The only qualifications that Carly Fiorina brings to her campaign are a failed tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard and an unsuccessful campaign for Senator of California. Her career in the corporate world was defined by personal enrichment and massive layoffs; new evidence reveals that her Senate campaign was more of the same.
Joe Shumate, a pollster who worked on Fiorina’s 2010 bid for a Senate seat, was found dead in his home- struck by a heart attack as he poured over polling data late into the night. Fiorina praised him as the “the heart and soul” of her team, but somehow didn’t feel the need to give his widow his final $30,000 paycheck. The Washington Post reported that it was one of 30 invoices worth $500,000 that Carly’s campaign failed to pay out- even though she paid herself back the $1.3 million she lent her campaign.
Fiorina’s hypocrisy goes even deeper. She once complained about the overabundance of regulations “strangling” business: “Have we ever repealed a regulation? I am not aware of a single one we have ever repealed. The weight of this is what is crushing these small and family-owned businesses.” Her supposed support for small businesses is exposed for its blatant dishonesty by the fact that “those who waited the longest to be paid were small businesses with a few dozen employees who did the grunt work of the campaign: building stages, sending out mailers, selling polling data. And at least one is still waiting.”
Fiorina’s campaign has responded with petulant derision to the complaints. “If we didn’t win, why do you deserve to get paid? If you don’t succeed in business, you shouldn’t be the first one to step up and complain about getting paid” said John Cross, the director of her Senate campaign. It is an astonishing dismissal of the efforts that these business put forward to help her campaign succeed; the fault clearly lies with Fiorina and her inadequacy as a candidate.
As her campaign collapsed, Fiorina wasn’t even aware that her organization had money problems, and blamed her staffers for the shortfall. But the consistent blaming of her own failures on those around her is a very alarming trend. The consistency of her financial mismanagement and her cavalier use of outright lies on the campaign trail do not paint an inspiring picture of the presidential candidate. This behavior is very inappropriate for one seeking to become the leader of the free world; if she does not have the courage to take responsibility for her own actions now, than we can only imagine what she might do in the White House.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.