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My Turn: If Fiorina runs, she can count on my support

Last modified: 4/29/2015 4:23:02 PM
(Editor’s note: The following opinion piece, which was posted on concordmonitor.com on the afternoon of April 29, was later found to include verbatim passages from biographical background provided to Marilinda Garcia by Carly for America, a Super PAC created by Fiorina supporters. The column below appears as it was submitted.)

People of merit with something important to say deserve to be heard. And I want to help amplify the voice of Carly Fiorina. Leadership is something that is spoken about often, but less often demonstrated. Courageous leadership, when tough decisions need to be made, is even more rare.

Political experience is valuable in a candidate, but it’s not everything. An inspirational message, clarity of purpose, proven character, and the ability and courage to speak the truth is invaluable.

From personal experience, I know that it is difficult to be heard as a new candidate without much name recognition and prior media attention. And I know that as the months go on and campaigns heat up, today’s political climate, rife with negativity and attacks, tends to swallow up the message that a candidate is trying to communicate and stymie their ability to meet and connect with voters.

The absurd cost of a campaign compels candidates to spend a great amount of time fundraising just to have a chance to be heard. And, the political system that rewards theatrics and empty rhetoric is disadvantageous to candidates who have a message and actually want to engage with citizens because they want to solve problems, not just be elected. Carly has a message and wants to get things done. I want New Hampshire citizens to hear what Carly has to say and understand what she brings to the table, so that’s why I have decided to support her at this crucial time.

Carly is impressively eloquent about her vision for America, but in addition to talking the talk, she walks the walk. That is because she has an astonishing record of leadership and achievement that is grounded in sincerity and conviction. I greatly appreciate that as a Senate candidate in California she was consistent throughout her primary and general elections.

Carly’s unique understanding of the global economy as CEO of a Fortune 20 company stands out in an otherwise qualified field. As a member on the CIA’s External Advisory Board, she has intricate knowledge of the dangers threatening the national security of our country.

In terms of inspirational biography, Carly’s is second to none, and she has shattered glass ceilings along the way. She started out as a secretary for a small real-estate business. She then joined AT&T in an entry-level sales position.

Fifteen years later she led AT&T’s spin-out of Lucent Technologies and then Lucent’s North American operations. In 1999, she was recruited to Hewlett-Packard, where she would become the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business, taking HP from the 28th to the 11th most profitable company in the United States. In her six years as chairman and CEO of HP, she would double its revenues to $90 billion; increase growth to 9 percent; triple the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day; achieve market leadership in every product category and quadruple cash-flow.

With all of her success within private business and industry, I greatly respect that Carly has not neglected her opportunity to give back and lead global initiatives that help the needy and impoverished. It speaks to her character that she has chosen to dedicate the past decade helping others through non-profit work.

As the chairman of the Board of Opportunity International (the largest nonprofit micro-finance lender in the world, giving out $6 billion at an average of $150 per loan) and Good360 (the world’s largest tech product philanthropic organization), she understands how to harness and effectively manage the generosity of private organizations to help lift people out of poverty both here and abroad. Women across the globe have been empowered and inspired by her action and example.

In my congressional campaign, I advocated for “Opportunity for All,” meaning that the size and scope of government should not grow to suppress the creative, individual and entrepreneurial spirit of Americans. It’s not surprising then that Carly’s message resonates with me – she believes that government policy should not prevent people from fulfilling their God-given potential and living lives of dignity, purpose and meaning.

Next week, Carly is expected to make an announcement on whether she has decided to run. I hope she does. To my supporters, I want you to know that if you liked me, you will like Carly. Please take the time to listen to what she has to say, come out to meet her and help support her.

It’s time our nation had a principled leader who is ready, willing and able to take on the political status-quo. Carly is exactly that kind of leader.

(Marilinda Garcia is a former state representative and was the 2014 Republican nominee in the 2nd Congressional District. She lives in Salem.)


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