Former Hewlett Packard president Carly Fiorina is considering a bid for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination — and she is due in Iowa this Saturday to headline a day-long women’s conference sponsored by the Polk County Republican Party.
“Women are half the nation, but we know that women sometimes disengage from the political process because they don’t like the tone of it, the vitriol of it,” Fiorina said during an interview Thursday. “They feel like it’s a lot of talk without a lot of results — frequently, unfortunately that’s true — and so this is all about getting women engaged.”
Fiorina wowed the crowd at Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit in January with her critique of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. Fiornia told Radio Iowa that one reason she’s contemplating a run for the White House is because there’s a general sense of “disquiet” among Americans.
“They are worried about what’s going on in the world and in many cases they look at these vast government bureaucracies in Washington, D.C. and feel as though their government and their politicians have failed them,” Fiorina said. “I think what people think is missing is leadership.”
Fiorina, who lost a race in California for the U.S. Senate in 2010, suggests her lack of experience in elected office may be seen as a bonus by voters.
“Ours was intended to be a citizen government,” Fiorina said. “…We’ve somehow gotten used to this notion in the last 50 or 60 years that only professional politicians can run for office and I don’t think it’s a particularly good habit we’ve gotten into.”
And Fiorina said it would be helpful to have someone in the Oval Office who hasn’t been occupied by “running and winning” at politics, but who, instead, understands how the economy actually works.
“And for someone, as well, to understand executive decision making,” Fiorina said, “which is making tough calls in tough times for which you’re held accountable.”
In 1999 Fiorina became the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 corporation, but she had a rocky ride as CEO of Hewlett Packard. After five and a half years at the helm she was forced to resign by board members who complained about HP’s acquisition of rival Compaq. In business, Fiorina said, actions — not speeches — are what count.
“And, in terms of results, we took a company that was about $44 billion and took it to $88 billion — we doubled it in size. We went from growing at two percent to growing at nine percent. We tripled our rate of innovation to 11 patents a day. We quadrupled our cash flow. We went from lagging behind in every single product category in every market to leading in every product category in every market,” Fiorina said. “A company was transformed from falling behind to moving forward. I’ll run on that record all day long.”
Fiorina will speak this Saturday at the “Enlighten, Empower and Engage Women’s Conference” at the West Des Moines Marriott. The event starts at 9 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 3 p.m.