Carly Fiorina Money Bomb Explodes

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

California’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina died Saturday when her Retire Boxer Money Bomb exploded prematurely, killing Fiorina immediately and injuring a campaign aide. Fiorina, the infamously fired CEO of computer giant Hewlett Packard, was 56.

Distraught and slightly singed campaign manager, Marty Wilson, stood outside Fiorina’s Sacramento campaign headquarters as firefighters extinguished a small fire caused by the explosion.

“We don’t know what happened,” Wilson said. “Carly was getting ready to launch the money bomb email. She’d just put another million bucks into the campaign, but that was it; she wasn’t going to risk any more of her own money, so we really needed contributions. Anyway, the fuse must have been faulty. The thing went off in Carly’s face. It’s gotta be [U.S. Senator Barbara] Boxer’s fault. Or [President Barack] Obama’s. We demand an immediate investigation and an apology to Carly and the California voters, not only for this deliberate assault but for Boxer’s refusal to have an honest and serious debate about the issues during this crucial time for our nation!”

Paramedics treated Wilson on the scene for a minor head injury and first-degree burns.

The deadly explosion followed another life-threatening incident just two weeks ago at the Republican Party’s Hispanic 100 Awards Gala in Newport Beach. According to an event volunteer, Fiorina had been “slamming down tequila shots, trilling her tongue and shouting ‘Andale!’ in this really pathetic accent. Then she passed out. We thought she was dead at first. But, nope, she barfed and got up to dance.”

Republican Party insiders had purportedly been concerned about Fiorina’s “self-sabotaging behaviors” since she became an economic advisor to the 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign, which made Wall Street and CEO compensation reform key platform issues. Skydiving into a campaign event, Fiorina had become entangled in the lines of her golden parachute, preventing the chute from fully opening. Skydive experts at the time said she would have plunged to her death had she not had the presence of mind to pull the cord on her bonus chute. Still, she made a hard landing when she said Sarah Palin was unqualified to run a corporation, and the campaign fired her from the media circuit.

Although Fiorina’s tenure at Hewlett Packard was longer lived than her time on McCain’s campaign, she suffered a more devastating crash from HP and was eventually ranked by Portfolio magazine as one of the 20 worst CEOs ever:

“A consummate self-promoter, Fiorina was busy pontificating on the lecture circuit and posing for magazine covers while her company floundered. She paid herself handsome bonuses and perks while laying off thousands of employees to cut costs. The merger Fiorina orchestrated with Compaq in 2002 was widely seen as a failure. She was ousted in 2005. THE STAT: HP stock lost half its value during Fiorina’s tenure.”

Despite her very public HP failure — or perhaps because of it — Fiorina was determined to prove herself in the public arena, and Boxer’s senate seat became her next target. She reconciled with Palin, who endorsed her in the primary, when Fiorina depended on the conservative Republican vote to topple moderate Republican Tom Campbell.

But just last weekend, noting Palin’s sagging polling numbers, Fiorina declined to appear with her at a Republican event in California. Palin’s husband, Todd, subsequently leaked a scathing email:

“Sarah put her ass on the line for you, Curly [sic]. She thought you were the real deal. But you and me both know you’re no Joe Sixpack. All that crap about starting as a secretary. You pulled yourself up with your family’s gold plated bootstraps. And now you can't answer a simple invitation with a yes? Please explain how this endorsement stuff works, is it to be completely one sided, cuz if so, you don’t have a wolf’s chance in Wasilla of getting a cabinet seat in Sarah’s administration. You think you can throw a punch, but my Sarah can take you out in one shot! From a helicopter!”

Fiorina’s past job performance was not her only weakness on the campaign trail. She was A-rated pro-life in a pro-choice state. She supported offshore drilling in an anti-drilling state. She supported Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law in a state where 71 percent of Latino voters oppose it. And, in her op-ed piece announcing her campaign she highlighted her failure to exercise her right to vote: “Admittedly, I have not always been engaged in the electoral process, and I should have been.”

One of the few votes Fiorina reported casting was for California’s anti-same-sex marriage ballot measure, Proposition 8. That revelation, apparently intended to woo conservative voters, attracted the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay lobbying organization, which invested in anti-gay, pro-Fiorina advertising targeting Latino voters.

“Wouldn’t you know it!” said Juan Bautista, an independent gay voter, who was passing by Fiorina headquarters when the money bomb exploded. “One of the few times Fiorina bothered to vote, and it was for Prop. 8. What a poop she is, er, was. And the NOM ad, have you seen it? It’s pure manipulation. At least it’s not as bad as that pissy Sharron Angle ad telling Arizona Latinos not to vote at all. ¡Pendejos racistas!”

Most daunting of all Fiorina’s political challenges was her claim to be a jobs champion, which was contradicted by her corporate experience, noted for mass layoffs and outsourcing jobs overseas, strategies that have not been forgotten by California’s workforce.

Pedicab driver Bobby Sneed, who dropped off a fare just before the explosion, had little faith in Fiorina’s commitment to creating jobs for Californians.

“She laid me off from HP, shipped thousands of jobs overseas, and got a $45 million boot out the door. Now I’m essentially unemployed, she’s worth $120 million, and she was asking voters to give her money? Good lord! She wanted the senate badly enough, she should’ve just sucked it up and bought it, like Meg Whitman. Look, Fiorina soared to the corporate heights by whatever means she had at her disposal — and her dad’s telling her she’d never amount to anything surely motivated her — but she lacked the ability to translate her personal ambitions into a vision that captured the voter’s heart. And, I know it’s petty, but I couldn’t get beyond that snarl she was always trying to hide.”

Perhaps feminist activist Gloria Steinem captured the tormented essence of Carly Fiorina best, after Fiorina committed a live microphone faux pas in June:

“We had the prospective joy of two powerful women competing for a U.S. Senate seat. And in a moment of unintended, unedited honesty, what did we get from Fiorina? A pearl of wisdom? A poignant revelation? No. We got a snarky comment about Senator Boxer’s hair. That, Sweetie, is not feminism.”

Love, K-B

©2010 Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Crossposted at The Progressive Post.

Note: Carly Fiorina image from Carly for California campaign ad; Carly punch, from Californians Opposed to Carly Fiorina Facebook page; Carly Out of Control from Carly for CA website.