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Failed Executive and Politician Carly Fiorina Running for President

carly-fiorina-air-quotes

Carly Fiorina, who flopped at Hewlett-Packard and in her lone previous political campaign, wants to be the leader of the free world.

POLITICO (“Carly Fiorina: ‘Yes, I am running for president’“):

Carly Fiorina announced Monday that she will seek the Republican nomination for 2016, becoming the latest entrant in an increasingly crowded field of candidates.

“Yes, I am running for president,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where she made the announcement to host George Stephanopoulos. “I think I’m the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works. I understand the world, who’s in it, how the world works.”

“I understand bureaucracies, and that’s what our federal government has become — a giant, bloated, unaccountable, corrupt bureaucracy,” she said. “I understand technology, which is a tool both to re-imagine government to re-engage citizens in the process of government, and I understand executive decision-making, which is making a tough call in a tough time with high stakes for which you’re prepared to be accountable.”

The former Hewlett-Packard executive said she does not believe that it is necessary to have experience in political office, something that she has heard from Americans while traveling throughout the country.

“They’re kind of tired of the political class, and they believe that we need to return to a citizen government,” she said.

Most of our modern presidents have previous experience as state governors or as vice president. The lone exception over the last half century is the incumbent, Barack Obama, who had no previous executive experience and had only been in big-time politics for two years before announcing his run for president.

Fiorina is especially unqualified for the office, having only a disastrous stint as CEO of a tech company on her resume. As Brent Budowsky noted in a recent column for The Hill,

If Carly Fiorina were male, she would be regarded in national politics as an anti-Clinton crony capitalist who mismanaged a company when she was its CEO, was terminated by the company’s board of directors, was criticized for flying around in multiple corporate jets as she laid off many thousands of workers, became outrageously wealthy as a performance reward for the performance that led to her removal, and then turned her attention to politics which led to her being overwhelmingly defeated by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in 2010, which was a banner year for other Republicans!

For those who doubt me about the qualifications of Fiorina for the presidency, I propose you Google the words “Carly Fiorina Hewlett-Packard,” where one can read story after story about her performance during the highest level job she has ever held, and the reasons for her removal from that job.

Looks to me like Fiorina is the designated hatchet woman to attack Hillary Clinton, and if she were a male, the GOP would have to find another woman to play this role, and Fiorina would not be considered by any serious person to be commander in chief. If she were to manage the American economy the way she managed the business of Hewlett-Packard — and don’t take my word for it, take the word of those who removed her as CEO — heaven help American business and workers!

The Republicans have many women who are superbly qualified for high office. I have written about Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), whom I predict will be on the short list of GOP possibilities for vice president on the 2016 ticket, and who earned that place through serious and highly regarded work. I would add New Mexico’s Republican governor, Susana Martinez, who should also be on the GOP’s short list for vice president because of her highly competent and skilled service as governor.

As for Fiorina, she will not be nominated for any national political position in 2016 for reasons that will be obvious after a quick google of “Carly Fiorina Hewlett-Packard.” An anti-Clinton hatchet woman, sure, for a few more months. If you want a vice president or president for the GOP future, consider Kelly Aytotte or Susana Martinez because as an old commercial once said, they have earned it “the old-fashioned way,” in ways that Carly Fiorina has not.

To be sure, Budowsky is a Democratic operative and not an objective analyst here. Still, he’s right. If Fiorina were male, she’d be considered less qualified than Ben Carson—who none of us consider qualified to be president.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Buffalo Rude says:

    Just in case anyone was wondering about her competency in managing a 21st century political campaign, I’ll just leave this here: http://carlyfiorina.org

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  2. gVOR08 says:

    Fiorina and Carson both represent the Junior O’Daniel theory of politics from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, which seems popular with Republicans:

    (S)He’s the {reform, Black, female} candidate, Daddy.
    – Yeah? – A lot of people like that {reform, Black, female}.
    Maybe we should get us some.

    This is followed by Gov. Pappy O’Daniel saying something like ‘We’re the Republicans, where are we going to get a credible {reform, Black, female}?!’

    People who understand race and gender as badly as Republicans shouldn’t try to do anything clever around race or gender.

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  3. SenyorDave says:

    @Buffalo Rude: Just in case anyone was wondering about her competency in managing a 21st century political campaign, I’ll just leave this here:

    Maybe her campaign really does own the domain, and this is just her way of managing the layoff issue (not that firing 30 thousand workers would hurt her in a GOP primary)..

    My brother was at HP during her tenure in sales, and he had the displeasure of being in a couple of meetings that she attended. He said she made it clear that it was her way or the highway at all times, and no dissenting opinion was needed or tolerated. He didn’t know anyone at HP who thought she was good for the company, and he was the type of person who networked extensively, so he knew a lot of fairly senior people in many different parts of the company.

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  4. Cd6 says:

    How am I supposed to keep up with all these clowns

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  5. al-Ameda says:

    I happen to think that this is Carly’s vanity project. She’s going to drop a few million dollars for the purpose of positioning herself to get an important position in the next (hoped-for) 2017 Republican administration.

    Frankly I don’t see how she moves the discussion past her tenure as CEO at HP. She made a then-historical $25B deal to acquire Compaq, which ultimately went nowhere, and she subsequently presided over the restructuring and elimination of 25-30 thousand jobs. Also, visionary savant that she’s not – she, like many other tech CEOs completely missed the coming move away from desktop computing to cloud-based information technology. At best, her record as CEO was average.

    Also, in terms of disposition, she presents a cold and technocratic side. Such traits are typical for high level executives, but do not necessarily come off well on the campaign trail.

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  6. C. Clavin says:

    Most of our modern presidents have previous experience as state governors or as vice president. The lone exception over the last half century is the incumbent, Barack Obama, who had no previous executive experience and had only been in big-time politics for two years before announcing his run for president.

    Great.
    The last Governor that was President attacked and occupied a sovereign nation for no reason at the cost of over 4000 troops lives and over $2T…institutionalized torture…and oversaw a 9% contraction of GDP in a single quarter, along with the loss of 700,000 jobs a month.
    The President with no previous executive experience has overseen one of the most productive Presidency’s in recent history in spite of constant reflexive opposition from the other side of the aisle.
    I think it’s time to retire that tired old trope.
    Just sayin’

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  7. Kari Q says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Whenever I hear someone talking about “running government like a business” this is the sort of thing I assume they’re talking about. They believe that all that is needed is someone to walk in and say “This is how it’s going to be!” and all problems will disappear. Of course, that’s a terrible management style, but even if it wasn’t it’s still completely impossible in a government.

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  8. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I think it’s time to retire that tired old trope.

    What C. said, no spit.

    Personnel departments like to use the ticket punching approach, does the candidate’s resume have this degree, that experience, this training. As the hiring manager, I also need to look at underlying ability, talent, and character. Obama had, and continues to demonstrate, considerable ability, talent, and character, as much as some people wish to pretend otherwise. The Bush Bros are a pair of dim bulbs we’d have never heard of without their family connections.

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  9. James Joyner says:

    @C. Clavin: @gVOR08: I’m not sure I’d characterize Obama’s presidency as particularly productive but concur that there seems to be little correlation between the success of a presidency and credentials. George HW Bush and Richard Nixon were arguably the most prepared for the office of any modern presidents and neither was exactly stellar in the role. (Although I do think 41 looks better in hindsight than he did at the time.)

    Fiorina marks an extreme case, though. There’s no reason to think she’s prepared for the job, much less that she’d be good at it.

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  10. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner: Didn’t think you would. But there are more than one possible explanations for that.

    At least Obama hasn’t invaded a foreign nation for no good reason, then walked away, leaving the military on their own to manage it with help from Dick Cheney.

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  11. CSK says:

    I think she’s running in the hope of being picked for v.p. by the eventual nominee. Failing that, a cabinet post in a prospective Republican administration.

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  12. Tillman says:

    @gVOR08: But Pappy, they’s integrated! :)

    Most of our modern presidents have previous experience as state governors or as vice president. The lone exception over the last half century is the incumbent, Barack Obama, who had no previous executive experience and had only been in big-time politics for two years before announcing his run for president.

    Who was president in ’65? Johnson! Sh!t, you’re technically correct…

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  13. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: You could well be right. Republicans would see a female VP as a winning strategy, even a somewhat marginal woman, per the Junior O’Daniel theory. @gVOR08:

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  14. Franklin says:

    OK. So what qualifications does she have for being V.P.?

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  15. Pete S says:

    @Franklin:

    OK. So what qualifications does she have for being V.P.?

    A pulse?

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  16. C. Clavin says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m not sure I’d characterize Obama’s presidency as particularly productive

    You cannot possibly be serious.
    Ending the economic death spiral. Rescuing GM and Chrysler and the Financial Sector. An economic recovery far stronger than the rest of the world.
    Fastest deficit reduction since WW2. On pace to create over a million jobs a year.
    The vastly under-rated Dodd Frank Financial reforms.
    Obamacare…the closest thing to universal health care this country is likely to see. Slowed the growth of Health Care costs and extended the life of Medicare.
    Osama Bin Laden and Ghaddafi are dead and ISIS is contained.
    On the verge of a historic agreement with Iran.
    Student Loan System reform.
    Increased immigration enforcement and provided relief for immigrants already here.
    The Start Arms Treaty.
    Ending DADT, which accelerated the shift in marriage equality.
    Increased Cannibis freedom.
    The most aggressive environmental President ever…and without passing a bill.
    A huge number of Judges confirmed.
    Have you checked the ,arkets recently…everyone’s 401K looks a whole lot better today than 7 years ago.
    And then there are the things that haven’t happened.
    These are just highlights…the detailed list goes on and on and on.
    If Obama was a Republican you would be wondering why he isn’t on Mt. Rushmore already.

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  17. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: Long before the internet, I read a good article on who were the best presidents. The occasion, IIRC, was a poll of histrorians at a convention on who were the best Prezs. The author, I want to say Gary Wills, but likely misremembering, examined the list and asked, “What do the best have in common?” He came up with two things: they came up through local politics, learning how to wheel and deal and let everybody have some piece of the pie; and they had a semi-pro, or at least serious amateur, interest in History, giving them some perspective.

    Still strikes me as a pretty good assessment.

    Obama had 3 years as a community organizer, 7 in the Ill Senate and 4 in the Senate. I can’t speak to his study of history. W. went right to Gov and seems to have dedicated his life to ignoring the best education available in this country. Jeb also jumped line pretty much straight to Gov, although I believe he claims to read a lot of History.

    (I think we can count Eisenhower’s Army career as local politics.)

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  18. C. Clavin says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m not sure I’d characterize Obama’s presidency as particularly productive

    And oh yeah…on top of everything he’s about to invade Texas…which totally rocks.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-05-02/ted-cruz-says-he-has-asked-the-pentagon-for-answers-on-jade-helm-15

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  19. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:

    And then there are the things that haven’t happened.

    E.g. 9/11 and a bungled Katrina response.
    He handled both the Gulf Spill and Superstorm Sandy as well as can be expected.

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  20. Franklin says:

    BTW, the picture at the top with the air quotes almost begs for a Caption Contest:

    My “success” at business is inarguable.
    My “experience” in government is something to be remarked upon.
    My “chances” of winning the nomination have never been better.

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  21. DrDaveT says:

    @Franklin:

    the picture at the top with the air quotes almost begs for a Caption Contest

    Dang, you beat me to it again.

    As “leader” of the “free world”, I will…

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  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Does she have a book coming out? (asking seriously …)

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  23. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    More proof that Obama is getting ready to invade Texas:
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/jade-helm-15-crime-stoppers-and-ksk/

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  24. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Does she have a book coming out? (asking seriously …)

    Apparently coming out tomorrow. But I’m sure that’s a complete coincidence.

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  25. Andre Kenji says:

    To be fair, Dubya did not have a stellar record as governor.

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  26. Electroman says:

    She’s not “conservative” enough to win the nomination, even if she was a man. Cap and Trade, doesn’t deny human-caused global warming, in favor of immigration reform, has actually publicly praised Obama (and the tapes still exist), the list of disqualifying stands goes on for a long time.

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  27. charon says:

    @gVOR08:

    W. went right to Gov and seems to have dedicated his life to ignoring the best education available in this country.

    Texas is famously a “weak governor” state – the governor of Texas does not have much by way of power or duties (Lieutenant Governor has more actual power.)

    Dubya as Governor was widely reputed to spend vast amounts of time playing games on his computer. This is the same guy who was riding his bicycle during the day when a plane crashed into the White House.

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  28. gVOR08 says:

    @charon: And IIRC Bush became an “education governor” because the state lost a lawsuit and had to increase funding to poorer districts.

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  29. Ron Beasley says:

    I think a CEO as president is a really bad idea. A CEO who has proven to be totally incompetent is even a worse idea.

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  30. Kari Q says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Yeah, but how many land wars in Asia has he started? That’s your real mark of a productive president.

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  31. dmhlt says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Yeah, but it provides Fiorina with a campaign slogan for the GOP primaries:

    Sure, I’m Incompetent …
    But I’m Not CRAZY Like the Rest of Them

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  32. J-Dub says:

    @Kari Q:

    Or has he ever gone in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

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