Remind me again who is Carly Fiorina?
Yesterday Ted Cruz named the former Hewlett-Packard CEO turned failed presidential candidate as his running mate. But what do we know about her?
Yesterday Ted Cruz named Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO turned failed presidential candidate, as his running mate in this election. But who is she, again?
Fiorina, 61, served as the first female CEO of a top 20 Fortune-rated company, an adviser to the John McCain presidential campaign in 2008, and was the only female Republican candidate running in this election season.
What about her beginnings?
Fiorina was born in Texas but attended schools across the country and in London and Ghana. Her father had a very successful legal career as dean of Duke Universitys law school, deputy US attorney general and judge of the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit and moved the family around a lot during Fiorinas childhood.
She graduated with a BA from Stanford in 1976 and briefly attended UCLAs law school before dropping out and getting her MBA at the University of Maryland in 1980.
During college she even briefly worked as a Kelly girl, or a typist at Hewlett-Packard, a company she later led. She oversaw a restructure that resulted in 30,000 people getting fired, which saw her dubbed Chainsaw Carly by her colleagues.
She got fired from Hewlett-Packard, leaving with a $21m severance package.
What do we know about her political views?
Like most Republicans, shes very conservative on womens health. Fiorina is anti-abortion and wants to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which bans abortion after 20 weeks and believes Planned Parenthood should be stripped of all government funding.
Fiorina doesnt support same-sex marriage and thinks the supreme court overstepped its mark by allowing same-sex marriage in all 50 states last year.
But shes very vocal about equal pay and the representation of women in government and the workforce. Fiorina recorded a pretty amusing video with BuzzFeed last year, while she was still running for president, titled What if women talked like men in the workplace.
Whats the deal with her personal life?
Her second husband Frank started off as a technician at AT&T and ended up as its vice-president. The pair met while working at AT&T together, getting hitched in 1985. Frank had two daughters from his previous marriage, Lori and Tracy.
Her stepdaughter, Lori, died of a drug overdose in 2009, at age 35. Fiorina brought up her stepdaughter, who battled alcohol, drug abuse and eating disorders, at a Republican debate in September. I am the only person on this stage who can say this, but I know there are millions of Americans out there who will say the same thing. My husband, Frank, and I buried a child to drug addiction, so we must invest more in the treatment of drugs, she said. Fiorina dedicated her second memoir to Lori.
How can she help Cruz?
Three key things: women, business and California.
Top female Republican strategists told the Guardian they despise Trump for his attitudes towards women a line Cruz has been trying to take advantage of by hosting Women for Cruz events so a strong female executive candidate offers voters a good reason to pick Cruz.
When introducing her as his running mate, the senator from Texas declared in a press release that as a groundbreaking executive and the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 company, Fiorina brings a record of innovation and tremendous leadership to the Cruz campaign.
Noting her business skills and trailblazing female leadership seems a deliberate nod to both billionaire businessman Donald Trump and the possible first female president Hillary Clinton. Cruz also noted Fiorina is an outsider to politics in an election season where being anti-establishment is regarded as an advantage.
Finally, shes well-known in California thanks to her tech-biz history and her past political aspirations when she won the Republican primary for a 2010 US Senate race in California but lost the general.
How might she cause trouble for Cruz?
Fiorina was never very popular, and she dropped out in early February after disappointing poll results in New Hampshire (shed only gotten 1.9% of the vote in Iowa).
Maybe her past Senate race in California wont be the boon Cruz is hoping for: she lost and moved from the Golden State to Virginia. She was a very mean opponent, and the bottom line is they rejected her. And now, shes coming back again its like a bad dream, said Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who beat Fiorina by 10 points in California in the Senate race.
Anything else interesting?
She speaks Italian fluently and lived in Italy in the 1970s with her first husband. She survived breast cancer in 2009, and underwent a double mastectomy.
Fiorina also owns two yachts Alchemy V and VI, which her opponent Boxer used as ammunition against her.