It appears to be universally agreed upon that last night’s debate on CNN was Carly Fiorina’s moment to shine in the spotlight, and she did. The fight to get her as number 11 into the debate paid big dividends for her. She was poised, sometimes stern, and made a great connection between Iran and Planned Parenthood. Many have already jumped on to the Carly bandwagon, but there are still many unanswered questions about her that conservatives should demand answers for first before joining the group.
Was she that great of a CEO at HP?
According to her in the debate, yes she was. What does history say? Not really. Yes, she broke the glass ceiling at HP, but, if you had invested all of your money in HP’s stock the day she took control and sold it the day she left, you would have lost half of your wealth. As Politifact and many other sources have pointed out, HP’s net earnings dropped 22% from $3.1 billion in 1999 (her first year) to $2.4 billion in 2005 (her last). She claimed last night that she doubled the size of the company, but that was mainly the result of the Compaq merger not growth of HP by itself. According to Fortune, she also made “big promises” that failed mightily, noting “in December 2003, she told analysts that HP thought it could increase earnings per share by more than 20% annually.” However, that summer she had to announce that earnings would be 23% lower than expected causing HP stocks to drop. It appears that at HP, she was well known for big talk and empty results. It should also to be noted that she was fired from that position (stocks went up immediately after), and was given a handsome $21 million severance package (she has yet to use her vast wealth to pay off debts to 2010 campaign staff). CNBC ranked her in 2009 as the 19th worst CEO of all time.
Is she an outsider?
Perhaps one of the main reasons Carly has jumped in popularity is her appearance of being an outsider, similar to Donald Trump’s and Ben Carson’s angles, yet she does have a record joining with the establishment, including having ideals embraced by the left. She was John McCain’s leading economic spokesperson during the 2008 Presidential election. During her 2010 U.S. Senate run, she openly supported the DREAM Act, and just a few months ago in June said she was open to giving legal status to adult illegal aliens and citizenship to their children. Fiorina has also accepted that Climate Change is real. While several candidates have attacked Trump for donating to the Clintons, Carly praised Hillary Clinton in 2008 saying, “I have such great admiration and empathy for Hillary Clinton. I have great admiration for her…she is obviously incredibly intelligent, focused, tough, determined, empathetic of all the tens of millions of people that she was trying to represent in her quest to become the first woman President of the United States.” Finally, she stood with the establishment against conservatives by openly opposing the 2013 government slimdown, calling it “Ted Cruz and President Obama’s shutdown.” She sympathized with John Boehner’s lack of success, blaming it on “elements of his caucus that are much more extreme than other elements of the caucus.”
Has she stayed about the fray?
Again, not really. As Mark Levin pointed out, “she’s not a girl scout.” She certainly channeled Trump during the 2010 General Election by cracking a joke about Sen. Barbara Boxer’s hair.
Yes, Carly did well in the debate (several others did too), but sadly the debates have become mere performance acts with the goal of seeing who has the best improvisation skills and can produce the best zingers. They are no longer a test for who’s the most presidential. To begin supporting any candidate because of a debate performance is shallow and short-sighted thinking to say the least. One must look at the record of the candidate, past and present. In Fiorina’s case, she’s presently angling herself as an outsider who was a successful businesswoman, but that doesn’t tell the whole picture. Her record and positions must be challenged, just like every other candidate running to be our next President.