Carly Fiorina, 60, is the chairwoman of Good360, a charity that distributes donations from companies to charitable organizations. She recently formed the Unlocking Potential Project, a super PAC focused on supporting Republican women candidates. Fiorina was the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 through 2005 and ran for Senate, unsuccessfully, in California in 2010. She and her husband live in Mason Neck, Va.
Your name has been mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential candidate. Are you thinking of reentering the fray?
Well, I’m sort of in the fray with this super PAC I’m running. It’s not the same as being a candidate, obviously, but I have remained politically active since my Senate run. We’ll see what the future holds. But I will remain politically active because, honestly, I think politics is too important to leave to professional politicians alone.
You ran for Senate in California. What is election night like for a candidate?
It’s very celebratory in some ways, irrespective of what you think the results are going to be. Because it’s a time when everyone who has been working on the campaign and who has been supportive of the campaign gets together. So it’s sort of fun. I didn’t actually concede until the following morning, nor did I talk to Senator Boxer until the following morning.
What is that conversation like?
It’s brief. I congratulated her, and she was very gracious and said she really appreciated my call. And that was it.
Republican women haven’t been as well represented in Congress. How do you address that?
I think you address it by just getting women engaged politically so they realize that it’s not quite as scary as it seems. Politics seems pretty scary to a lot of people. It’s kind of a nasty game. And that tone, it turns a lot of women off. Women are actually prepared to disagree about almost anything, even abortion, as long as the disagreement is respectful and not judgmental.
You’re a staunch Republican, but what is there about the party that you feel needs to change?
Just because I’m a staunch Republican doesn’t mean that I think we do everything right. I don’t. You know, I think Elizabeth Warren is right when she talks about crony capitalism, for example. We have very different solutions to it, but I agree with her that it exists. Here’s what I think is missing: I think Republicans tend to talk in policy terms, and we don’t talk in personal terms. And so people can’t always make the connection.
Your book was called “Tough Choices.” What did you think when Hillary Clinton called her new book “Hard Choices”?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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