On Friday, Carly Fiorina spoke to the National Federation of Republican Business Women Convention in Phoenix. She has been surging in the polls lately, in part because, like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, she is eminently unqualified for the top job.
Fiorina's speech was well-received, despite- or more likely, because of- its many contradictions. Listen beginning at approximately 13:30 of the video below when she recommends
... a lot of challenging to the status quo. It means we have to go to some form of zero-based budgeting. We actually do need to know where our money is being spent. That's the only way you can spend less overall and thus prioritize how it is being spent. We need to go to some version of meritocracy so that when hundreds of thousands of veterans die without an appointment more than two people in the VA lose their jobs.
Yes, a lot of veterans went a long time- far too long, without an appointment. To cheers, Fiorina then offers her remedy: "we have 256,000 federal government bureaucrats, baby boomers who are going to retire in the next four or five years. I will not replace a single one." Fiorina will solve the problem of backlog in the Veterans Administration by cutting jobs.
Fiorina's response sounds ridiculous only because it is. Nonetheless, it is her modus operandi. Recall that
.... lost shareholder wealth and lost strategic direction at HP are only part of Fiorina’s legacy. Also lost during her reign were 30,000 U.S. tech jobs, the company’s revered employee morale, and the egalitarian, humble HP way culture. A new defensive, finger-pointing style of leadership led to waves of firing. Dissent was equated with disloyalty as discovered by Walter Hewlett, a board member and son of HP’s co-founder, when he questioned Fiorina’s misguided Compaq acquisition strategy and refused to be bullied into a board statement of unanimous consent, suffering legal and personal threats.
Fiorina got high marks for her performance in the first debate, among the candidates barely registering in voter preference surveys, from a media which largely has ignored her poor record at Hewlett Packard, as well as the over the $100 million she pocketed while inept. It's hard, though, not to come out looking good when one of your rivals virtually endorses you, as when Rick Perry commented
One of the great challenges that we have, $150 billion is fixing to go to a country that killed our Marines in Lebanon, that used their weapons to kill our young men in Iran. And the idea that this negotiation — I will tell you one thing. I would a whole lot rather had Carly Fiorina over there doing our negotiation than John Kerry. Maybe we would’ve gotten a deal where we didn’t give everything away.
Evidence indicates the country benefited a great deal by having John Kerry lead negotiations for the USA with Iran. Had Carly Fiorina been nearly as adept at guiding a large corporation, she would be someone who would almost deserve serious consideration for the nomination of her Party.