tuesday, 5 may of 2015

Carly Fiorina Announces 2016 Presidential Bid, Citing Years Leading Hewlett-Packard

Carly Fiorina became the second woman and the first former chief executive to enter the 2016 presidential campaign when she announced on Monday that her private-sector background and conservative credentials made her best positioned to capture the Republican nomination and take on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Ms. Fiorina’s long-shot campaign — polls show only a sliver of Republicans would support her at this stage — has nevertheless attracted the attention of conservatives in early nominating states, largely because of her increasingly pointed attacks on Mrs. Clinton and her impassioned anti-abortion position. (“Liberals believe that flies are worth protecting but that the life of an unborn child is not,” she said in January.)

“I think I’m the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works,” Ms. Fiorina told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Monday. “I understand executive decision-making, which is making a tough call in a tough time with high stakes.”

Her announcement came the same day another Republican, Ben Carson, a retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, formally joined the race, bringing the field of Republican candidates to at least five, with perhaps eight more expected to join the field.

Ms. Fiorina said in a conference call with reporters that her experience working her way up from secretary to chief executive of Hewlett-Packard made her stand out in a packed Republican field consisting mostly of senators and governors.

“Our nation was intended to be a citizen government, and somehow we’ve come to this place in our nation’s history where we think we need a professional political class,” she said of her corporate background. She added that it is a “pivotal point for our nation” and therefore “totally reasonable to look outside the political class.”

In discussing her presidential bid, Ms. Fiorina has kept her sights almost obsessively on Mrs. Clinton, saying in a recent interview, “I think I have an experience set that allows me to comment on the fact that she doesn’t have a track record of accomplishments as secretary of state.”

In her interview with ABC on Monday, Ms. Fiorina said she had “a lot of admiration” for Mrs. Clinton, but then pointed to Mrs. Clinton’s handling of an attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya; her use of private email as secretary of state; and donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation. “She has not been transparent about a whole set of things that matter,” Ms. Fiorina said.

Ms. Fiorina is 60 years old and a breast cancer survivor. Her announcement on Monday coincides with the release of her latest book, “Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey,” which tells the story of how she worked her way up the corporate ladder to be named in 1999 to run Hewlett-Packard, then the largest publicly traded company ever to be led by a woman. The book also focuses on her work in more recent years, as a 2010 Senate candidate in California and a philanthropist.

A campaign spokeswoman said all proceeds from her book would be donated to charity.

It is unclear whether Ms. Fiorina’s corporate record will be an advantage. In her unsuccessful campaign to unseat Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, Ms. Fiorina faced questions about large-scale layoffs at Hewlett-Packard.

In 2005, after orchestrating a merger with Compaq that was then widely seen as a failure, the company’s board forced out Ms. Fiorina while giving her a severance package worth more than $21 million. California Democrats called her “Carly Fail-orina.”

She subsequently became active in Republican politics as an adviser to Senator John McCain of Arizona in his 2008 presidential campaign.

In her muted announcement, Ms. Fiorina shunned the fanfare of three Republican opponents who previously announced their runs: Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas. The senators all started their campaigns amid rallies festooned in red, white and blue.

But Ms. Fiorina has made herself stand out in other ways, namely with her attacks on Mrs. Clinton and in articles like one in Time magazine in which she blamed liberal environmentalists for the debilitating drought in California.

“It comes down to this,” she wrote. “Which do we think is more important, families or fish?”

(Published by The New York Times – May 4, 2015)

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