Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina to Enter GOP Presidential Race, Likely to Contrast Her Candidacy with Hillary Clinton's


credit: Gage Skidmore / Source / CC BY-SA

Former Hewlett Packard chief Carly Fiorina looks likely to formally launch a presidential bid on May 4, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports that her announcement won't be the sort of highly visible event that marked the launch of the Rand Paul and Ted Cruz campaigns. Fiorina isn't confirming the report, but her staffers won't officially deny it either, Reuters reports

I think it's hard to imagine a scenario in which Fiorina wins the GOP nomination, although given the size of the GOP field and the unpredictable dynamics it creates, it's at least possible that she'll outperform expectations. It helps, of course, that expectations right now are fairly low. Here's the Journal on her chances:

Mrs. Fiorina, who was the Republican nominee for Senate from California in 2010, has never held elected office. She faces a long road to contention—a national CNN poll released Monday found just 2% of Republicans named her as their first choice in the presidential election, less than 12 other candidates and likely candidates. A survey for New Hampshire cable network NH1 showed she has 2% of support there.

But Mrs. Fiorina, likely the lone woman in the 2016 Republican field, has a unique ability to attack Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Fiorina has impressed activists at early-state candidate events by making the argument that by nominating a woman—namely her—the party would undercut the historic nature of Mrs. Clinton's campaign.

I strongly suspect that after she announces Fiorina will spend a lot of time contrasting her campaign with Hillary Clinton, in large part because that's already what she's spent the last few months doing. 

When Fiorina appeared at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference in February, for example, her team highlighted the following bit from her prepared remarks:

Mrs. Clinton, name an accomplishment. And in the meantime, please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Global Initiative from foreign governments doesn't represent a conflict of interest.

She tweets about women's rights in this country and takes money from governments that deny women the most basic human rights. She tweets about equal pay for women but won't answer basic questions about her own offices' pay standards—and neither will our President. Hillary likes hashtags. But she doesn't know what leadership means. 

Similarly, when Fiorina spoke at the Iowa Freedom Summit this January, her team sent out a copy of her speech with the following segment pulled out as notable:

We must understand our role in the world—which is to lead—and the nature of our allies and especially, our adversaries. Like Hillary Clinton, I too have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. But unlike her, I have actually accomplished something. Mrs. Clinton, flying is an activity not an accomplishment. I have met Vladimir Putin and know that it will take more to halt his ambitions than a gimmicky red "Reset" button. Having done business in over 80 countries and having served as the Chairman of the External Advisory Board at the CIA, I know that China is a state-sponsor of cyberwarfare and has a strategy to steal our intellectual property.  

I know Bibi Netanyahu and know that when he warns us, over and over and over again, that Iran is a danger to this nation as well as to his own, that we must listen. And unlike Hillary Clinton I know what difference it makes that our Ambassador to Libya and 3 other brave Americans were killed in a deliberate terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9-11 and that the response of our nation must be more forceful that the arrest of a single individual a year later.  

In some sense this isn't particularly remarkable. Given Hillary Clinton's status as the all-but-certain Democratic nominee, you can of course expect to see a fair amount of Hillary-bashing from all the GOP candidates this year. The difference, I suspect, is that it will be the centerpiece of Fiorina's campaign. 

NEXT: O'Malley's March to the Left?

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  1. ROFL!

    It will be like the Alan Keyes campaign all over again!

    My black little anarchist’s heart swells with hope at the thought of Carly doing to the U.S. government what she did to all the companies that made the mistake of giving her significant responsibilities.

    1. Yeah, she wasn’t exactly great at HP. Of course, compared to Clinton, she’s George Fucking Washington.

      1. Yeah, at least she has some actual experience running a company. Obama never ran so much as a fucking candy store, and look how that turned out.

      2. I was going to say the same thing. If the GOP wants a female techie ex-ceo who failed to break the dem stranglehold on California why not Meg Whitman? At least she ran her company competently

        1. But she’s not a techie, IIRC, she’s marketing.

      3. Not just HP, also at Lucent. She escaped just in time before their sales imploded and the inflated numbers were revealed. Who was running part of the business? Carly.

    2. So, Carly 2016?

      1. Carly 2016: Because She’s So Vain.
        Carly 2016: Anticipation.

        1. Carly 2016: Let the River Run (dating myself as slightly younger than the Your So Vain generation)

          1. Carly 2016: The CEO Who Loved Me.

    3. I don’t know much about Carly, but from what I do know I have every bit as much respect for her as I do Donald Trump. And for much the same reasons.

  2. Think this will take away the “vote for Hillary, because vagina”, or does Fiorina not count as an authentic woman because “Republican”?

    1. Depends on the constituency. The progs would view Fiorina in much the same way as they view Christina Hoff Summers, but remember they’re only supporting Hillary because Warren isn’t running. Some of the more moderate dems and dem-leaning voters might vote for Fiorina instead of Hillary. It’s going to be an interesting campaign, folks.

      1. We’re really in trouble if even a majority of just Democrats actually want Warren as president. I think that’s complete smoke and mirrors and don’t believe she has any widespread popularity in the party as an actual candidate, but God help us if she does.

        It’s weird how little experience Americans seem to require of presidential candidates these days.

    2. She’s an evil capitalist. No way will the left support her.

      1. It’s not an issue of whether the left supports Fiorina (never in a thousand years) but whether it robs them of Hillary’s primary appeal, being a woman. Well, being a woman and because It’s Her Turn.

        Someone should come up with a parody Hillary campaign ad with that slogan.

        1. It’s uteruses (uteri?) all the way down.

    3. Think this will take away the “vote for Hillary, because vagina”, or does Fiorina not count as an authentic woman because “Republican”?

      No, and yes

      1. That has to be a troll job,no?

    4. Depends on if she takes the same feminist stands on women’s issues. She bashed Hillary for promoting equal rights while taking money from the Saudis. That means that Carly, too, might be a believer in the wage gap myth and rape culture, and support all those Lilly Ledbetter pandering to women laws as well.

      Maybe someone else has seen her actual stance on the issues, aside from her stance on Hillary, I haven’t seen it yet.

  3. OT, but I just read through the Pam Geller thread from yesterday, and holy shit did John do a number on that thread (with VG, Papaya, and Underzog piling on late). Apparently anyone who thinks Pam Geller is a nutjob is an anti-Semitic PC terror-apologist.

    1. I pointed out that Geller has actively supported regimes committing violence against innocent Muslims, and John decided I’m the libtardiest libtard he ever did see.

      1. I like how much later he claimed his original comment was a joke.

      2. John isn’t much for backing down once he’s staked out a position. I figure he’s going to stroke out one of these days mid-thread.

        1. I disagree with a John a decent amount of a number of issues, but he’s usually pretty reasonable (though even normally, he’s fairly stubborn and combative, and has a habit of strawmanning his opponents). But it seems like every few months he has one thread where he turns into a raving lunatic and yesterday was one of those times.

      3. That’s the most absurd part. Of all the things one could say about the commentariat, it is certainly not a bastion of PC apologists for Islamic terror.

        It’s especially ridiculous coming from John, who once accused me of being anti-Semitic for merely suggesting that criticism of the Israeli government was not inherently anti-Semitic.

        1. Occasionally, John loses his shit.

          If you interact with him long enough, it will happen to you.

        2. I enjoyed a bit of that yesterday. College students are naive, precocious, and often obnoxious, but I wouldn’t call them closet antisemites. Stridently dumb on the question of Palestine, yes, but for the same reason they’re strident retards on all social justice issues. Not because universities are hotbeds of antisemitism.

          1. I think people also overestimate how many people are involved in anti-Israeli or Israel-Palestine related stuff at most schools. It tends to be a very small minority of politically active people.

            1. But even granting that, it’s not an intuitive leap that Jon takes in concluding that vociferous opponents of Israel re: Palestinians are antisemites rather than foreign policy social justice hobbyists.

              1. Agreed

      4. I pointed out that Geller has actively supported regimes committing violence against innocent Muslims

        If you’re referring to Burma, it must be said that the violence against the Rohingya isn’t state-sponsored. In fact, the Burmese government is in charge of the refugee camps it set up outside Rakhine state with the assistance of the UN. The violence against the Rohingya is mostly a cycle of retribution and revenge. A Buddhist villager accuses a Muslim from the next village over of rape, the Buddhist villagers go over to the next village and burn it down. Muslims from another village hear of this and go to the first village to burn it down, etc. etc. The Burmese government is trying to do its best to stop the violence without sparking a secessionist insurgency by the Buddhists in the border state of Rakhine.

        1. No, I know you’re right regarding Burma. In particular, the police in the village where this violence first started did a very good job of protecting the accused rapists against lynch mobs. Unfortunately, the lynch mob then tracked down a random bus unrelated to the 3 rapists and killed a bunch of Muslims.

          I agree the Burmese government has done what they can and it’s admirable given the situation. That doesn’t change the fact that Muslims are currently being effectively interned in concentration camps due to the serious possible of mob violence.

          1. That doesn’t change the fact that Muslims are currently being effectively interned in concentration camps due to the serious possible of mob violence.

            This is true, but unfortunately, the Rohingya aren’t unique in this situation. Depending on who you ask there might be anyway from 650,000 to 1 million internally displaced people or refugees in Burma thanks to the fact that since 1948 Burma has hosted at least 3 to 4 insurgencies, simultaneously.

    2. Can she bend spoons with her mind?

  4. Somehow I suspect that she is really running for VP.

    In a lot of ways, especially if Hillary gets the Democratic nomination as expected Fiorina makes the perfect VP candidate

    1. Agreed. Unfortunately due to no other reason than having a vagina, she’ll be able to throw the barbed spears at Hillary that the boys can’t.

    2. Yep. I look for her to never strongly criticize another Republican who has a chance of winning the nomination.

    3. She’ll be the perfect attack dog, while the nominee can remain presidential.

    4. Why not Susanna Martinez? She’s actually a two-term governor of a blue-ish state, and seems to have a decent reputation.

      1. Martinez operates fine in the weird political environment of New Mexico, but I suspect she’d clown herself on a national stage for the same reasons most people didn’t take Gary Johnson or Bill Richardson very seriously. Especially if Hillary picks Warren as the VP candidate; Martinez has no populist instincts whatsoever and wouldn’t be able to counter Warren’s FREE SHIT 4 EVERYONE rhetoric.

        And honestly, New Mexico is one of the biggest welfare states in the country; 70% of its childbirths are paid for by Medicaid. Martinez would have no leg to stand on about cutting government.

  5. Since I haven’t seen a good place for this Off-Topic, I’ll just put it here:

    Free Range kids area problem because other parents worry…Or, something.


      1. I’m almost to the point that I’d pay good $ to see someone photoshop Helen Lovejoy into every pic on every pearl-clutching “Free Range Kids” article.

        /Not a solicitation. Yet.

    2. So many delicious scare quotes in that article.

      1. I don’t doubt that some of those parents are actually scared by the idea that something bad could happen and “I didn’t do anything!!1!eleventy!”. Of course, they only think binary options, and we end up with what we have today.

      2. My favorite is when the little boy apparently hit the little girl and the parents weren’t around so an ‘irate’ neighbor marched them home.

        I hit my little brother frequently when my parents weren’t looking. Unless you plan on keeping your kids under 24/7 surveillance, the older sibling will find ways to punch the younger sibling when no one is looking.

        “The conflict, however, is that sometimes free-range kids will find themselves unattended in the company of parents who follow an entirely different style of parenting?parents who have no way of knowing what the kids’ circumstances are.”

        This is like the argument that we can’t allow gay couples to adopt because other kids might bully the kid with the gay parents. The basic logic goes like this: Even if the majority are wrong, you still need to follow the majority because if you don’t they might think you’re a weirdo for failure to comply.

        The exact same argument has now been projected onto free range kids.

        1. The argument against free-range parenting is that parents who don’t follow the precepts of free-range parenting may corner, confine, or abduct free-range kids? That’s not a super argument in favor of that other sort of parenting style…

    3. “…when the operator asked the caller if he’d spoken to them, he replied, “I don’t want to scare them.””

      Because having a couple of uniformed and armed state-sanctioned thugs show up and throw the kids into the back of a cruiser is…therapeutic?

  6. Like Hillary Clinton, I too have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. But unlike her, I have actually accomplished something.

    Me-ow! She’s welcome to run just if she keeps needling Team Hillary like that.

    1. She actually hasn’t sounded terrible in the interviews I’ve heard. Not that she’s anything more than VP fodder, but at least she’s not, I dunno, Jebillary.

      1. The NSA comment alone was enough for me to write off Jeb. There is literally nothing he could do to get my vote now.

        1. Yeah, I wasn’t voting for him, anyway, but that one moved him even further down the list.

  7. I worked for HP as the HP/Agilent split was going on (well, I was part of “managed services” (formerly “temp workers” but Congress passed legislation protecting temp workers so I was moved to managed services)) and, lemme tell ya, I’d vote for the damn Wobblies before I’d vote for Carly.

    1. I was a customer of both HP and Agilent in those days and was really pissed off at what she did to the company. And it seemed to be all about her ego–as far as I could tell.

  8. OT:

    “What we’re doing is a drill-down investigation of Jeb’s finances similar to what we did with the Clintons in terms of looking at financial dealings, cronyism, who he’s been involved with,” Schweizer told me on Wednesday. “We’ve found some interesting things.”…..-bush-next

    This is turning out to be a pretty good day

  9. Erf day was yesterday, but this is pure gold that I’m sure you will enjoy.

    1. Best. Dilbert.Evah. Although I do remember Elbonians feeding enviros into powerplants when Cali was having blackouts a decade ago.

  10. You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
    Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
    Your scarf it was apricot
    You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
    The GOP dreamed that you’d be their VP
    You’d be their VP, and…

    You’re so vain, you probably think this race is about you
    You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this race is about you
    Don’t you? don’t you?

    1. Of course, this really sounds more like it should go with another woman running for president.

      1. Palin’s running again?

        1. Of course I mean Hillary Clinton. Who should flip over and run GOP, just to fuck with everyone.

          1. The Dems would go wild. Finally, Lizzy Warren gets her shot.

  11. If you were wondering what Wisconsin’s foremost smoke jockey thinks about Scott Walker…


  12. OT: my local Fox station has hired a reporter who seems to be kinda sorta libertarian. Her first piece for the station was on how DC is flouting (not flaunting!!) the law and making it impossible to get carry permits.

    Now she’s on the case of the Police Chief parking in a handicapped space not during an emergency and the Mayor saying nobody gives a shit.

    Now I’m just counting down til she gets fired for having some unpopular opinion (I’m shocked she wasn’t kicked to the curb after her 2A report)

    1. Now that I look at her Twatter, she’s followed by Gary Johnson, Iowahawk and…..THE JACKET (at least the human who inhabits The Jacket)

      1. How in the world was this woman given a press pass?!

      2. Iowahawk? She aight then…

    2. Well, it is Faux News, after all. Must’ve scraped that barrel bottom to find her! In fact, I bet you she’s just making all this crap up in order to scare us!

      /D.C. derper

  13. Carly, please simplify your message as follows:

    Unlike Hillary, I am not a Marxist, socialist, communist, genitaliaist or any of the other variants of leftism. I despise leftism. I am leftism’s worst enemy.

    I am FOR maximizing freedom and liberty for everyone.

    Any questions?

    1. A couple problems with that.

      1) Carly Fiorina doesn’t actually support that
      2) You’re probably going to come off a bit nutty by accusing all of your opponents of being communists.

      1. How about replacing “communist” with “cronyist”?


  14. I think a lot of the flack Fiorina gets for her tenure at HP is unfair.

    First they go through the dotcom bust, and after merging with Compaq, they’re the biggest PC maker in the world. Unfortunately, being a manufacturer of PCs is a shitty business to be in–especially if your sales channel is brick and mortar retail–but if you’re going to be in that business, you definitely want to have that scale.

    It’s just that sometimes amazing and heroic work is done in the defense of lost causes. I’m not saying Fiorina’s work was amazing or heroic, but HP probably was a lost cause. So she didn’t meet the irrational expectations that predominated before the tech bubble burst?

    So what?

    I think a lot of the bad press Fiorina has gotten since she left HP is really about her being a Republican. The progressives absolutely hate it when women and minorities run as Republicans. They demonized Clarence Thomas. They demonized Sarah Palin. It’ll be interesting to watch the progressives demonize Fiorina like they demonized Meg Whitman when she was running against Jerry Brown.

    Fiorina’s ties to John McCain are troubling. But if she’s John McCain on foreign policy, that probably makes her no worse than Hillary on that count. On capitalism, free trade, etc., she’s head and shoulders above most of the others. If I absolutely had to vote for either Fiorina, Jeb Bush, or Hillary Clinton, I’d vote for Carly.

  15. I beg to differ with you, Ken.

    Unless my memory has failed me, Fiorina was the one who pushed that really stupid merger with Compaq through. Compaq had gone into enormous debt to buy up old, tired, computer companies and was failing spectacularly at the PC business at the time. She split the BoD with her politics. Initiated the first HP mass layoff in the history of the company, and the customer service–HP’s main asset–suffered greatly. The HP/Agilent split cost me hundreds of hours of needless work debugging their installation software because they couldn’t talk to the right people. I’m still pissed.

    1. Yeah, I was one of those customer support people they outsourced to Singapore.

      Downtimes that used to take 20 minutes turned into downtimes that weren’t even *ACKNOWLEDGED* until a business day had passed.

      1. I remember back in the day I used to call tech support. I’d call tech support for motherboards and all kinds of things.

        Who calls tech support anymore? When was the last time you called tech support for something?

    2. You think some of those things didn’t need to happen? Weren’t going to happen anyway?

      Like I said, if you’re going to be the world leader in selling consumer PCs–as the PC is phasing out–then you need to do it on a really big scale. I don’t know how HP could expect to compete with Apple and Dell, sell through brick and mortar retailers, and not try to scale up in a really big way.

      Fiorina wasn’t responsible for the technology bubble popping in 2000 (after she was hired). Fiorinia wasn’t responsible for what happened to the PC market between 2001 and 2005. She was reacting to what was happening in the market. That business model was spent, but taking on Compaq at the time made a lot of sense if you were going to try to keep that buggy whip model as scaled and competitive as possible.

      Within a year of her leaving, Apple started using x86, and it’s not like HP/Compaq’s PC business has bounced back since she left. She didn’t invent the iPhone or the iPad. She didn’t have Google’s position to roll out something like Android. Who can fault her for that in 2005?

      And the stock price hasn’t bounced back either. It’s been almost ten years since Fiorina left HP, and their stock price is still about half of what it was when they hired her (before the bubble burst)–and, ten years later, HP’s stock price is still lower than it was when Fiorina left the company.

      If no amount of good captaining could have saved that ship, then I’m not sure we should blame the captain.

  16. Bashing Hillary does not a President make. And it would be more than a little hypocritical of the GOP, after bashing the Democrats for electing a 1 term Senator to the White House, to elect someone with 0 experience working with the legislature.

    Still, even considering Hillary’s experience working in the federal government, and considering Hillary’s many failures there, i’d say Carly is more qualified to be president that Clinton.

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