The Left Always Tells Us Whom They Fear: Carly Fiorina

Earlier this year, when former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her candidacy for President of the United States, I was intrigued.  Here was a conservative Republican woman with real world experience who wasn’t afraid to give honest answers to questions.  Within minutes of posting some interesting aspects of Carly’s experience on my Facebook wall, as if drawn from a holster, liberal internet trolls were firing off recycled misinformation in an attempt to disparage Fiorina’s time at Hewlett-Packard.

Why such an immediate, vicious, and unprovoked attack for a candidate who, at the time, was fairly unknown and whom pundits said wouldn’t make it to the first caucus? The answer is very simple and also quite telling: They were afraid.  Even before her announcement, Carly was already Hillary Clinton’s most effective critic.  And as the CEO of a global company, then the original Chair of the Central Intelligence Agency’s External Advisory Board, she has the executive experience and foreign affairs credentials to be President.  Even more terrifying to Democrats: Because she is a conservative, Washington outsider with charisma and stellar communications skills, she has the ability not only to excite the Republican base but also to expand it.

The press picked up where the trolls left off.  One columnist from Fortune Magazine actually compared Carly to the captain of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that crashed off the coast of Italy.  Thirty-two people were killed because of his negligence and an Italian court found him guilty of manslaughter.  Because clearly that is the same.  Ironically, that same news outlet was singing a different tune before Fiorina became a presidential contender.  In 2009, Fortune declared the then-HP CEO “Mark Hurd can thank his predecessor, Carly Fiorina, for HP’s breadth and depth.”

Many of these hit pieces focused on Carly’s decision to merge Hewlett-Packard with Compaq, but they omit important facts.  For example, Walter Hewlett voted for the merger before he opposed it.  He was also heavily invested in HP stock, and decided that the short-term price of his stock was more important to him than the long term strength of the company. Carly's critics also fail to admit that many industry insiders agree now, looking through the lens of history, that Carly was right and the merger was a success.

In fact, former HP Board Member and famed venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who supported the move to fire Carly, ultimately saw that she was a visionary saying, “The merger was a brilliant move. Look where HP is now: The biggest computer company in the world.”

When Fiorina took over as CEO of Hewlett-Packard in 1999, the company was thought to be on its last legs. Profits were down, costs were up, and they were lagging behind their competitors in the market. They needed a CEO who would not be afraid to roll up her sleeves and make some institutional changes at the aging giant in order to keep it relevant in an ever-changing Silicon Valley.  And they found that in Carly.

In order to drag a stagnating 20th century corporation into the 21st Century, Carly focused on increasing innovation.  During her time there, Carly tripled the innovation rate at HP. When she took over HP held 10,000 patents. When she left six years later, they had 30,000 patents. Her push to innovate then continues to have a tremendously positive impact on the company today.

And yes, Carly was fired. But what is never mentioned by liberals and their mouthpieces is the fact that after Carly left, the HP Board was investigated by The Department of Justice, the SEC, the State of California, and the United States Congress.  As a result, the Chairman of the Board and another Board Member were forced to resign because of criminal misconduct by their agents against Carly, members of the media, and others.

Our country is looking for a president who won’t go-along-to-get-along with the Beltway crowd and who will make the tough decisions to grow our economy.  Carly Fiorina’s time at Hewlett-Packard demonstrates that she will do both.

New York State Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor serves as New York Co-Chair of Carly for America