Quote of the Day: Carly’s Ex Doesn’t Think Much of Her Chances

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From Todd Bartlem, Carly Fiorina’s first husband, on the GOP presidential race:

In the clown car that is the Republican Party, she’s the ultimate clown.

In fairness, if we took the opinions of exes seriously, very few of us would look good. Still, I suspect that Carly may be a pretty reliable generator of quotes of the day for a while. Not from her, mind you, but from people who know her.

This all comes from a piece written a few months ago by Bloomberg’s Melinda Henneberger, who also highlights one of the things that bugs me the most about Fiorina: her “secretary to CEO” schtick. She likes to leave the impression that she was some kind of real-life Melanie Griffith, who was stuck taking messages for second-rate men until she eventually proved her savvy and clawed her way to the top against all odds.

Please. Her father was dean of Duke’s law school and an appellate judge. She graduated from Stanford. She attended UCLA law school before deciding law wasn’t for her. She did work as a receptionist for a few months after that, but it was just a short bit of downtime while she dithered about what to do with her life. When the dithering was over, she spent a couple of years getting an MBA and then started at AT&T as a management trainee.

So don’t believe the nonsense about Fiorina bootstrapping herself up from the steno pool. She was a daughter of privilege; well traveled, very smart, and educated at an elite university; and bound for some kind of top-tier job practically from the cradle. It’s still a testament to her skills and work ethic that she ended up getting so far, and the real story ought to be more than good enough for her. But I guess she thinks the log cabin version sounds better.


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