BEDFORD — Former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina believes she has what it takes to be the next President of the United States. Now, she says, her job is to convince the American people.
“I think what people know we’re missing is leadership,” she said. “And that is why I am giving very serious consideration to running for the presidency of the United States.”
Speaking at a Politics & Eggs event on Tuesday at the Bedford Village Inn, hosted by the New England Council and St. Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Fiorina, a former Republican Senate nominee from California, told the crowd about her early life.
Fiorina said she dropped out of law school after one semester and began working as a secretary at a real estate firm, eventually working her way up to the position of broker.
“I think all of us in this room have benefited tremendously from living in this country, and from meeting people along the way who have taken a chance on us,” she said. “I’ve traveled all over the world…and I know that is still true, in 2015, that it’s only in this country that a young woman can start out as a law school dropout and a secretary, and become the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world.”
Fiorina also talked about her work with Opportunity International, the largest microfinance organization in the world, of which she chairs. Fiorina recently returned from a trip to India on behalf of Opportunity, where 97 percent of the organization’s clientele are women.
“We have lent about $8 billion, $150 at a time,” she said, adding that she got to meet some women in India who benefit from Opportunity. “What we said to these women is, ’You have God-given gifts. You have potential.’”
Fiorina said her work helping the less fortunate and in the corporate world had shaped her definition of leadership.
“Management and leadership are two different things,” she said. “Managers accept the constraints and conditions within which they operate, and do the best they can within those constraints and conditions. That’s important, but that’s not leadership. …The highest calling of leadership is to unlock potential in others, because everyone has it.”
Fiorina said she believes Americans are losing hope in a “limitless sense of possibility” for the country.
Fiorina said that creating “an economy that allows everyone to find and use their God-given gifts” would be a cornerstone of her presidency.
“It means first that every child actually must have a great education, and every worker who’s laid off has an opportunity to be re-trained so that they are qualified for the 21st century jobs,” she said. Fiorina also said she was committed to improving America’s standing security in the world and helping people in need get out of “the web of dependency” that is government assistance.
A recent St. Anselm/Bloomberg poll showed Fiorina tied for last place with Texas Gov. Rick Perry among likely Republican voters for their nominee of choice, with one percent. However, Fiorina said she’s not concerned about these numbers.
“I think we’re a long way out, and frankly speaking, many Republican voters don’t know who I am,” she told the Union Leader. “There’s a lot of opportunity to meet people, so I think it’s way too early to worry about the polls.”