Showing posts with label carly fiorina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carly fiorina. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


In the last Presidential debate, Carly Fiorina thrilled anti-abortion Republicans with her audiobook version of Silent Scream and got a big poll boost. But what does she do for an encore? On all the other issues, the GOP mandidates are just as crazy as she, so her femaleness is no advantage.

What then to do? Brag on her sabotage, I mean stewardship of Hewlett Packard? Tell voters she'll deny benefits to the malingering poor as ruthlessly as she denied a final paycheck to the family of her dead campaign manager?

No, she needs something better, something that stirs conservatives as reliably as mangled fetus fan-fic. To the rescue rides Rich Lowry, a veteran GOP female fluffer who in 2008 proved his skills by professing his starbursts over Sarah Palin, and is ready to do his duty here:
Carly Fiorina is a no-nonsense former business executive who is showing she can play — and throw elbows — with the big boys in the Republican nomination battle.
Feminists have noticed, but their admiration is tinged with dread — and it should be. An eloquent, fearless critic of abortion, the latest outsider to climb in the Republican race is a clear and present danger to what feminists hold most dear...
Fiorina got the feminazis ascared! Come on, boys, isn't this everything you've been dreaming of?
The novelist Jennifer Weiner told The New York Times for a story about the conflicted feelings of feminists, “It’s so weird — she looks like one of us, but she’s not.” Another feminist writer said, “There’s an excitement and a horror.” The managing editor of the feminist website Jezebel tweeted the night of the debate, “I’m in love with and terrified of her.”
Yes, be afraid, very afraid...
Frightened femmies shrieking and running for their safe spaces -- gotta admit, for a certain audience (i.e., MRA creeps) it's a compelling story -- so compelling that after a few days Politico picks up the thread:
Carly Fiorina says she thinks she is "distinctly horrifying to liberals" because of the prospect that she could beat Hillary Clinton in a general election, hours after a poll was released showing her besting the Democratic front-runner in a hypothetical general election match-up in Iowa. 
A Clinton-Fiorina matchup! That's about as likely as a Carson-O'Malley one -- maybe the respondents took it in the appropriate Bon-Jovi-vs.-a-blade-of-grass spirit. Whatever, it's a hook, so:
During an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly on her Monday night show, Fiorina responded after Kelly read part of a New York Times story from last week in which one woman remarked of the former Hewlett-Packard executive that, "It’s so weird — she looks like one of us, but she’s not."
Jennifer Weiner again! She's got "four new books for adults and a middle grade trilogy" in the works, maybe she can do something with the publicity. The question is, can Fiorina? She'd better act fast: if the new PPI survey, which has her running behind such losers as Jeb Bush, is to be believed, her miraculous rise may be over, leaving her vulnerable to a challenge from Olivia Newton-John or The Lucha Dragons or the dog from Air Bud or whichever celebrity hasn't had his or her turn to run for the GOP nomination yet.

Maybe Fiorina's campaign team can troll Lena Dunham into making an answerable remark about her --  we know anything with Dunham ups the ante for the brethren. Of course, she could go an entirely different way and start talking about how female candidates are ill-treated by men and only taken seriously by them when they talk about so-called women's issues, and then only if they totally agree with them. But she might have to switch parties to see the benefit.

Thursday, October 01, 2015


I'm still stunned that Carly Fiorina -- aka Wendell Willkie If He Sucked at His Job -- is doing so well in GOP Presidential polling. It's hard to imagine that many people saying, "That's who I want running the country -- someone who wrecked a big company and has an inspirational backstory."

I do understand her appeal to rightwing factota, though, as a female conservative in the Age of Hillary, so I'm not shocked that Fiorina campaign talking points would appear in outlets like National Review under reporters' bylines ("Secretariat also had what’s called the 'x-factor,' a gene located on the X-chromosome that causes an unusually large heart. Fiorina says she identifies with this").

But by and large these don't take a lot of effort -- just put the press release in the Hackit app and you're done!  Megan McArdle, bless her, seems to have expended some effort to explain why Fiorina's horrible record is no reason to count her out, and that makes it all the more poignant:
Critiques of Fiorina’s tenure seem excessively focused on the outcome.
Look, if you guys bailed right now, I wouldn't be upset.
People are far too prone to confuse outcomes with good decision-making. Surgeons who do everything right will sometimes see patients die anyway -- and many doctors who fail to wash their hands send a happy, healthy patient home at the end. The important thing is to know whether you followed a process that gives you the best odds, not what happened in an individual case. Too many of Fiorina’s critics pointed out that the company lost shareholder value, then settled back with a satisfied QED.
How can we ever really know whether bad outcomes mean bad decisions? By daring to judge her, we risk being unfair to this person who has never held elective office and ended her biggest job in the center of a flaming crater, holding a burnt match. Look at the situation from her point of view -- not that of a citizen whose future will be strongly effected by the outcome of a Presidential race. Think of someone besides yourself!

It's like that Iraq War thing: Just because McArdle was wrong and you were right (" you get credit for being right, or being lucky? In some way, they got it just as wrong as I did...") doesn't mean you should be the Bloomberg columnist. Hmmph!

UPDATE. In comments (always read the comments! Here, I mean; elsewhere, never), mortimer2000 pulls out this bit from McArdle's column...
But there’s another point to be made, too, which is that I’m simply not sure how much this matters. Fiorina could be the best CEO in the world, or the worst, and that wouldn’t give us much insight into how she’d do as president.
...and asks, "So Fiorina is running for president based on her background and experience as what? A person?" No, silly, as a Republican. Credentials not necessary!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Remember at the last GOP debate, when Carly Fiorina described a Planned Parenthood video where evil abortionists threw living fetuses into a whirring blender, then drank it? Okay, so she described (as revealed by Sarah Kliff) some other bullshit that wasn't there. Anyway, to the rescue of her fantasy rides Jonah Goldberg:
And they have a point. The exact scene, exactly as Fiorina describes it, is not on the videos. But anybody who has watched the videos would find Fiorina’s off-the-cuff account pretty accurate. 
It's fake but accurate, in other words.
Most of the center’s videos involve hidden-camera conversations with current Planned Parenthood managers, as well as interviews with veterans of the abortion industry, discussing the selling of fetal body parts for research purposes. The video Fiorina probably had in mind included eyewitness descriptions accompanied by borrowed footage of a fetus dying in a metal bowl, its leg kicking, to illustrate the witness’s recollection of seeing precisely that in another case.
Probably! She might be talking about "videos of fetuses moving and kicking" that "were not shot at a Planned Parenthood clinic," which Fiorina's staff sent Kliff in her defense. But there's no need to nail it down, because we're looking at a wider truth:
That sort of juxtaposition might not fly on the nightly news, but it’s the sort of dramatic device used in documentaries all the time. It’s akin to a documentary maker interviewing a witness to Cecil the Lion getting shot, and using footage of another lion getting shot as an illustration...
I know how that is. There was that documentary where I was described as being an asshole to people (which I freely admit I have been at times, I'm not proud of it), followed by that famous clip of an South Vietnamese cop shooting a guy in the head. I tell you, I got some shit for that! More than a few people said they were with me until that scene.
The larger problem is that people are talking past each other. Fiorina’s remarks — and these videos — are really aimed at the abortion industry and its Achilles’ heel, late-term abortions. None of these videos would strike a chord if the only images were of blastocysts.
Likewise, Roy Edroso, Asshole, wouldn't have stirred much interest if it merely contained my drunken tirades and pathetic attempts at fisticuffs, but throw in a summary execution and we're cooking with gas.

On Goldberg goes till the Otteresque summation (the abortion lies of Hillary Clinton are "a far greater distortion of the truth than anything Fiorina said") and the traditional fartcloud, and we are left with the inescapable conclusion that abortion is gross and shut up.

UPDATE. From comments:

Well, I'm convinced. I mean, look -- they're right next to each other. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015


We've seen the other Republican candidates, fading in the face of Trump, going "Look at me! I can be crazy too!" What might be the journalistic equivalent?
It would seem a tad overheated to speculate that Hillary Clinton being elected president could trigger an American civil war. Unfortunately, it’s not. If not an outright war, massive civil disobedience would likely be in the offing. 
If our chief executive is assumed to be dishonest by the majority of the population — a solid plurality and possibly even a majority believing her actually to be criminal — before she takes office, what would be the natural outgrowth to society, if not a breakdown of one sort or another?...
Just kidding -- while I'm sure PJ Media could use the attention, this is not really new for Roger L. Simon, he's been totally mental for years. Anyway: Simon thinks "the chances of Hillary’s nomination are decreasing on a near-daily basis," so I guess she would have to win on a third-party ticket, or maybe just ride into the Oval Office singing Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen, and when that happens --
Almost no one who voted against her would be giving her the benefit of the doubt. Why should they? They would be looking for ways to reject her presidency.
Not like now!
Tax avoidance would be endemic. Why give money to a country where the president abjures the rule of law? (Yes, that’s already happened but this would, after a political campaign, be a force multiplier.)
Maybe these patriotic tax cheats will be supported by Charles Murray's Honky Freedom Riders. Then Simon dons sackcloth and sayeth the sooth:
With the national treasury under threat, all sorts of results could occur — a stock market meltdown beyond what we are experiencing now, full scale depression like the 1930s, urban riots that make Baltimore and Ferguson look like Kiddyland, nonstop demonstrations of all sorts from all sides, millions of people opting out á la John Galt (most without knowing who he is), an American decline beyond recognition (if you think things are bad now, you haven’t seen anything), little border control with giant Islamic spillover from Europe, terror attacks routine, and, yes, remote a possibility as it may be, a violent civil war between between sides in a hugely split society.
The Go Galt schtick is the tip-off: This is everything these guys predicted for the Obama Administration, stuffed into one big bag of crazy for the next potential Democratic President. They did this when de Blasio got elected, too, and you could conceivably convince the rubes that the mayor really is turning New York into a gritty urban drama out of the 70s because most of them don't live there; getting them to believe the election of Hillary Clinton will lead to armageddon, as opposed to the sylvan glade that awaits under President Cruz (or the woman Simon apparently favors, Carly Fiorina, who wants to bring the skills that nearly destroyed Hewlett Packard to national governance), may take a bit more doing. Perhaps Simon would like to revisit during Halloween? I hear haunted houses can make a good bit of money, and they don't have to be convincing.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


The Republican Party is at present in (to echo the immortal words of Ken Russell) a weird, feeble state.  My heart goes out to them and in the ancient tradition I offer suggestions for their restoration:

1. To pre-empt the threat that belligerent oaf Donald Trump poses to the debates, forget about relying on the "serious" candidates to make him look ridiculous; just say to hell with decorum entirely and flood the stage with other joke candidates who will distract from him. Some possibilities:
The ensuing brawl will discharge tensions, purge bad blood, and leave the Party faithful ready and perhaps even eager for the more traditional meaningless yammer.

2. In the wake of the Planned Parenthood sting videos, your Party's presidential candidates should follow the lead of its intellectual class and beef up their anti-abortion cred by actually picketing clinics while carrying pictures of dismembered fetuses. Stirring speeches at press conferences won't achieve nearly as dramatic an effect on whatever voters you expect to influence as film of your candidate screaming "MURDERER!" at a terrified teenage girl. And imagine the footage when the storm-trooper clinic escorts mix it up with your candidate's security! Call up Joe Miller's and Rand Paul's old teammates for pointers.

3. The story line that Obama's treaty with Iran is shameful because it doesn't involve American prisoners held by their government should be dynamite, but it's not getting any mileage for a reason: Nobody knows the prisoners. But if one of your candidates should somehow get to Tehran and wind up in custody, think of the press, and the ensuing drumbeat for war -- "Remember [Your Name Here]!" Never mind the logistics, Bud MacFarlane has a package all worked out for you. Carly Fiorina would be a good choice, as the threatened-womanhood angle has always worked well in jingoistic propaganda; but really, any or all of the candidates could with profit be sent to Iran. (If they should balk at the idea, tell them they'll be greeted as liberators.)

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Carly Fiorina did a short video for BuzzFeed in which she turns around popular sexist tropes in an office setting -- e.g., "How do you walk in those shoes?" "I didn't know men could be funny," "Does your wife help out with the kids?" It's a little over a minute long, totally innocuous, and of a genre that goes back to George S. Kaufman's If Men Played Cards As Women Do, at least. If anything the effect is to make Fiorina seem like a good sport, and not just the woman who nearly destroyed Hewlett Packard and thinks that was a good stepping stone to the Presidency.

Yet Amy Miller at Legal Insurrection thinks the video is worse than bad. While admitting through gritted teeth that "humanity goes a long way when it comes to connecting with voters and gaining trust on a more personal level," she says,
Carly is funny, engaging, and smart—but she used that power for evil. She walked into a young, modern, progressive venue, and threw her own womanhood under the bus in an effort to pander to a base that will never vote for her. 
Fiorina has defined herself as a businesswoman, CEO, and force to be reckoned with; she should not have to—and should never (NEVER)—have to play into the hands of liberals who work every day to manufacture divides in our society. 
This isn’t effective outreach; it’s Stockholm Syndrome.
Maybe she thinks gender reversal jokes are the first step toward gender reversal, Caitlin Jenner, and dogs and cats living together. Sadder still is Ashe Schow at the Washington Independent Examiner, who admitted "that I laughed multiple times throughout the video" before she got her mind right and "concluded that it was just another attempt to divide people" through the dark art of humor. Schow even explained why some specific sections did not meet her standards for minute-long internet joke videos. For example, the "men talking over women" gag:
This one I've experienced. Maybe it's sexism, maybe I didn't speak up loudly enough. I've had people steal my ideas — and my jokes — because I wasn't heard and they were.
I'd love to know what ideas of Ashe Schow's somebody stole, and what workplace they were worth stealing in.
One example of this occurred at one of my previous jobs — but I can't conclusively say that it was due to the fact that I am woman and not, say, the fact that I was new to politics and knew very little compared to the people around me (I definitely lacked confidence due to that).
You've all been there, right, ladies? Some man talks over you and then steals your idea, and you think, hmm, maybe I'm to blame for this, but one thing I'm sure about is that it has nothing to do with institutional sexism. also happens to men. Certain bosses take credit for their subordinate's ideas, regardless of whether the subordinate is a man or a woman.
Also, in prison men rape other men, so I don't see why everyone makes such a big deal about women getting raped. On the joke about women getting asked about work and family more than men:
The difference here reflects poorly on both sexes. When women are asked this, the implied question seems to be: "Why don't you spend more time with your children?" At the same time, not asking this question of men comes with the undertone that men don't need to be there for their children, or simply don't need to care about them.
I bet men really suffer from this one. No one asks if I'm spending time with the kids. I feel so -- not-validated! 

They have a female candidate who's pretty conservative and the minute she acknowledges the experience of many, many women voters it's like she turned into Germaine Greer. They're really asking a lot of their white male base in 2016.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Carly Fiorina? For President? At National Review, Jim Geraghty jokes about the demon sheep ad from her disastrous 2010 Senate campaign, but in his newsletter for the true believers Geraghty circulates some straight-up Fiorina PR: After praising Fiorina's staff hires ("CRC Public Relations is a pretty big mover and shaker in the world of conservative clients"), he says:
You may recall that last month I wrote, “the former Hewlett Packard CEO has a broader and more interesting résumé than you might think -- member of the CIA’s External Advisory Board, committee adviser to Condoleezza Rice, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies -- and despite the “nice” CEO image, she’s fearless on the attack -- tearing into Hillary for lack of accomplishments, ripping liberals for hypocrisy on abortion, challenging Valerie Jarrett on live television about unequal pay for women at the White House. A cancer survivor with a great personal success story, she may be a much more serious contender for the [vice-presidential] slot than most people think right now.” 
Heading into CPAC, she has the not-so-insignificant advantage of being accomplished and almost entirely dismissed by the political media, so the bar is set pretty low.
Pretty low indeed! "The not-so-insignificant advantage of being accomplished"? The consensus (bipartisan, as it were) on her reign at Hewlett Packard, the most significant of her alleged accomplishments, seems to be that she nearly ruined it. And getting on committees and boards is simple for high-level executives even if they are terrible at their jobs. As for tearing and ripping, you can get a dog to do that. (I will say it's nice that she got over cancer.)

Also: Fiorina has never won elective office. Neither had President Washington and President Grant, but we are talking about a whole different level of being-accomplished here.

In fact this is very close to the imaginary-but-with-a-budget campaigns of Ben Carson and Donald Trump. And it reminds me of the complaining conservatives and consensus-seeking politicos did when Scott Walker was recently mocked as a college dropout. I understand the anxiety that episode raised: American folk wisdom says you shouldn't need certification to excel and prosper, and I hope all good people lament that citizens are badgered by employment anxiety to get a diploma and the gigantic price tag that comes with it just to keep the wolf from the door.

But with  candidates like Fiorina, it looks like the Party of Joe The Plumber, which has never put much stock in fancy book learning anyway, is not merely being open to talents (as if these people really qualify as talents), but favoring people who lack not only traditional qualifications but also common sense, as if having the slightest idea what you're doing is some elitist shibboleth that needs to be refuted once and for all with the election of a total dumbass.

Can they pull it off? Depends on how much the voters remember about George W. Bush.

UPDATE. Geraghty's not Fiorina's only friend in the world of wingnut journamalism -- Al Weaver of The Daily Caller:
Is Hillary Clinton Stealing Speech Lines From Carly Fiorina?
The Answer May Surprise You!
During her speaking event in Silicon Valley, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemingly snagged a campaign line from potential GOP 2016 candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. 
Clinton, the presumptive 2016 candidate for the Democratic Party, called on attendees at the conference to “unlock their full potential,” a line Fiorina uses.
Unlock their full potential -- has a ring to it! I bet it catches on, retroactively. Weaver also claims that "back in June during Clinton’s book release of 'Hard Choices,' much was made of the similarities between her book and Fiorina’s 2007 memoir, 'Tough Choices.'" No links and no quotes, natch, and besides, who believes anyone read enough of both books to make an informed comparison?