Republican Presidential Candidate
By Stan Welch
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was in Anderson Monday evening, sharing both her remarkable personal story, as well as her vision for America with a crowd of several hundred at the Convention Center. Representative Anne Thayer and Kevin Bryant combined to introduce her. Following a raucous and well organized entrance, highlighted by her reference to her Clemson orange dress (it was close), she wasted little time beginning her tale of hard work and remarkable good fortune. Clearly, she considers those two narratives inseparable.
As a new college graduate with a degree in medieval history and the arts, “You want to talk unemployable?” she found herself with virtually no marketable skills except those learned while working her way through college. “I was lucky enough to be hired by a small real estate firm with nine people. I answered the phones and filed paperwork. I was very happy to be able to pay my rent,” she said.
After a few months on the job, the two owners came to her and said they thought she was capable of greater things and asked her if she would like to know what they did. “That was my introduction into the world of business, and I found that I liked it, and I was pretty good at it.”
From such humble beginnings, she would rise to serve as CEO of the computer giant Hewlett Packard, becoming the first woman to serve as CEO of a Forbes top fifty company in the process. “My story would have been possible in no other country on earth. My husband started out driving a tow truck for his family’s auto body shop. We are intimately acquainted with the American dream.”
But she stressed that the road has been anything but smooth. The loss of a child to cancer both challenged and strengthened her faith, and one senses, strengthened her pro life stance.
That dream, she claims, is threatened on several fronts, both foreign and domestic. While radical Islam clearly occupies her attention, what she considers the ever growing federal bureaucracy holds sway as the primary issue. She offered several solutions to the various challenges.
Foremost, she sees the need for a fundamental change in the membership of the Congress. “Recent surveys show that seventy five per cent of the people think that our leadership is corrupt, while eighty per cent believe that we now have a professional political class that cares more for its own and other special interests than it does the interests of the nation. We need citizens in the Congress again, people who will come and serve and then return home to live normal lives under the laws that they helped pass.”
“We need citizens not managers. Managers are not bad people, per se. But a manager’s job, and best skill, is to do the best they can with what they have. By definition, their allegiance is to the system. They aren’t there to change or challenge that system.”
She cited former British prime minister and conservative icon Margaret Thatcher, who said, “I am not content to manage the decline of a great nation.” Said Fiorina, “Nor am I. I am willing, however, to lead the resurgence of a great nation.”
Some of her proposals have been deemed radical; perhaps none more so than her plan to cut the existing seventy three thousand page federal tax code to just three pages. “How can we do that? Simple. Lower every single tax rate and close every single loophole. Just imagine whose ox will be getting gored when that happens? And how many IRS agents do you think we can get rid of?”
She followed that up with a proposal to go to ‘zero budgeting’, which she defined as looking at, moving, and cutting every dollar. In short, each department begins at zero and builds its new budget each year, rather than expanding the current budget by asking for more. She eased the radical sound of her proposals by reminding the audience that there have been bills seeking to accomplish both things languishing in the Congress for decades.
“Our problem isn’t the lack of ideas. It’s the lack of will. Democrats and Republicans alike talk a good fight. But nothing ever seems to change. We have to repeal Obamacare. Our party has been saying that for seven years now. We’ve had a majority in the House for five of those years, and in the Senate for three. But Obamacare is still with us, crushing the job creators of our economy,the small businesses.”
She promised the implementation of a pro-American immigration system, and international cooperation to destroy and defeat ISIS. “Containment is not an option. I just wish our President understood that.”
She also stressed that the next President may have the chance to put as many as four new Justices on the Supreme Court. Her father was a federal judge in the infamously liberal Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals. He was staunchly conservative, and frequently on the minority side of decisions. But he frequently triumphed on appeal. “My main criteria in appointing justices would be to find judges who would stick to their principles and resist pressure, wherever it comes from.”
Prior to her appearance, Ms. Fiorina spoke with the local media. Asked by The Journal if the threat of a third party run by Donald Trump if he fails to get the Republican nomination worries her, she minced few words. “He has a pattern of rudeness and vagueness about that possibility. He seems to prefer trying to make others look smaller to make himself look larger. That is not the pattern of a leader. In fact, I see him as the smallest guy of all.”