Tuesday, May 05, 2015

With no political experience, would Carly Fiorina hire Carly Fiorina for president?

By Richard Barry

As expected, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her candidacy for president yesterday. She is the first declared female candidate to seek the Republican Party nomination.

In an interview on "Good Morning America," she explained why she thinks she is well qualified for the job saying,  "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."

Ms. Fiorina has never held public office, though she did try, having lost to Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010. But, what the heck, she's allowed to run. It's a free country.
"If you're tired of the sound bites, the vitriol, the pettiness, the egos, the corruption; if you believe that it's time to declare the end of identity politics; if you believe that it's time to declare the end of lowered expectations; if you believe that it's time for citizens to stand up to the political class and say enough, then join us," Fiorina says. 

Fiorina is also setting herself up as the anti-Hillary. 
"She has not been transparent about a whole set of things that matter," Fiorina said on ABC, ticking off Benghazi, Clinton's use of personal emails at the State Department as well as foreign donations that the Clinton Foundation has received.

She added that Clinton is "clearly not trustworthy."

Carly Fiorina is not going to win the Republican nomination and is likely only running to raise her profile because profile is currency. Maybe if Jeb Bush becomes president she gets a Cabinet post or perhaps there is a chair at Fox News waiting for her.

In any case, there are two observations I would make. The first is that business experience alone does not qualify an individual for the presidency. There is so much more to it: the ability to inspire, coalition building, negotiation skills, just to name a few essentials.  To say, "I have run a company, made a lot of money for my shareholders, so I can run a country" is nonsense.

In fact, a community organizer who understands how to manage the divergent interests at play in any given locale probably understands politics a lot better than a business executive.

The other is the suggestion that Fiorina's candidacy will be a problem for Hillary Clinton by taking that whole first woman president thing off the table. See above. Carly Fiorina is not going to win her party's nomination. By the time Hillary Clinton runs against Jeb, or Scott, or Marco, the fact that she's a woman will be a big deal and Fiorina will have been long forgotten.


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  • The other problem with the "I ran a business" argument is that it is totally different from running an economy. Businesses normally grow by beating other businesses -- not by growing the market overall. And let's not forget that Fiorina was hardly a stellar CEO.

    Also, Republicans have the wrong idea about identity politics. Democrats like the fact that Clinton is a woman and that her candidacy would be historic. But it all starts with being fundamentally in line with her world view. Republicans have token candidates: blacks who hate blacks; women who hate women; Latinos who everyone would think are white if they didn't talk about being Latinos all the time (and who also hate Latinos).

    Tomorrow, I have an article coming out that talks about the 2010 election. Fiorina only did as well (In a great Republican year!) as Matt Fong had done the previous time Boxer ran in an off-year election. Bad at politics. Bad at business. Bad for America. I think I just found her slogan!

    By Blogger Frank Moraes, at 4:12 PM  

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