Carly Fiorina Reveals the Source of Her Failure at HP: Can’t Walk, Chew Gum at the same time/shouldn’t be a Senator edition.
So, stylist/Senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina is turning her attention away from her opponents ‘do to more serious matters.
Unfortunately, she brings the same gravitas to the question of confronting the gulf oil disaster that she did to the matter of Barbara Boxer’s hair.
The AP reports today that while she supports President Obama’s success in compelling BP to come up with a $20 billion escrow fund to cover local losses, she disapproves of another part of his handling of the crisis:
Fiorina, who is trying to unseat Democrat Barbara Boxer of California, said the president should be focused on capping the leak and cleaning up the oil, not working with Boxer on greenhouse gas legislation.
“President Obama’s emphasis right now should be on cleaning up the spill, something (Sen.) Dianne Feinstein clearly recognized when she said, ‘cap-and-trade legislation isn’t going to clean up the spill,'” Fiorina said.
Instead, she said the president is planning to meet with Boxer to discuss the climate change bill.
“I think our commander in chief’s attention should be devoted exclusively to cleaning up the spill and to making sure that the residents of the Gulf Coast receive the relief that they so desperately need,” Fiorina said after her visit to Rex Moore Electrical Contractors and Engineers in Sacramento.
Oh FSM! Where to begin?
Last time I looked, American presidents have to be able to think about more than one thing at a time — and to do so beyond the next quarter’s results. Actually, as people have been pointing out for a while, that’s President Obama’s particular strength.
Fiorina , it seems, would rather have it that Obama do nothing but don his scuba outfit and put what one blogospheric type called his magic tampon down the Deepwater Horizon well. (Apologies to the mystery wit; lost the link in the day’s surf madness Thanks to commenter Courtney below for pointing to the correct attribution. We love the blogosphere. 😉
Heaven forfend that he should also think about the context of the spill: the fact that the need to drill in conditions in some ways more difficult than those of outer space is the direct consequence of an unsustainable dependence on oil as one of our chief sources of energy.
“Cleaning up the spill” is a critical task, of course — but after organizing the executive branch to do so, while fending off GOP resistance to, say, “making sure the residents of the Gulf Coast” get the help they need, there is a limit to the number of hours Obama can usefully give to that job out of every 24. But there is a larger concern, one with several levels — which is how to prevent repeats of the disaster.
Clearly that involves looking at what went wrong at both the drill site and in the regulatory process that allowed BP and its drilling partners/subcontractors to get away with as many shortcuts as it appears they did. Making the drilling process work better is clearly a good thing
But there is, of course, a larger context, which is that dependence on oil as a primary energy source is a long term loser, not simply in the sense that the peak oil concept suggests, but given the fact that exploitation of oil compels us to accept risk that over time will produce various disastrous outcomes. Bad spills, cash flows to unstable regions and hostile folks, wars from time to time are all part of the cost of oil. They aren’t “accidents,” “natural disasters” or acts of God. They are anticipatable, if not precisely predictable outcomes of what you have to do where to get oil out of the interior of the earth. Not to mention the use of oil carries with it significant, real environmental costs (and not just global warming).
Note also this map — versions of it been making the round of the ‘tubes lately. Note, as many have , just how much of that fossil fuel infrastructure is concentrated around the Louisiana coast in particular, and the Gulf Coast more generally
Put all that together, it seems to me that trying to work out how to reduce the role of oil (and other fossil fuels) as energy sources is an integral part of responding to this specific catastrophe — and it even seems like it would be directly relevent to what the folks on the Gulf Coast need if a total disruption (and/or extinction) of a lot of ways of life down there isn’t going to recur every few years.
To repeat: Presidents have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. The last GOP hopeful who denied this lost, badly, to the man now in the office that requires such mental agility.
So: Fiorina is an idiot.
But we knew that.
I’ll leave you with the thought that what’s actually interesting about Fiorina’s inadvertent self-revelation here is that her reaction is precisely that of someone incapable of thinking past the immediate horizon — nothing matters more than hitting the next quarter’s numbers, in the context of her experience. That’s a crappy way to run a business — and it is a much worse way to run a government.
Image: General view of Funkville in 1864, Oil Creek, Pennsylvania