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All eyes Monday night were on the U.S. presidential debate, the first of three before Election Day.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off for 90 minutes – and some of it was entertaining… a bit of it even enlightening.
But to me, if felt like a big waste of time…
Sure, the two candidates covered international trade, terrorism, crime, "birtherism," immigration, and – of course – Clinton's email server.
But when it came to the economy – the engine driving the United States – all I saw or heard was a big black hole of nothing.
Sure, Trump hearkened back the 1970s – or maybe even the 1950s – and called for the return of a robust manufacturing economy (not going to happen). And I'm sure Clinton whispered something about "green jobs"… but I fell asleep there.
Where was the talk about technology – Silicon Valley's role in the economy, the threat of artificial intelligence, online privacy, and surveillance?
Besides some grandpa and grandma-just-got-a-computer-level paranoia about cybersecurity, we got nothing.
While I'm not one for endorsements – my job here is to show you how to profit on the markets, the news, the major trends – there was a candidate I wish was on the stage Monday night.
She could have led the conversation in a much more interesting direction…
What Could Have Been
Of course, I'm talking about Republican primary candidate Carly Fiorina.
As the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Fiorina hails from Silicon Valley and, therefore, grasps the ever-growing importance of the cloud, Big Data, the Internet of Everything (IoE), and other tech sectors in both our lives and the U.S. economy.
When I first introduced you to Fiorina back in July 2015, I was among the very first investment analysts to suggest this former tech executive should be taken seriously. At the time, she was barely a blip on the national media's radar screen and was polling in low single digits.
During the primaries, she made a strong name for herself, primarily by shutting down GOP front-runner Donald Trump during one debate that polls show she won.
While Fiorina ended up dropping out of the primary back in February, she has remained active in politics, raising money for congressional candidates and working hard to keep Clinton out of the White House.
More importantly, however, she's using her "bully pulpit" to keep Silicon Valley and technology at the forefront of voters' minds.
Fiorina's candidacy and continuing prominence are big "wins" for tech investors and tech's place in the economy.
After all, technology isn't just the top-performing sector in the market these days – it's become a catalyst for what I call the "Convergence Economy."
With the emergence of e-commerce, semiconductors, advanced sensors, smartphones, the connected car, and the IoE, tech's rapid growth is catapulting society further into the Digital Ageas these areas continue to overlap with one another.
And there is no turning back…
That's why it's critical that those running for the White House understand the fundamental role technology plays in our lives.
Fiorina understood that. I don't think Clinton or Trump do.
That's why I hope whoever wins taps Fiorina – or a Silicon Valley Democrat – for an important place in the next administration.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.