Meet Carly Fiorina, The Female Presidential Candidate You Weren't Expecting
With all the talk about Hillary Clinton maybe-probably-definitely running for president, news of a Republican woman contender would certainly shake up the GOP field: Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina is considering running for president. If so, she would be the newest presidential contender and the first woman entering the 2016 race for the Republican nomination – not to mention an unusual choice.
In an interview with Niel Cavuto on FOX Business, Fiorina alluded to a possible run: “Well, I haven’t made that decision yet, but what I can tell you is that I’m very seriously considering running." When asked why she's interested in the Oval Office, she replied: “Because I think we need different experience, different perspective and a different voice.”
She certainly offers different credentials than the rest of the pool. For one, she's never held public office, though she has tried. In 2010, the California native lost the senate spot held by incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer. Starting out in an entry-level sales position at AT&T, she worked her way to high level promotions at the phone giant until she moved to Hewlett-Packard.
But she isn't completely absent from the political sphere — she's Chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation. It annually hosts CPAC, the largest conservative conference and a popular platform for presidential candidates. As it so happens, it also hosts a presidential straw poll each year.
She has been making trips to Washington D.C., stepping up the speculation of an official run. This week she spoke at the conservative Heritage Foundation, where she outlined her view on the role of government and the workings of D.C. — something important if she'd like to run it:
This is a town that works for big guys – big government, big labor, big businesses. It’s always been that… [But] our future very much depends on the little guys. And I think that requires a rethinking of what the role of government is here.
But, as it turns out, she isn't rushing to challenge her competitors — just yet. At the same event, she said: “I haven't spent a lot of time looking at other presidential candidates' policy statements ... There'll be time for that.” There remain 16 months for party in-fighting, the Republican National Convention is set to be held in July 2016 where the nominee will be selected.
CNN first reported in early January that the former tech CEO might join the long list of potential candidates for the GOP spot. Then, Fiorina had offered a spot on her political action committee to a top spokesperson for the Republican National Convention. The super PAC, which fundraised for the 2014 midterms, has yet to transition operations toward a presidential campaign, but this is a strong signal she might be moving in that direction.
So Fiorina's name has been prematurely added to a field of men considering vying for the GOP nod. The last woman who tried her hand at the Republican nomination was former Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2012. She ruled out any 2016 presidential ambitions in an October interview with The Hill, saying “I have no plan to run."
But as we know, plenty of candidates play shy before announcing a run, so it could be good news — that's to say, more than one woman in the Republican race. At the moment, Fiorina adds diversity to the field as both a woman, but also as a non-traditional candidate hoping to become America's CEO.
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