Illustration: Mark Marturello/The Des Moines Register

PARTY: Republican

BORN: September 6, 1954, in Austin, Texas

Carly Fiorina

What she’s got: High-level executive and management experience from her tenure as head honcho of Hewlett-Packard; private-sector bona fides bolstering her economic message; compelling secretary-to-CEO professional biography; history as a breast cancer survivor, which marks her as tough and relatable to many women; all but certain status as the only female in the GOP field, which allows her both to stand out and to cudgel Hillary Clinton in ways that might seem sexist coming from any non-female rival.

What she lacks: National name recognition; a significant record of public service; a winning record in electoral politics; policy chops on any topic unrelated to job creation and regulation (and substantive detail on those); convincing answers to questions about her ouster from HP; a clear and plausible early-state strategy.

Read Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's Scouting Report

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Mark Halperin: Carly Fiorina Is The Most Improved Candidate

Mark Halperin and John Heilemann question why despite Carly Fiorina’s strong announcement for the Republican presidential nomination she hasn’t mentioned a single specific idea in her campaign.


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Fiorina is a breast cancer survivor.


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