Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign is starting to look a lot like her failed California Senate run in 2010.
Today, she’s enjoying a meteoric rise, rapidly becoming the GOP’s answer to Hillary Clinton. The “Horatio Alger” story of her journey from the office secretarial pool to the CEO’s office of Hewlett-Packard and her experience as a breast cancer survivor has been an inspiration to many Republican voters, women and men alike. She comes across as a tough-talkin’, no BS, pistol-packin’ Mama.
That’s how it started five years ago when Fiorina threw down the gauntlet to incumbent California Senator Barbara Boxer. It was a good year for the GOP. Fox “News” and the right-wing corporate propaganda machine were doing their jobs very well. There was no reason that Carly Fiorina shouldn’t have toppled Boxer in that year’s Senate race – except for the facts. Her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard of laying off 30,000 workers and exporting US jobs to China eventually surfaced and bit her in the backside – even if many of her supporters initially refused to believe it.
Boxer’s campaign strategists supplemented those facts with stories of Fiorina’s extravagant, company-funded lifestyle, which included use of a private jet and a luxury yacht, in addition to an annual salary that went as high as $4 million a year. And of course, we cannot forget that Fiorina received a severance package consisting of $21 million in cash and $19 million in stock options and pension benefits after she was fired by the HP Board of Directors.
Those facts didn’t sit well with California voters in 2010. This election, with the issues of corporate greed and income inequality at the forefront, it’s likely to alienate voters again. Even though Fiorina has come up from behind and is now nipping at the heels of Ben Carson and Donald Trump, she will increasingly find herself having to defend her dismal record at HP, a company that Trump describes as an ongoing “disaster.”
Currently, the Fiorina campaign is attempting to get in front of the situation by soliciting “positive” testimonials and guest editorials from former HP employees. Her campaign website, FromSecretaryTo CEO.com, has the following link at the top of the home page: “Have you worked with Carly? Tell Your Story.” That web page also features glowing accounts of Fiorina’s business career, as well as the fact that she was listed as “The Most Powerful Woman in Business” by Fortune Magazine in 1998. The website is a masterpiece of spin. However, it’s unlikely to help her Presidential bid.
The electorate is sick and tired of corporations and the self-styled “1%” aristocracy calling the shots, as it continues to rig the system in order to grab all the new wealth while keeping its jackboot firmly planted on the necks of those who have seen their paychecks dwindle. Many of these voters may work two and three jobs and still find themselves unable to make ends meet. They are burdened by medical and student loan debts, while Wall Street gets bailed out and corporate criminals walk free. At the same time, the Carly Fiorinas of America continue to rake in as much as 1,000 times what a worker makes, for doing little more than jabbering on the phone all day, figuring out how to squeeze even greater profits out of their operations at the expense of workers, or determining which members of Congress can be most easily bought by industry lobbyists.
That, on top of Carly Fiorina’s real business record and the fact that she is either a pathological liar or completely delusional is just as likely to torpedo her Presidential bid as it did her Senate race five years ago.