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- suspended campaign Feb. 10, 2016 -   

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visits to 2ndQ '15
Carly Fiorina super PAC web site grab Carly Fiorina web site grab number 2

Archived Carly for California site (2010 U.S. Senate)
Carly for President
CarlyFiorina  |  @carlyfiorina

...announced May 5, 2015  FEC
CARLY for America Committee

...super PAC filed with the FEC on Feb. 25, 2015. (+)
Unlocking Potential PAC

...super PAC filed with the FEC on June 9, 2014

Conventional Wisdom
- Stands out as likely the only woman in the Republican field.
- Business experience.
- Inspiring story, from secretary to CEO; breast-cancer survivor.
- Seen as able to take on Hillary Clinton in a way that the male candidates cannot.
- View among some that "she ruined HP; it has never recovered from her leadership." >
- Was not able to win a U.S. Senate race, losing to Sen. Boxer (D-CA) by 10 points in 2010.

Notes, Coverage and Speeches
photo of carly fiorina at reboot congress

Feb. 12, 2015 - Reboot Congress.

photo of carly fiorina and cpac photo of carly fiorina
March 8, 2014 - At CPAC.
Dec. 18, 2014 - At the Heritage Foundation.
Jan. 24, 2015 - Iowa Freedom Summit.

-"China: Our Rising Adversary," speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, Simi Valley, CA, July 27, 2015
-Speech on the state of women in America, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC, June 11, 2015.
-Speech at Iowa Freedom Summit, Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 24, 2015.

2016 - In January Fiorina cleared away one issue that had been generating a bit of unfavorable press, repaying close to $500,000 in debt from her 2010 U.S. Senate campaign.  Amongst all the candidates, Fiorina devolved the greatest share of activity to the supportive super PAC, CARLY for America (+), while the official campaign committee, Carly for President, appeared to be a relatively thin organization.
Fiorina really worked the early states.  She made 22 visits to Iowa, starting with a trip on Sept. 27, 2014 for an Unlocking Potential Project event and finishing with eight straight days for a total of 62 days, more than any of the Republican hopefuls except the three Iowa-or-bust candidates Santorum, Huckabee and Jindal.  Starting with a keynote speech at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua on March 15, 2014 she made 24 visits to New Hampshire totalling 63 days, more than all except Christie, Kasich and Graham.

In the Iowa caucuses, Fiorina finished a disappointing seventh, garnering support of 3,485 of the 186,932 caucus-participants.  In New Hampshire the result was the same, a distant seventh place finish with 11,774 votes (4.2%) out of 282,979 votes tallied in the Republican primary.  She suspended her campaign the next day, on Feb. 10 (+).

On March 9 Fiorina endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz at a rally in Florida, stating, “The only guy who can beat Donald Trump is Ted Cruz.”  On April 27 at a rally in Indianapolis Cruz made a surprise announcement, naming Fiorina as his running mate.  Cruz laudied her as “one who has never been afraid to stand up to the insider status quo.”  Fiorina responded by praising Cruz as a constitutional conservative and warning that “Donald Trump’s nomination would be a disaster for conservatives.”  However, after finishing behind Trump in the May 3 Indiana primary, Cruz suspended his campaign.

On Sept. 8 a tweet from a Washington State Republican Party dinner indicated that Fiorina would back Trump over Clinton., but she was not out campaigning for him, and following the release of the Access Hollywood tape she called on Trump to step aside and for Mike Pence to replace him as the nominee. 

In December as President-elect Trump was assembling his cabinet Fiorina was mentioned as a possible choice for director of national intelligence, and by Feb. 2017 there were reports she was looking into challenging Sen. Tim Kaine in 2018.

- Carly Fiorina made a low-key announcement of her candidacy by video on May 4, 2015, declaring, "it's time for citizens to stand up to the political class and say enough (+)."  Fiorina set out as one theme using technology to reimagine government and engage the American people, and she has also advanced the notion of zero-based budgeting.  Fiorina's second book, Rising to the Challenge, came out in May. 

Fiorina's position in the GOP field has been boosted by a series of strong performances.  Her speech at Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines on Jan. 24 was seen as among the strongest of the potential candidates to appear there.  Fiorina also received good reviews for her performances at the NH GOP's #FITN in Nashua on April 18, and at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Spring Kickoff in Waukee on April 25 (+).  Although consigned by Fox News to the B-list or "kiddy table" debate in Cleveland, OH on Aug. 6, her performance there earned widespread plaudits among commentators [PDF], and by the time of the second debate in Simi Valley, CA on Sept. 16 she was included on the main stage as the eleventh candidate after CNN revised its requirements.  During this second debate she tussled with frontrunner Donald Trump.  Rolling Stone had recently run a profile of Trump, quoting him as saying of Fiorina, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”  After the interview came out Trump  explained that he was speaking of Fiorina’s persona.  When the matter came up in the debate Fiorina stated, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”  Fiorina also delivered an impassioned condemnation of Planned Parenthood based on the Center for Medical Progress videos that were much in the news.  Most observers opined that Fiorina more than held her own in the debate. 

2014 - In March 2014 Fiorina joined the advisory board of Americans for Economic Freedom, Gov. Rick Perry's 501(c)(4).  In June 2014 Fiorina stepped up her activity, forming her own entity, the Unlocking Potential PAC.  This gave her a niche countering Democrats' "war on women" rhetoric, and she managed visits to Iowa (2), New Hampshire (4) and South Carolina (1).  ("The UP Project engages women at the grassroots level to help conservatives close the gender and technology gap. It utilizes cutting-edge technology and techniques to target, persuade, and turnout female voters in six key states with competitive Senate races: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia.")  The PAC led to speculation on Fiorina as a possible 2016 candidate, and by mid-Dec. National Journal reported that she was hiring for a presidential campaign.  Additionally, Fiorina has a book coming out in May 2015.

After losing her 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate, Fiorina took on a number of positions.  In the 2012 cycle she served as vice chair of the NRSC (announced July 2011).  In April 2012 she was named chairman of the board of Good360, whose mission is "to fulfill the needs of nonprofits with corporate product donations." (+)  She is global chairman of Opportunity International, which supports local microfinance organizations; this position grew out of her earlier leadership of the One Woman Initiative. (+)  She has served as chairman of American Conservative Union Foundation from Oct. 2013. (+

example 2 of fiorina event graphic from 2014

thumbnail of carly fiorina book cover
Carly Fiorina.  May 2015.  RISING TO THE CHALLENGE: My Leadership Journey.  New York: Sentinel. [Penguin Books USA imprint]
"Since the 2006 publication of her New York Times bestseller Tough Choices, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has faced a new round of challenges. She ran for the Senate as a Republican in deep-blue California; battled breast cancer; suffered the loss of a step-daughter; and launched the Unlocking Potential Project, a new grassroots organization.  Now she has a message for those who worry about America’s future: Our wounds are self-inflicted. We have all the resources we need to prosper, but we don’t tap into them. By ignoring conservative principles—or failing to articulate those principles in ways that connect with regular people—Republicans have missed many opportunities to lead.  Fiorina believes that politics, like business, is primarily about people. She shows how conservatives can reach out across the usual barriers of gender, race, income, and party affiliation to craft a message that appeals to a wide range of Americans. Her book will be an important blueprint for conservatives as we approach the critical elections of 2016."  [ed. note: initial title was "Times of Challenge, Moments of Grace"].

Carly Fiorina.  Oct. 9, 2006.  TOUGH CHOICES: A Memoir. New York: Portfolio [Penguin Books USA imprint]
"In this extraordinarily candid memoir, she reveals the private person behind the public persona. She shares her triumphs and failures, her deepest fears and most painful confrontations. She shows us what it was like to be an ambitious young woman at stodgy old AT&T and then a fast- track executive during the spin-off of Lucent Technologies. Above all, she describes how she drove the transformation of legendary but deeply troubled HP, in the face of fierce opposition."

Peter Burrows. Feb. 7, 2003.  BACKFIRE: Carly Fiorina's High Stakes Battle for the Soul of Hewlett-Packard.  John Wiley & Sons.

George Anders.  Jan. 23, 2003.  PERFECT ENOUGH: Carly Fiorina and the Reinvention of Hewlett-Packard.  Portfolio Hardcover.

Nancy Cook.  "The Marketer."  National Journal, Feb. 14, 2015.


Carly Fiorina web site grab number 1
Carly Fiorina website to May 2015
  this page last revised June 2017