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Ex-eBay, HP chiefs laud McCain's economic plan

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and HP Chairman Carly Fiorina talk up the Republican presidential candidate, saying he's much better on the economy than his Democratic rival.

Former HP Chairman Carly Fiorina says John McCain is a better choice for the economy than his Democratic rival.
Declan McCullagh/CNET News

ST. PAUL, Minn.--Two of Silicon Valley's best-known female executives on Wednesday enthusiastically endorsed Sen. John McCain's presidential bid, saying he was a far more attractive candidate than his Democratic rival on economic and tax grounds.

The pro-McCain pair were Meg Whitman, who stepped down as eBay's chief executive officer in March, and Carly Fiorina, the chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005. Both are active in the McCain campaign; both have been talked about as receiving high-level appointments if McCain is elected.

"I know John McCain," Fiorina said. "He will demand that the federal government be transparent and accountable to the American people. In his first year in office, he will subject every government agency to a top to bottom review and post the results on the Internet for all Americans to see."

Fiorina also said that McCain will help to advance clean coal technology and nuclear power, thereby creating jobs and lowering the cost of energy.

Whitman was no less effusive. She said that McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, his vice presidential pick who spoke about an hour later, will lead a "historic effort" in moving toward energy independence.

"John understands the truth," Whitman said. "Higher taxes encourage wasteful spending, demonstrate government's inability to choose among competing priorities, and destroy your prosperity."

These unblushing encomiums are expected, of course. A major purpose of modern Democratic and Republican conventions is to heap praise on the chosen nominee, and Barack Obama received his share last week in Denver.

A secondary purpose is to let the ex-CEOs introduce themselves to party insiders and TV viewers. Whitman has expressed interest in running for governor of California in two years. And after Fiorina's aggressive defense of McCain during the campaign--focused largely on taxes and energy--it would be no surprise were she to be offered a Cabinet post in a McCain administration.