2016 Scouting Report: Carly Fiorina
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Note: This is the latest installment in a weekly series taking a look at each of the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates, in alphabetical order, the same way a scout would break down a prospect for a pro sports franchise.
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...was named "the most powerful woman in business" by Fortune in 1998
Born 09/06/54 (60 years-old) in Austin, Texas...father was a law professor and a judge, and her mother was an artist...lived all over the world growing up thanks to her father's travels, including London and Ghana...got her undergraduate degree in medieval history and philosophy from Stanford, where she worked for a temp agency during the summers...originally planned to follow in her father's footsteps but dropped out of UCLA law school after her first year...eventually earned a masters degree in business from the University of Maryland and then another masters degree in management from MIT, so needless to say with that academic resume you're brilliant...started as a sales rep/managerial trainee at AT&T in 1980...At age 35 she became the Network Service Division's first female officer, and five years later was named head of North American Sales...In 1996 the company decided to combine two of its divisions into a spinoff venture called Lucent with Fiorina at the helm, and it became one of the most successful IPOs in American history...was named "the most powerful woman in business" by Fortune in 1998 ...left in 1999 to become the new CEO of Hewlett-Packard, making Fiorina the first female to head a top 100 company...HP was hit hard by the tech/dot.com dip in the early 2000s, so she orchestrated a controversial merger with Compaq, which turned out to be the largest in the history of information-technology...HP was a considered a leader in "corporate citizenship" under her command, including winning the "Seeds of Hope" award in 2003...HP also donated millions of dollars to educational efforts...she eventually built HP into a $75 billion company...got into politics after leaving HP beginning with her work on Senator John McCain's 2008 general election campaign, where she became a vocal defender of Sarah Palin as the running mate...beat breast cancer in 2009...ran for U.S. Senate unsuccessfully in California in 2010, losing by 10 points to Barbara Boxer...first marriage ended in divorce...she re-married Frank Fiorina in 1985 and has two step-daughters...was raised Episcopalian (Protestant) and her husband is Catholic.
She communicates very well, and obviously represents the perfect political foil to Hillary Clinton...much like Ben Carson she's one of the country's most accomplished private citizens, with an impeccable resume and the overcomer bio that resonates with the average American...she has as much executive experience as anybody.
Fiorina is a cross between Carson and Trump. She has some of Carson's inspirational biography, and some of Trump's business acumen/resume.
She's 0-for-1 in elections, albeit in the People's Republic of California...even though she ran for U.S. Senate, most GOP primary voters don't know her positions on key issues...going back to that campaign she ran as pro-life, in favor of Proposition 8 defending marriage as one-man and one-woman, and against amnesty but for the DREAM act (which many conservatives view as a form of amnesty)...wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2014 in which she called global warming "a big issue," but urged CEOs not to cave to unreasonable demands from global warming alarmists.
Fiorina is a cross between Carson and Trump. She has some of Carson's inspirational biography, and some of Trump's business acumen/resume. She is a quality communicator, but is there room for three "outlier" candidates in the field?
I can see Fiorina remaining viable in the process well into next year's primary cycle, even if she never wins anything, for two reasons. One, she has the resources/connections to stay afloat if she so desires. Two, there is certainly a market for an articulate Republican woman to begin deconstructing Hillary 2016. Because of that I'd suspect Fiorina will be on any GOP nominee's short list for VP, or at least a prominent place in the general election campaign/administration to come.
Steve Deace is a nationally-syndicated talk show host and also the author of the new book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.
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