During the waning years of the high tech bubble I knew of a guy who worked for Hewlett Packard in Silicon Valley. He hated Carly Fiorina (the then embattled Hewlett Packard Chairman of the Board), …… And so did everyone he knew among his peers. This kind of disaffection was anecdotal. But what was not anecdotal was the way Fiorina was shown the door by the revered company’s board after earnings had stagnated and the company had lost thousands of employees through lay-offs and resignations. What has also not been anecdotal of late is the way Fiorina has been deep sixed by the McCain campaign after pulling a gaffe worthy of Senator Joe Biden.
What has been fundamentally disturbing, is the way Fiorina’s ambitions have led her to sell out on the principles of competency and professionalism she truculently propounds. She would have won the respect of friends and foes alike, if she had just resigned from the McCain campaign on principle, following the appointment of Governor Sarah Palin – a fledgling politico who, in the words of Matt Damon, could neither square off with a Putin or run this country should things come to that. Carly would have been flying high in the minds of many had she drawn that line in the sand and walked away. But no, like Senator McCain and all of the hired hacks she battened down the hatches and tried to defend the indefensible. That decision to stay reduced her from the high-flying executive of her own legend to just another hired impolitical hack. Ironically, the same naked ambition that prevented Sarah Palin from saying no to John McCain’s vice presidential nod, stopped Carly from telling it like it is and walking away while her stock was still hot.
But in the end, it was Carly’s overweening hubris that did her in. People who are full of themselves sometimes don’t not know that, and to that extent they are incapable of assessing themselves in ways that can head-off the kind of diplomatic faux pas Fiorina got herself caught up in. Had Fiorina been in touch with her own attitudes of superiority, and the sensitivities of the McCain campaign, she would have carefully weighed the issue of Palin’s shortcomings before the fact and been in a position to respond to media questions in the most diplomatic of ways. This would have been the anti-dote to the kind of tone-deafness she exhibited in that KTRS Radio interview. Nancy Pfotenhauer(another McCain Senior Policy Advisor), who appears confused most of the time, excels at a smiley-rope-a-dope style of engagement that ruffles few, if no feathers.
Now as I write this, Carly Fiorina is out of a high-profile job sans the $21 million severance pay she got from Hewlett Packard in 2005. What she claims to have transcended in the historical instance has again happened to her: a firing in the most public of ways and a press that is having a field day with it. And some of peasants with pitchforks she raked over the coals are wondering how it feels to be thrown under the bus for the second time in her life.
© Cyberaxis 2008
In new ad, Fiorina slams Boxer’s “arrogance” (Upshot – Yahoo – Reporting on the 2010 Senatorial race between Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer) Aah, the richness of this.
Sample comment for reader of the article:
When I found out that Fiorina was the Repubs candidate I couldn’t believe it. Anybody that was around during Clueless Carly’s reign of terror at H-P should know she hasn’t got the sense to fix a Kleenex box. The only reason she’s running for office is because nobody in the private sector will give her a job. ( Mark H 29 minutes ago 09/24/10)