Ted Cruz did not select Carly Fiorina as his potential running mate because he thinks she would make a good vice president. He very well might think that she would, but Fiorina’s competence as a potential partner and co-executive was not a factor. Her selection is a desperate attempt to accomplish three more or less impossible goals: to reenergize his campaign and get badly needed donations from mega-donor Fiorina fans like Robert Mercer; to win in Indiana and California; and to sew Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton together as equally bad options for America.
This was, in other words, a purely political decision—not terribly distinct, as my colleague Brian Beutler pointed out on Twitter, from John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin in 2008. It’s a transparently cynical pick and, speaking in terms of politics, it’s just as likely to backfire for that reason as it is to succeed. It’s also the kind of decision that speaks very poorly to Cruz’s judgment: He’ll do whatever it takes to win politically today, whatever the cost may be tomorrow. Fiorina has said as much herself, as Donald Trump was very happy to remind everyone shortly before she and Cruz took the stage.