The past two Republican presidential debates (August 6 in Cleveland, OH and September 16 in Simi Valley, CA) have catapulted Mrs. Fiorina within striking distance of eligibility for nomination of the Party, I mean she moves up from being at the bottom of the pack to the top; she is thus qualified to receive a much closer look as a candidate.
Carly has had a very successful career in the private sector; in 1990 when she was only 36 years old as a woman she was vice-president of hardware systems at AT&T. Ten years later in 1996, she was president of the consumer products sector at Lucent Technologies; three years later she became HP CEO. By any measure, she was a successful woman although not without controversy. Her tenure as HP CEO was a very rocky journey, her ability challenged and her performance questionable to say the least. It was under her leadership that more than 30,000 employees were laid off, presumably to help save the company over $130 million all the meanwhile preserving her own salary (and bonus) as well as the other executives’. In hindsight that was a bad decision; HP went into a hiring spree shortly after the merger with Compaq in 2001. By 2004, just three years later, HP had the same number of employees as before the merger, according to Politifacts. Surely, the 30,000 people who were displaced would beg to differ Carly’s claim of having been a good steward.
If you go to CarlyForAmerica website however, you would think everything that’s mentioned earlier is pure fabrication. According to the site, Carly Fiorina is the best thing that has happened to HP. There is no mention anywhere of the tens of thousands of employees that were laid off, let alone justification for such drastic measure. Not that it matters to Carly’s supporters. After all, everyone who runs for public office always chooses to display his/her accomplishments and avoids as much as possible to expose the failures. Carly is no different. To her defense however, CarlyForAmerica website is a Superpac which supports her bid for president.
If you type carlyfiorina.com in your browser, it is automatically redirected to carlyforpresident.com where Carly’s smiling face profile picture is prominently displayed. There are only three options in the page a) to click on <<Make a Donation>> button to donate to her campaign b) to click on <<Join Us>> button to provide your information so the campaign can keep in touch with you c) to click on <<Meet Carly>> and you are taken to a page where Carly’s accomplishments are provided. Beyond that, there is nothing. The site provides no information whatsoever on any topic, let alone what Carly would propose as a solution. So, if you want to know what Carly thinks about any issue, you’re going to have to watch her interviews, to watch what she says during debates, to watch what people close to her are saying about the topic.
To Carly Fiorina who is such a successful individual, it seems that to run for president requires no preparation. She can figure things out as she goes along. Even Donald Trump knows better. Then again, that should be no surprise to anyone who has been following Carly since the beginning. She even failed to secure her own site name; if you go to carlyfiorina.org, a site that will certainly impede her progress further down the road, you are presented with a list of 30,000 emoji angry faces, each one representing an employee who lost his/her job under Mrs. Fiorina’s leadership at HP.
Although the political wind seems to be blowing in her direction now – if you look at the latest polls, she is either in third or fourth place – it will eventually change. Her eloquence has earned her a second look as a viable candidate for the office of the presidency; however, Carly’s lack of preparation for such an important job is quite revealing. Contrary to the private sector where the choice of a woman for a high level position was necessary and the appropriate decision to make at the time, it’s not so in the public sector. Carly should know better; she ran for the US Senate seat of California in 2010 in a bid to unseat Barbara Boxer and lost by ten percentage point, not bad on the surface but could have been better had Carly been better prepared. She should have also learned that to just be a woman is not sufficient; it’s not a qualification either in the public sector domain, Sarah Palin comes to mind. Even the well prepared Hillary Clinton, aided by her politically shrewd husband, suffered defeat when she ran against Barack Obama in 2008. But most importantly, one would expect that someone who was CEO of a large company such as HP would know that “to fail to plan is a recipe for planning to fail”, no added sugar.
Have you met Carly?Follow @mducheiney