Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Why should we hire Carly Fiorina for president?

By Richard Cohen
Opinion writer September 21 at 7:49 PM, WashPost

I want to say something about Carly Fiorina right at the outset: I don’t care if she was a brilliant or awful chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. I don’t care if her firing was justified or the work of mean old men. I don’t care if she increased cash flow and doubled revenues or whether those are misleading indicators — which, as it happens, they are. What matters most is that being a CEO has nothing to do with being president.

You can scan the list of 20th- and 21st-century presidents and find exactly one who made his rep as a businessman. The exception was the hapless Herbert Hoover, who earned a fortune as a mining engineer, ran his own companies all over the world and successfully organized a huge effort to bring relief to Europe following World War I. He was a man of astonishing abilities — except in politics. His presidency was a debacle.

Fiorina, too, is impressively talented. Her resume is eye-popping, especially, as far as I’m concerned, her decision to study philosophy and medieval history at Stanford, but her touted rise from secretary to CEO is a bit of fable. She is, in fact, the daughter of a federal judge who had been the dean of the Duke Law School. We all have to start somewhere and so Fiorina passed through the steno pool or something like that — clearly on the way to something and somewhere else. She always knew the fork goes on the left.

We live in an age of false political messiahs who emerge out of some mist and capture the fervid attention of cable TV anchors — and then, as day follows night, the public. In the last election, we had the delusional Michele Bachmann for a frightening moment, and then Sarah Palin, heroically uneducable, and then the nine-nine-nine guy whose name, I confess, I forgot. (I just looked it up: Herman Cain.)

(More here.)

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