In 1992, Ross Perot chose a complete unknown to be his presidential running mate. In his first debate, the VP candidate began by asking a question: “Who am I? Why am I here?”
The same should be asked about Carly Fiorina, the Republican presidential contender who has surged in recent polls of GOP primary voters. Her cam paign is positioning her as a no-nonsense, successful corporate chieftain who can run government with business-like efficiency. In a recent debate, Fiorina rattled off a list of her accomplishments as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, the hightech conglomerate; “We doubled the size of the company; quadrupled its topline growth rate; quadrupled its cash flow; tripled its rate of innovations,” she declared in power-point style.
Statistics, however, can be a sophisticated way of lying. In fact, the growth she bragged about was mostly the result of her buying another computer giant in a merger that proved to be disastrous. Hewlett-Packard’s profits declined 40 percent in her six years, its stock price plummeted, and she fired 30,000 workers even saying publicly that their jobs should be shipped overseas. Finally, she was fired.
Before we accept her claim that “running government like a business” would be a positive, note that the narcissistic corporate culture richly rewarded Fiorina for failure. Yes, she was fired, but unlike the thousands of HP employees she dumped, a golden parachute was provided to let her land in luxury — counting severance pay, stock options, and pension, she was given $42 million to go away.
But, here she comes again. Lacking even one iota of humility, this personification of corporate greed and economic inequality is now throwing out a blizzard of lies to hide who she is and to bamboozle Republicans into thinking she belongs in the White House.
This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.