10/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Fiorina Follies: With Surrogates Like This, Who Needs Enemies?


Say goodbye to Carly Fiorina on the campaign trail. The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and John McCain mouthpiece will likely be exiled to political Siberia after suffering one of the campaign's worst cases of foot-in-mouth disease Tuesday. Asked by NBC's Andrea Mitchell to explain a comment she made last week in a St. Louis radio station interview that Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's vice-presidential running mate, is not capable of running a major U.S. corporation like HP, she committed surrogate Hara-kari:

"Well, I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation, I don't think Barack Obama could run a major corporation, I don't think Joe Biden could run a major corporation. It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company. So, of course, to run a business, you have to have a lifetime of experience in business, but that's not what Sarah Palin, John McCain, Joe Biden or Barack Obama are doing."

So, the woman who herself in 2006 was booted out of HP -- a company about to cut 26,000 jobs (7.5% of its workforce) -- says neither a presidential or vice presidential candidate could run it either. Apparently, HP must be one helluva difficult company to run.

Sen. Obama was quick to pounce on Fiorina's gigantic gaffe: "If John McCain's top economic adviser doesn't think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis? Apparently, even the people who run his campaign agree that the economy is an issue John McCain doesn't understand as well as he should."

Has Fiorina lost her mind? Her implication that it's harder to run a major corporation like HP than it is the United States government is absurd, delusional, and, quite frankly, a tad narcissistic. She arrogantly claims that to run HP you need "a lifetime of experience," but cavalierly suggests that to be president all you really need is one and half years as Governor of Alaska and a few more in local Wasilla politics. Kooky-Carly believes it's harder to run a company with 150,000 employees than it is a freakin' country with 2.8-million on the payroll. And forget those pesky little decisions involving international diplomacy, the military, the national economy, health care, education and immigration. Who needs experience with that nonsense? Yes Carly, this, unlike the HP CEO role, is an office for which on-the-job-training is OK.

McCain, the self-proclaimed "I'm fucking clueless when it comes to the economy" guy, sure knows how to pick his economic advisors, huh? Just a few months after the immensely entertaining Phil "Mental Recession/Nation of Whiners" Gramm show, along comes Kooky-Carly and the Fiorina Follies to remind us just how clueless McCain really is. Is this really the sort of judgment that would make for a good president?

This week started off with Black Monday, where the stock market dropped over 500 points and investors lost $500-billion in equity. And this just wasn't one isolated day here. The market's been tanking for a while now, and economist after economist says we're either in recession or about to enter one...and a major one at that. But that didn't stop McCain from repeating his duplicitous and/or delusional mantra that "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." It's a phrase Grandpa John apparently loves, as he's said it about 22 times this year including:

11/27/07: "I think the fundamentals are strong"

1/10: "I think the fundamentals of this economy are strong"

1/17: "Our economic fundamentals are strong"

3/11: "The fundamentals of our economy are strong"

5/5: "The fundamentals of our economy are strong"

6/5: "The fundamentals of our economy are very strong"

McCain's insistence that the economy is strong should be the nail in his political coffin for anyone still doubting just how out-of-touch he is with the financial anxieties of average Americans, let alone his grasp of the dire straits the nation is in.

Since George Bush took office in 2000, the "fundamentals of the economy" are horrendous:

-Unemployment 6.1% vs 4.2%

-Budget deficit of $357-billion vs $281-billion budget surplus

-National debt at $9.7-trillion vs $5.8-trillion

-Gas $4/gallon vs $1.27

-Inflation at 5.37% from 2.74%

-Real Wages down 2%

-Consumer Confidence Index .57 vs historical high of 145

Add to this grim picture the crisis over 400,000 U.S. home foreclosures, a mortgage meltdown, and multiple Wall Street bankruptcies. Seriously, I'd like a bowl of some of that crack McCain's been smoking if he truly thinks the "fundamentals are strong."

It didn't take long for McCrusty to realize what a colossal mistake he made and, in a back-peddle that would make a circus clown proud, he did his disingenuous best to spin a great tale, like this one to an incredulous Matt Lauer of NBC, who challenged him on his overly optimistic mantra:

"Well it's obviously true that the workers of America are the fundamentals of our economy, and our strength and our future, and I believe in the American worker and someone who disagrees with that is fine. We are in crisis...we all know that."

No, we don't all know that. McCain clearly doesn't, or he wouldn't be incessantly regurgitating his "strong fundamentals" nonsense.

By late afternoon all the snake-oil McCain surrogates were shamelessly spinning this new "American worker" defense. On MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Mitt Romney, the once "CEO presidential candidate," who clearly knows better, tried his best -- albeit with his patented smirk -- to clarify McCain's econogibberish:

"What he's referring to of course is the underlying productivity of the American workforce...the innovative spirit of America..those things, of course, things that are they envy of the world...but right now our economy is in real trouble and a lot people are really suffering...the economy is really suffering, and that's what John McCain indicated." Nice try, Mittsy, but no one's buyin' it.

In fact, with the economic shitstorm we're facing right now, and McCain's crystal-clear lack of understanding of the severity of this crisis and how to deal with it effectively (sorry Grandpa, simply throwing more tax breaks at the wealthy ain't gonna do it this time), anyone who votes for him must be smokin' some of that McCrack.