Carly Cue

By Phil Erwin

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Now that Carly Fiorina has taken her rightful place among viable candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination, the Liberal Press is taking aim at her.

She was a standout at the “kiddies debate” in August, giving a powerful performance that earned her a place among “leading” candidates in the CNN debate last week. And the Press wondered aloud whether she could stand up to the “big boys.”

Those of us who had been listening to her interviews already knew her to be sensible, cogent and powerful in responding to questions.

But the Media considered her unimportant – right up until that moment when she took frontrunner Donald Trump out to the metaphorical woodshed and gave him such a metaphorical whipping it made him blush through his ruddy complexion.

Ooohhh!! A woman that trumps a man named Trump!

You’d think Liberals would love seeing any woman Presidential contender, but, No! They’ve chosen their Queen of 2016. No pretenders to Her Highness Hillary’s throne allowed! The Media gave Carly props for a gonzo debate performance, but busily assigned her demerits for… not smiling!

(Thank you for playing, Carly. We think you’re cute, even if The Donald doesn’t. But you should smile more! Now… Please step back. And…

… Cue the canards regarding Fiorina’s supposed “failure” at Hewlett-Packard.)

An early volley comes from Rex Nutting on the Marketwatch financial Website. As far as Nutting is concerned, Carly Fiorina doesn’t know enough about running things to be President. Which he makes plain in the title, Why Fiorina’s failure as a CEO ensures she’d fail as president.   (Case closed?)

Carly at HP: Gizomodo

Fiorina at HP: Gizmodo

Nutting equates being fired with failing. Reasonable folk know it’s not that cut-and-dried. Nutting himself notes that Fiorina’s biggest enemies at H-P were in the board of directors, which he says was “…made up of uninformed people who nevertheless think of themselves as geniuses…”   Why, then, accept their collective opinion of Fiorina as gospel? Why assume they were right to fire her?

Nutting makes the typical finance-guy mistake of judging Fiorina’s performance at Hewlett-Packard as if she were running a company like Pepsi. As Pepsi’s very successful CEO John Scully discovered, running a technology giant is nothing like running any other type of corporation. That’s because technology changes faster than anything else ever has. (Scully failed so utterly to rescue Apple from the doldrums that Apple’s board begged founder Steve Jobs to come back and rescue him. And now Apple is… Well, you know.)

Anticipating change correctly and responding to it in advance is the responsibility of the technology CEO. It’s a challenge Carly Fiorina met head-on, expanding H-P’s reach through strategic mergers in the midst of the worst downturn that the tech sector had ever experienced.   She absorbed not one, but two distinct corporate cultures and melded them into a more responsive, more adaptive, more survivable company. Yes, she laid off or outsourced thousands of jobs. So did every other CEO in the tech universe during that period. (See James Freeman’s discussion in the Wall Street Journal online.) H-P’s fortunes recovered, and its labor force doubled, and doubled again, because she had expanded the range of products and markets that H-P could address. No longer just a global printer and peripherals company, H-P became a dominant enterprise player, rivaling then-leaders IBM and SUN.   (And that SUN, by the way, has since “set.” Hewlett-Packard lives on.)

A key knock against Fiorina’s tenure at H-P is that thousands of workers lost their jobs. When FOX’s Chris Wallace brought this up, Fiorina responded: “The job of a Chief Executive is to build sustainable shareholder value over time. …We provided the richest severance packages in the industry… But when you have a big, bloated bureaucracy that costs too much and is becoming inept – and that is what we have in Washington DC – there are some jobs that have to go away. 256,000 Baby Boomers will retire from the Federal government in the next 5 years. As President, I will not replace a single one.”

That is a bold fiscal problem-solver.

Doesn’t that sound like something we desperately need?

Yes, Fiorina was fired after about five years. And one might reasonably wonder whether it wasn’t because the son of one of H-P’s founders just couldn’t abide a secretary running “his” company.

I don’t write this to convince you that Fiorina deserves your vote. (Frankly, I have reservations about putting anybody in the Oval Office that hasn’t spent time with the military overseas. Our foreign affairs are in a dismal state, our national security hasn’t been this dicey in a generation, and the Mid-East is more likely to erupt than a smoldering volcano. We might need an Eisenhower.)

Rather, I write to suggest that Fiorina deserves your attention. Listen to her responses to questions; consider her policy approaches and position statements; and do so without mindlessly accepting the Press’ nonsense that her tenure at H-P was an abject failure, simply because she was ultimately fired by a corporate board that couldn’t otherwise bully her.

Other CEO’s at H-P have had rocky tenures. The company has survived, and grown, in good measure because of changes Fiorina engineered.

And that is precisely what we need in the Oval Office: A true engineer of change.

Not another someone who just talks a good game. Someone who can deliver.

Despite what you will hear parroted by a Press that knows nothing about it: Fiorina delivered at H-P. During a very challenging time for technology companies, she made tough decisions, stood by them, and the company survived and grew again while competitors fell away. That’s what CEO’s are supposed to do.

You needn’t take my word for it; but don’t take the Press’ word for gospel, either. Major change often takes a while to play out. It can be complicated. The Press doesn’t like complications, and the Left distills them into sound bites.

Well, here’s a sound bite: Fiorina stood with the “big boys” on the debate stage last week, and she delivered.

That’s what we need: Leaders who can stand, and deliver.

Carly with the 'Big Boys' Photo Credit: Mark Langsum

Carly with the ‘Big Boys’ Photo Credit: Mark Langsam

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Phil Erwin is an author, IT administrator and registered Independent living in Newbury Park. He sometimes wishes he could support Democrat ideals, but he has a visceral hatred for Lies and Damn Lies, and is none too fond of Statistics. If his writing depresses you, he recommends you visit Chip Bok’s site for a more lighthearted perspective.

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