Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Carly, You're So Vain

You probably think this essay is about you.

One of the sources of unease I've felt with the Republican Presidential candidate this season has been his association with Carly Fiorina. I don't know Ms. Fiorina and have supposed she's a nice person. However, I've noticed that the quality of Hewlett Packard has declined markedly in the last few years. When HP bought out Compaq it didn't seem like a smart move to me, but I'm far enough removed that I had no basis for that opinion.

Then there was a huge fight within HP over Ms. Fiorina's leadership. The last I'd heard of her was her forced eviction from the company. Of course, a lot of damage was already done and someone else had to clean up after. I had supposed that would be the last I'd hear from Ms. Fiorina.

So, when Ms. Fiorina insinuated herself into the McCain Campaign as some kind of economics guru, I felt a vague discomfort. Her involvement seemed like a bad move, but I couldn't definitively say why.

Yesterday I discovered why. You have to have very poor business judgment to say that your boss is unqualified to run a business. After all, he made the business decision to hire you.

This creates one of those rare situations where we can know something certainly: Either Mr. McCain is unqualified to run a business and his hiring decision of Ms. Fiorina validates that decision (making her stupid) OR Mr. McCain is indeed qualified to run a business whereupon Ms. Fiorina's assertions are false (making her a liar). We do not know whether Mr. McCain is qualified or not, but we do know Ms. Fiorina is either stupid or a liar. Hence we conclude that HP was correct to remove Ms. Fiorina from leadership.

Update: It appears that a businessman who is considerably more successful than Ms. Fiorina would be willing to hire either Mr. McCain or Mrs. Palin to run a business. It should be noted that Mr. Romney's business experience is more apropos to gauging fitness to run a business than Ms. Fiorina. This further vindicates the opinion of the HP board that fired her. Why yes, this does speak ill of Mr. McCain's judgment to associate himself with Ms. Fiorina.

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