Carly Fiorina is the quintessential Republican presidential candidate in all but one respect: she’s white, a business leader, fiscal and social conservative, and a woman. There are questions as to whether her candidacy is purely to allow a cleaner attack on Hillary Clinton without the appearance of gender bias, an overall attempt to show diversity by a party widely viewed as being out of touch with woman’s issues, or whether she actually believes she has a chance of winning the nomination.
I’ll admit that the first theory seems the most legitimate since her campaign website is thin on position statements and seems mostly to be a fundraising vehicle, and also since her campaign funds and runs a site dedicated purely to running a negative campaign against Hillary Clinton (readytobeathillary.com). Her twitter feed offers extremely little in the way of political positions as well and mostly highlight television appearances and fundraising and speaking engagements.
Fiorina, to her credit, was the first woman to lead one of the top twenty corporations in the country when she took the CEO job at HP. Prior to that, she was an executive at AT&T and its spin off Lucent. But under her leadership at HP, she orchestrated one of the largest tech mergers in history, acquiring Compaq, and then promptly laying off 30,000 workers. While there is debate over the effectiveness of the merger, HP did gain market share in the PC market, but by killing off the Compaq brand lost a great deal of business contract traction. She was eventually asked to resign by the board of HP who believed her direction for the company was the wrong one.
Left with nothing to do apparently, Fiorina moved on to politics, first as a fundraiser for the RNC, then taking an advisory role in the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain. This role got her in trouble when she was quoted as saying that VP candidate Sarah Palin was qualified to be VP but not to lead a company and when questioned about the statement followed that up by saying the same thing about McCain.
Undeterred, she then received the Republican nomination for US Senate in 2010, running and losing to incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer. That loss ended her political career until she announced her candidacy for President earlier this year.
She graduated from Stanford with degrees in philosophy and medieval history, and like everyone else who gets undergrad degrees in virtually useless fields and doesn’t get a job as a professor, she pursued her MBA, kickstarting her career as a business executive.
As I mentioned, her website offers few position statements, but the few statements she has made recently and in the past show that she opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, and believes global warming is a serious issue, but that the science needs to be examined. She supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants if the finish college or serve in the military, and has opposed the federal stimulus and supports cutting federal worker pay.
She does deserve credit for helping forward a couple of causes due to her personal circumstances: her daughter died as the result of drug addiction, causing her to support the decriminalization of drug addiction and abuse. In addition she helped raise awareness of breast cancer as a result of her own fight against the disease during her 2010 Senate campaign.