeks.

"I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race," Fiorina said; Clinton reportedly called Trump to give him advice about politics before he launched his campaign. "Maybe it’s because I hadn’t given money to the [Clintons' family] foundation."

CNN's official reason for changing its plans is that there haven't been enough polls conducted since the August debate. Fiorina's record as a businesswoman and CEO might not be stellar, but she has proven that she knows how to play hardball in this primary.

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