"I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation. I don't think Barack Obama could run a major corporation. I don't think Joe Biden could, either. But it is not the same as being the president or vice president of the United States. It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company. To run a business, you have to have a lifetime of experience in business, but that's not what Sarah Palin, John McCain, Barack Obama or Joe Biden are doing."
- Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina
Her dreams of heading up the World Bank dashed, former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina, the architect of one of the worst tech mergers in history, has turned her attention to the U.S. Senate.
After months of speculation, Fiorina on Wednesday officially announced her candidacy. She'll run as a Republican against Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Of course to do that, she must first win the Republican primary. Fiorina broke the news in an op-ed in the Orange County Register.
"Admittedly, I have not always been engaged in the electoral process, and I should have been," she wrote. "For many years I felt disconnected from the decisions made in Washington and, to be honest, really didn't think my vote mattered because I didn't have a direct line of sight from my vote to a result. I realize that thinking was wrong. As I grew throughout my career, beginning as a secretary and eventually becoming a CEO, I saw how government impacted business. I learned more as a member of advisory boards at the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA. I now understand, in a very real way, that the decisions made by the Senate impact every family and every business, of any size, in America. This is what motivates me to run for the U.S. Senate. And so today I am announcing my candidacy to serve the people of California as your next U.S. senator. ... Together we can turn things around."
Together we can turn things around? Not if Fiorina's performance at HP is any indication. Before she was forced out of the company by its board of directors, she was so at odds with the uniquely Californian "HP Way" that her corner office could have been powered solely by Bill Hewlett spinning in his grave.
UPDATE: Here's another Fiorina op-ed (PDF) from earlier this year in which she discusses executive pay. Unsurprisingly, she is against President Obama's efforts to restore "common sense" to CEO compensation. And why wouldn't she be? After all she walked away from HP with a $21 million severance package ...