Will Carly Fiorina’s surge be undermined by her HP record?

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Carly Fiorina, profile: The Republicans’ card to trump Hillary Clinton in White House race?.

Carly Fiorina is doing well in polls. WASHINGTON — Businessman Donald Trump remains the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in a poll that has political outsiders occupying three of the four top spots. As Donald Trump saw his support drastically diminish following the second GOP debate, the businesswoman swiftly rose to No. 2 with 15 percent of Republican support. Trump received 21 percent in the Bloomberg Politics poll taken after the second Republican debate, with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in second with 16 percent and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina fourth with 11 percent. But in the corporate world, another debate remains: Fiorina’s business record. “The head of the Yale business school, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, wrote a paper recently (calling it), ‘one of the worst tenures for CEOs that he has ever seen,'” Trump says.

Some say they shouldn’t be trusted, yet polls continue to be flaunted by many presidential candidates and are carefully monitored by political pundits. The Republican candidate was impressing on the trail and gaining traction with voters, much like she is now as a Republican presidential contender. “Thirty thousand Californians lost their jobs,” the narrator of an ad released in mid-September said of Fiorina’s legacy as CEO of the Silicon Valley tech giant Hewlett Packard. “Fiorina tripled her salary, bought a million dollar yacht, and five corporate jets.” As Fiorina rises through the polls and emerges from the crowded GOP field, those looking to defeat her in will look to 2010 for a playbook of how her liabilities and strengths play in a race. Fiorina, the daughter of a law professor-turned-judge, rose quickly at AT&T, becoming its first female senior vice president, then later president of its spinoff, Lucent. So let’s take a look at what the latest numbers say: Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic pack, according to a Quinnipiac Poll that also confirmed Donald Trump as the GOP front-runner.

Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.” In the CNBC interview: “I don’t think people are inherently racist in this country. After Carly Fiorina’s unsuccessful 2010 run for Senate in California, it took her more than four years to fully pay staff and vendors for their work on her campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. But the stakes and the race are very different: Fiorina lost in a deep-blue state in 2010, and she’s running in a far-right primary field five years later. Most Americans surveyed by Bloomberg (72 percent) agree with Trump on the United States’ lost greatness, are “fed up” with politics and think the country is going in the wrong direction. And the layoffs that hit close to home in California are thousands of miles away from states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and the other early voting states that will help determine the 2016 GOP nominee.

Another poll, this one by Gallup, suggested that Hillary Clinton’s favorable ratings have weakened, “though it remains to be seen if fatally,” Andrew Dugan wrote. To be sure, people knew who Carly was: the former boss of the computer giant Hewlett-Packard; the first woman to lead a Fortune Top 20 company and who later ran (unsuccessfully) for one of California’s two Senate seats; and, as US politics watchers would note, a former adviser to John McCain in his losing presidential run of 2008. But a review of Federal Election Commission records by The Daily Beast shows that Fiorina first paid herself back for more than $1.25 million in personal loans she made to the campaign, including a $1 million check on the day before Election Day. However, the survey’s most interesting nugget is that Clinton’s positive rating has remained relatively stable with women, but it has declined with men. So rather than prey on their angst and fears, I’m taking a risk of trying to appeal to their hopes and dreams.” CLINTON: A good explanation from the New York Times on the complicated questions about the federal laws around the handling of intelligence information.

In a memo last week, deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores offered a 10-point defense of Fiorina’s business record at length before going on to try to discredit one of her most visible critics for a disputed — and largely debunked — vandalism charge. “Carly saved 80,000 jobs and grew to 150,000 jobs by 2005,” Flores wrote in part. “During her tenure, Carly doubled revenues to more than $80 billion, tripled innovation, quadrupled cash flow and more than quadrupled the growth rate. He says the highly controversial, strategically misguided deal she muscled through dragged the company and its stock down. “Leaders go through adversity and we benefit from their failures because they come back from it and tell us how to get through it.

Fiorina declared her candidacy in May, only to bump along near the bottom of the polls, managing no better than a place on the undercard in the first Republican debate on 6 August. From POLITICO: “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greenlighted paperwork that changed her top aide Huma Abedin’s job status to “special government employee” — a classification that allowed Abedin to work for an outside consulting firm and the Clinton Foundation at the same time she was advising Clinton at State. Marty Wilson, Fiorina’s then-campaign manager, said Fiorina knew at the time that there would be debts at the end of the campaign, but that it was difficult to know how deep the debt would be. “The problem with campaigns is you project debt based on what you think revenues are going to be,” Wilson said. “People say they are going to send money, but Election Day comes and goes, and you’ve lost, and those receivables don’t materialize.” With more than $1 million out the door at the last minute and a shortfall in fundraising commitments, the campaign ended nearly $500,000 in debt, unable to pay vendors and staff, including Wilson, who was owed more than $60,000. “We certainly talked to her after the campaign quite a bit about the nature of the debt, who the money was owed to, did some things to get some of the bills paid off after the election,” Wilson said. “Was I frustrated? HP went from a Fortune 28 to a Fortune 11 company.” While Hewlett-Packard profits did grow substantially, in 2010 the Los Angeles Times struggled to back up Fiorina’s claim that she’d added U.S. jobs, instead finding indication that she’d more likely created jobs overseas. Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s campaign kickoff rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, United States, July 13, 2015.

According to documents obtained by conservative group Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Clinton was the immediate supervisor who approved the title change that came with the new post on March 23, 2012, permitting her then-deputy chief of staff to work several jobs at once.” The Des Moines Register’s assessment of her ed board appearance: “The Iowa caucuses are still four months off. There, too, she was deemed the clear winner, helped by her deadpan, withering put-down of Donald Trump, rendering that preening self-promoter for once flustered and unsure of himself.

Hillary Clinton needs to use that time to continue to connect with voters on a personal level while demonstrating that she has learned from past mistakes.” POLITICO outlines John Boehner’s next move to prevent a shutdown: “House Republican leaders will move next week to approve a “clean” government spending bill — and avert a shutdown — but only after they hold a vote on a measure to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood, according to multiple sources familiar with the GOP’s plan.” And more, from Roll Call: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday began laying the groundwork for the chamber to advance a “clean” continuing resolution in the coming days after Democrats and some Republicans banded together to block consideration of a stopgap with Planned Parenthood defunding language.” The Washington Post, with a preview of the visit between the Chinese president and Obama: “Observers said there is little personal warmth, and even less trust, between Xi and Obama as the White House prepares to roll out the red carpet with a pomp-filled arrival ceremony Friday. But there were other people who were more frustrated than I was.” Under federal law, self-funding candidates can spend unlimited money on their campaigns. A CNN poll the next day put her in second place behind Trump, leading some to believe that after the fiasco of McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, the Republicans might have found their own Hillary Clinton, a champion who would improve the party’s dismal standing among women while remaining true to conservative principles.

Flores fired back. “Barbara Boxer is part of the political class that has failed Americans on every festering problem in this country,” she told MSNBC via email. “These are the games the political class plays. The 2002 McCain-Feingold Act limits the window during which a candidate can be reimbursed for those candidate-sponsored loans, which could explain Fiorina’s haste to get at least some of her money back.

Fiorina’s claim during the second debate to have seen a video produced by an anti-abortion group showing Planned Parenthood staff members looking at an aborted fetus with a beating heart was rated as “mostly false” by the independent fact-checking website Politifact. Clinton is resolutely pro-choice, while Fiorina opposes abortion in almost every circumstance: witness her ferocious (many would say mendacious) attacks on Planned Parenthood and the allegations of harvesting of organs from aborted foetuses. Clinton calls for curbs on Wall Street, and supports action to fight climate change, but Fiorina is a conservative true believer on economic matters, who favours deregulation and believes action to counter global warming is futile. At an event this week in the key early voting state of South Carolina, she was asked to explain the wide criticism of her business. “Yes, some tough decisions were called for in very tough times, and honestly I think the American people want some tough decisions made in Washington as well,” Fiorina said with a steely tone. “But I will run on that track record all day long,” Fiorina, a first-time candidate who had made her name, and much of her estimated $120 million personal fortune at that time, as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 until 2005, was no exception.

The survey of 1,001 adults, which included 391 voters who were registered Republicans or leaned toward that party, was taken Sept. 18-21 and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. Sonnenfeld argues her contemporaries — now IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy — have better records. “I do think that there are some added challenges that women CEOs have had, but it doesn’t seem to be relevant in the particular case of Carly Fiorina,” Sonnenfeld says.

No matter her tendency to play fast and loose with the facts (she has been described as a “pathological spin artist” – but then again, what candidate isn’t?) – she sounded as if she really knew her stuff. Despite that it’s the only substantial executive experience she can present to her voters, it certainly hasn’t been the highlight of her campaign speeches. The father of the woman who, in 1954, started life as Cara Carleton Sneed, was a federal appeals judge and, briefly, deputy attorney general in the Nixon administration. Only as Fiorina began to publicly consider launching a presidential campaign in 2015 did she pay off her 2010 debts, quietly writing a personal check for $487,410 to finally pay the outstanding bills and close the Carly for California campaign. The young girl spent a year at Channing School in Highgate, north London, an experience she later called “great fun, like being in a movie”, before continuing her blue-chip education at Stanford and later MIT.

The couple broke up after a few years and Bartlem is still bitter about the experience. “In the clown car that is the Republican Party,” he told Bloomberg recently, “she’s the ultimate clown.” Fiorina was indeed once a receptionist at an estate agents – but only as a fill-in job before teaching English in Italy for a year. That may be partially explained by Marty Wilson’s observation of Fiorina’s 2010 experience. “I don’t think anybody likes parting with a substantial percentage of their net worth for a speculative venture.” Yes, she made Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 and was named 10th on the Forbes list of the world’s 100 most powerful women. In 2006, she published a best-selling memoir, Tough Choices, before signing up with the McCain campaign, where she was praised for giving her all until the very end despite the virtual certainty of defeat. Boxer savaged her tenure at HP, pointing to the layoffs and the $21m golden parachute: “We don’t want those Wall Street values here.” That argument, sure to be raised by a Democratic opponent in the 2016 general election, will resonate even more strongly amid the current resentment at America’s ever-widening inequality, and the flow of wealth towards the 1 per cent.

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