I was thinking, after Wednesday’s CNN Republican debate, about some of the things that Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina have in common. These things include:
- Both of them are just mean people
- Neither one is such a great business person
- Neither one is much to look at.
Let’s take these three issues in order:
First, Donald Trump is just a first class bully. It’s evident in everything that he does. The man is simply an asswipe. He’s a colorful asswipe. He can be an entertaining asswipe. But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t an asswipe. It’s one of the things that separates him from Bernie Sanders.
Carly Fiorina isn’t the bully that Donald Trump is, but it doesn’t take a high IQ in emotional intelligence to detect that this is not a nice woman. He whole countenance displays someone who is just mean-spirited. She certainly was not well liked at Hewlitt Packard.
Second, neither one of these two has been such a great business person. Trump was born into a family where just by dint of his birth, he was essentially a billionaire already. Someone made the argument on the radio — and I have not been able to verify this yet — that if Trump had done nothing and just collected on the thousands of NY apartments and other properties that his dad had acquired, he’d be worth more today than he actually is. Trump has had four of his businesses filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He has made the sophist’s point that he hasn’t filed for “personal” bankruptcy, and tried to argue that it’s common, almost de rigeur, for a large business to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
It isn’t so. Unless you’re in the airline industry.
Fiorina rose through the ranks to become a CEO, and certainly she deserves credit for that. But her legacy at Hewlitt Packard is mixed at best, and arguably not very good at all. Without going through her entire tenure at HP — which would be a long post in and of itself — what we can say about Fiorina is that she presided over massive layoffs at the company. According to Wikipedia,
In January 2001, HP laid off 1,700 marketing employees. In June 2001 Fiorina asked employees to take pay cuts or use vacation time to cut costs, resulting in more than 80,000 people signing up and saving HP US$130 million. In July, Fiornia announced that 6,000 jobs would be cut, the biggest reduction in the company’s 64-year history, leaving many employees feeling betrayed. In the US, a total of 30,000 HP employees were laid off during Fiorina’s tenure. By 2004 the number of HP employees was about the same as the pre-merger total of HP and Compaq employees.
In addition, many employees at HP were very unhappy with her for leading the demise of HP’s egalitarian “The HP Way” work culture and guiding philosophy.
Finally, when I say that neither one is much to look at, I don’t mean it in the same way that Donald Trump did when he talked about how Fiorina didn’t have the “face” of someone who should be President.* Neither one is particularly attractive, but that’s hardly a disqualification to be President. What I’m talking about really has a corollary to item #1: both of them just look mean. And angry.
Some commentator noted that in the entire three hour debate, Fiorina did not smile once.
She doesn’t have to be Jimmy Carter in 1976, but just letting a little human kindness emanate from her wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Or for the Donald. But it’s patently obvious, and most of you already know it — there is very little kindness to be found in either of them. Which, if nothing else, distinguishes them from Dr. Ben Carson.
I don’t think Ben Carson is qualified to be President, but at least one can sense that there is some kindness within that man.