I don’t think there’s any one thing you need to have done to be qualified to be President. I really don’t. But I think whatever you do, you should probably have been good at it. If I needed someone to run an army, I’d want Eisenhower to do it. If I wanted someone to speak to a crowd, I’d want Bill Clinton to do it. If I wanted someone to ruthlessly crush my enemies, I’d call Richard Nixon. If I desperately required someone to get stuck in a bathtub – get me William Taft, stat.
Carly Fiorina has been a private sector business executive for most of her career. And while she’s been very good at getting paid a lot of money to do that, I would never, ever, ever want her to run a company I had any financial stake in, because her history indicates that she is extremely bad at it. She blew through half a billion dollars of Lucent’s money failing to make cell phones anyone wanted, then went to HP and blew through even more buying Compaq, laying off people and generally accomplishing nothing other than getting in a lot of unproductive fights with the board. In her defense, when HP eventually fired her she managed to get them to give her $65 million. So, there’s that.
Anyways, I don’t really get what the argument is that she should be President of anything, let alone the entire country. Maybe if she was really good at something else, she could say “yes, I was a very ineffective CEO, but I ended up being a great boat captain” or something. But she’s really exclusively riding this CEO thing, and I have no idea why any of us are supposed to be even remotely impressed by that. There are tons and tons of CEOs out there, and a lot of them are better at their jobs than Fiorina ever was, even if their severance packages weren’t quite as lucrative.
COUNTERPOINT : Vox says she wasn’t that bad, and was in some ways kind of good. I don’t really agree with this assessment – I think the bar is way too low, and Vox gives her credit for successfully pushing through her disastrous Compaq idea – but it’s not a bad argument.