When newly minted presidential candidate Carly Fiorina began her Periscope town hall Monday afternoon, she opened herself up to questioning from the American people on a scale unseen so far in the 2016 cycle. At one point, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO had more than 1,000 eyeballs watching her on the feed, some from as far away as France and the Philippines.
For those unfamiliar with the little-more-than-a-month-old app: It allows for live video streaming, and users can make comments or ask questions to the video’s owner in real time. Many of the users watching Fiorina took a shot at getting serious policy questions relayed to her via one of her campaign staffers, who acted as the chat’s moderator. That was, no doubt, the point: Fiorina doesn’t have super-high name recognition, and she hopes to use tech like Periscope to get her name out there.
Through the more focused questions, the candidate was able to expound on such topics as student loan debt (“We have to have a competitive student loan industry so you have lots of choices”); her tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard (“It takes leadership to grow a company, it takes leadership to grow an economy, it takes leadership to grow a nation”); getting young people—Periscope’s core demo—involved in the political process (“They disengage because they think their voice doesn’t count, and of course everyone’s voice counts”); and U.S. negotiations with Iran (“I haven’t negotiated a nuclear deal but I’ve negotiated plenty of deals in my life”).
Other users, however, took a decidedly different approach, hoping Fiorina’s staffer would break and ask something like, “Do you prefer Uber or Lyft?” Here, the nine most out-there questions from the chat.
1. Do you consider yourself the American Margaret Thatcher?
2. Are you angry that they didn’t name the princess Carly? (Referring to the British royal family’s latest addition, whose name was announced Monday: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.)
3. Where is your jacket from? It’s a nice color.
4. Do you think a hot dog is a sandwich? (Fiorina actually answered this one, during a “rapid-response” segment. For the record: “I don’t like hot dogs. I just don’t.”)
5. Thoughts on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”?
6. Let’s talk printers—it’s horrible to set up printers. (An apparent reference to Fiorina’s work at HP. Printers must have been on some users’ brains: There was at least one other complaint about them in the chat.)
7. Did you watch “Mad Men” last night and did you relate at all?
8. Do you like the New England Patriots?
9. What is this?
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