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Carly Fiorina Enters the Race

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If all has gone well of late, I;m on vacation as you read this. I'm posting stuff prepared well in advance, so take that into consideration if the references seem dated. 

Fiorina has run for public office exactly once. She ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010 and lost, to incumbent Barbara Boxer. Now she is running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

She is most vividly known (by the portion of the non-California public to whom she isn't just "Carly who?") as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, whose one signature initiative was the company's merger with Compaq.  She was fired for that, because her board thought the initiative a bungle. Yet she will argue that she was in the right, that the combined company is nowadays stronger than either or both of them would have been without her. Presumably if her campaign catches any wind under its wings at all, she'll have plenty of opportunities to make that case.

But what strikes me about Carly's career is the back-handed slap she seems to have delivered to Sarah Palin in 2008. She was an advisor to the McCain campaign herself. In that capacity, she gave a radio interview on the Palin pick on September 15th, 2008. She said then 
that Palin lacked the experience that would qualify her to run a major company like 
Hewlett-Packard. But, she added, "that's not what she's running for. Running a corporation is a 
different set of things."

[I get that from the wikipedia article under her name, I'm too lazy to do further research right now.] 
This raises a number of questions to my mind. Was she trying to help or to hurt? It sounds like 
the sort of thing she might have said had she been trying to sabotage McCain-Palin. In part it 
sounds like that because the negative gist of it was deniable. (And in the days that followed, 
she did walk it back.) Still, what is said is said. 

I'm reminded of something Ike said about Richard Nixon, when they were respectively 
President and Vice President. Asked at a news conference what Nixon had done within the 
administration, Ike said something like, "let me think about that for a week and get back to you." 
The negative sound of that, too, was deniable, but very much present, and Ike as a rule was 
only absent minded when he had present minded reasons to be.


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