June 07, 2008

Let Them Eat Solar Panels, Part Two

In order to beat Barack Obama, John McCain is going to have to figure out how to appeal to middle and working class Americans worried about an economy that last week saw the biggest one month rise in the unemployment rate in 22 years.  The results, so far, are not encouraging.  Hard on the heels of McCain’s support for environmental legislation that would merely encourage American manufacturers to ship jobs overseas, the New York Times profiled one of McCain’s economic advisers, ousted Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.  According to the Times, Fiorina is supposed to provide a “high-profile female face for a candidate whose support among women lags substantially behind that of his Democratic rivals.”

Fiorina’s promotion to the McCain inner circle is an exercise in political stupidity.  I last wrote about Fiorina in Chronicles in May 2004,  when she defended another round of outsourcing at HP by proclaiming, “There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore.”  Since that time, Fiorina received a somewhat sweeter deal than the Americans whose jobs she shipped to Asia:  her reward for failure at HP was a $42,000,000 severance package. 

If McCain wants to be seen as the candidate of outsourcing and executive greed, he has found the perfect economic adviser.  If he wants to be president, though, he may want to give Fiorina another pink slip, this time without the multi-million dollar severance package.

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