16 September 2008

Carly Fiorina on the Presidency

The former CEO of Hewlett Packard seemed to embarrass her candidates, Senator McCain and Gov. Palin, by declaring both unfit to run a corporation. At the least, Democratic commentators gloated over Fiorina's statement, even though she disqualified Senators Obama and Biden in the same statement. This was shortsighted. Fiorina's statement should be more widely publicized, since she refutes a noxious idea that's been drifting around the country for a while.

To set things up, let me explain that Fiorina had earlier appeared on a radio program and declared Palin unqualified to run a corporation. She later appeared on MSNBC to clarify her views for Andrea Mitchell.

More power to Carly Fiorina. This has been my opinion ever since Ross Perot floated the notion back in 1992, and I'm glad to hear an actual CEO acknowledge it. All that Fiorina has said today is that being a CEO is specialized work, as is being President. She clearly didn't mean to say that Palin and McCain are incompetents because they can't do what Fiorina trained for years (and then pretty much failed) to do. In fact, she made it sound almost impossible to do the job well, since you apparently need a lifetime of experience before you even start, if I understood her right.

The funny thing is that I can imagine conservatives spinning the whole story by saying that Fiorina was just pointing out the superiority of the private sector, since it clearly takes more to be a CEO than it does to be President. Fiorina's problems as an advocate for McCain suggest that the opposite may be true.

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