Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her candidacy for president on Monday, becoming the first female candidate to seek the Republican Party’s nomination.
“Yes, I am running,” Fiorina told ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and followed by posts to her social media accounts.
The long-shot White House contender has never held public office. In 2010, she unsuccessfully ran for Senate in California, losing to Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Fiorina has been preparing her bid over the past few months, traveling to early states like Iowa and New Hampshire and meeting with activists and donors.
She has cast herself as an outside-the-beltway candidate with years of private sector experience, she has been particularly critical of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her work in government.
Yet Fiorina is best known for her failure at HP, a company she led from 1999 to 2005. Her controversial tenure at the firm gave Boxer plenty of ammunition in the 2010 race, and the issue will once again emerge a vulnerability for Fiorina in her campaign for president.
As CEO, she spearheaded a ill-conceived and divisive merger with Compaq as she sought to rebrand the firm and boost its relevance in the tech world. It proved to be a strategic blunder and cost the company billions of dollars while taking years to undo.
HP employees were also unhappy with Fiorina’s leadership style – misinformed, highly decisive and showing a disregard for input from those in the know. They also said she lacked engagement with colleagues, and members of both the Hewlett and Packard families have been openly critical of her role at the company.
For her time destroying HP she was paid lavishly and is now looking to translate her wealth into political power.
Ms Fiorina is likely to divide republican voters rather than unite them and will do nothing but hamper their chances to take on Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee. Her well financed campaign, which will be her public swan song, will fight to the death to get her as far as possible.
She would certainly lose to the battle tested, well oiled and very savvy Clinton campaign and her impact on the Republican ticket will distract the party from unifying around the most viable candidate.
Yet Ms Fiorina does not care. This is an exercise in ego and legacy building. Given her legacy is nothing but tarnished her campaign will leverage her colossal ego in a bid to keep her upward momentum as she fails. For Republicans no good can come of her bid. It will now be up to the party elders to quickly back an actually viable candidate to take on the Clinton machine.