It’s official, ladies! We now have another woman, this time a Republican, throwing her hat into the presidential-race ring. While this isn’t her first bid for public office, many people are left wondering who this gal is. Here’s a quick list of what you need to know for starters — including the good, the bad and the just plain ugly.
1. This isn’t her first foray into politics
Fiorina served as an advisor on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama. She also ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer in 2010.
2. She whooped breast cancer’s ass
Early in 2009, Fiorina was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent treatment, including a double mastectomy.
3. She’s a law school dropout
After apparently deciding law wasn’t the right career for her, Fiorina turned her sights on the business world.
4. She’s well educated
Dropping out of law school doesn’t mean she’s a do-nothing. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in medieval history and philosophy and holds two master’s degrees in business.
5. She used to be a “Kelly girl”
No, that’s not some sort of euphemism for a sex-trade worker, it’s what the company called the women who worked as temps for Kelly Services. Yes, that name is patently chauvinistic and laughably outdated in a Mad Men kind of way, but in fairness, it’s not like she came up with it.
6. She busted the glass ceiling
She started her career as a secretary at a real estate firm and worked her way up to CEO of a major corporation.
7. But she may not have been the best CEO
Although she recently claimed she was the best person for the job of president because she understands business, she was actually forced out of Hewlett-Packard by the board. She was accused of poor decision making, taking big bonuses while laying off tens of thousands of employees, doing a public speaking tour while the company was flailing and is on an inordinate amount of worst CEO lists.
8. She may have run the most infamous (in a bad way) political ads in history
During her bid for Senate, she ran an ad that shows a flock of sheep, then featured cheesy thunderstorm graphics, one fake sheep on a pedestal (which it later fell from) and a guy dressed in a demon sheep suit. The ad called her opponent a wolf in sheep’s clothing. While she defends it, it’s a crime against good advertising.
9. She’s not a professional politician
It’s a big part of her run that she’s not a pro politician. But it’s hard not to notice she is a professional CEO, which could be a problem since she’s likely to be sympathetic to big business over the people.
10. She hasn’t had a full-time private sector job since the HP scandal
She doesn’t really need one after the approximately $40 million golden parachute deal she got from HP when they ousted her. She’s run for office and served the government in non-elected positions and on several boards, and even worked as a contributor for Fox News. She’s also started at least one dubious company (more on that below).
11. HP wasn’t her last scandal
After she left HP, she became the CEO of Carly Fiorina Enterprises (which appeared to be a charitable organization). The problem is, that company was never registered to do business in California and wasn’t registered with the IRS or attorney general’s office as a nonprofit.
12. She’s written several books
This includes one she released concurrently with her presidential bid that MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt called “a point-by-point defense of what critics might cast as the series of missteps that have plagued her career in the public eye.” Betcha a few of her peers wish they’d thought of that.
13. She forgot to register her domain name
You’d think someone with a background in tech wouldn’t have missed this all-important step given what domain trolls did to Ted Cruz, but shortly after her announcement, a site popped up at CarlyFiorina.org that simply says, “Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I’m using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard,” followed by 30,000 frowny-face emoji.
14. She opposes gay marriage, abortion and the internet sales tax, but not immigrants
No surprises in the first part of that sentence, and the internet sales tax is always divisive, but according to Fiorina, “Whatever we suppose the solutions are to the immigration crisis, calling people ‘aliens’ is disrespectful.”
15. She’s not a fan of rhetoric on either side of the aisle and doesn’t mind calling people out
After Mitt Romney (inaccurately) characterized 47 percent of Americans who “don’t pay taxes” as deadbeats who take from the government and would never vote for him because they feel entitled to food, healthcare and such, she called him out as disrespectful.