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Tilting at Windmills

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June 10, 2010

BEWARE OF LIVE MICROPHONES.... One day, politicians will learn that when they're wearing a microphone, and are speaking in front of a camera, they should proceed with caution.

Carly Fiorina spent her first day as California's Republican U.S. Senate candidate with one of her custom shoes planted firmly in her mouth.

Unaware of an open mic before a television interview on Wednesday, Fiorina mocked rival Sen. Barbara Boxer's hair, complained about Fox-TV's Sean Hannity and grumbled about Election Night cheeseburgers.

Laughing, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO told staffers someone had seen Boxer on television and "said what everyone says, 'God, what is that hair?' So yesterday!"

As a rule, mocking your rival's hair is not the way to boost your favorability ratings. For that matter, last week Fiorina went after Boxer for caring too much about "the weather" (i.e., global warming). This week, it seems Fiorina cares too much about the senator's hair style.

In the same live-mic clip, Fiorina reflects on Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman's media strategy. Whitman avoided the media during her California primary, relying instead on extensive television advertising, but agreed to talk to Fox News' Sean Hannity yesterday.

"I find it really surprising that on the first day of the general Meg Whitman's going on Sean Hannity," Fiorina said. "Did you hear that? I think it's bizarre. I mean, she's never been on Sean Hannity. I think it's a very bad choice, actually. You know how he is."

Fiorina added, "Why after saying no to all these people would you go on Sean Hannity? That's not the one you would do. Sean Hannity is not an easy interview."

I'm not sure what to make of this, especially since Hannity is a very easy interview for Republican candidates.

Regardless, let this serve as yet another reminder to candidates everywhere: beware of live microphones.

The full Fiorina clip is available below.

From CNN:

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

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Comments

Cool! Uncontrolled media access to an asshole Repugnant...

Repugnant Carly could learn from the opposition: Obama and BP have the Gulf leak under wraps from the media pretty good.

Posted by: neill on June 10, 2010 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

Do we really think this was an accident?

/crawls back under tin foil cap/

Posted by: JPS on June 10, 2010 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

And Carly's hair is ever so stylish, no? Pot, meet kettle. What a dope.

Posted by: msmolly on June 10, 2010 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Keep those cards and letters and open mikes commin'. What fun...

Posted by: stevio on June 10, 2010 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

"'And then I said, OMG, Barbara, you're not going to be Class President, I AM! Who'd vote for you with that hair?' Then I stared her down, and she went off crying. HA!"
I would do a commercial with ex-HP employees saying something to the effect of, "I don't care about a candidates or a Senators hair, but Carly's hairbrained ideas almost put HP out of business, and put me on unemployment."

Posted by: c u n d gulag on June 10, 2010 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

But Obama said "ass".

Posted by: Anon on June 10, 2010 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Bitching about Boxers' hair. Take a ganger at her do. She reminds me of my old school teacher aunt.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 10, 2010 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

Sean Hannity is not an easy interview

Consider the source. This woman screwed up so badly during the presidential campaign that the McCain crew dumped her. The McCain crew -- the one that kept McCain and Palin!

Posted by: beep52 on June 10, 2010 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

I call BS. Complaining that Hannity is a tough interview - PLEEEASE!

If she was overheard saying she needs to go on Hannity's show for a good fluff piece to help her election, then I might buy into this "accident" thing.

Posted by: Mark-NC on June 10, 2010 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

After this her media consultant will tell her not to do any more interviews on CNN. That means Fox will get all her interviews. With Rand Paul and several others limiting themselves to Fox, how will the Republican message get out. Inquiring minds want to know.

I guess it is part of Fox's plan to grow its audience.

Frum was right. Republicans really do work for Fox whether they want too or not.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 10, 2010 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

And Carly's hair is ever so stylish, no?

As Jon Stewart noted, she's rocking the Joan Baez cut herself.

Posted by: TR on June 10, 2010 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

Is this what California has become? Vain glorious rich bitches spending their "go away" golden parachute money running for class president?

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 10, 2010 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

It is well known among Republicans that Cavuto is the really easy interview.

Posted by: Walker on June 10, 2010 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Sean Hannity Fox New's Rachel Madow. who knew?

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Pffft. She should talk! Carly looks like someone cuts her hair with a lawnmower.

Posted by: Simon on June 10, 2010 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Clueless smug smarmy cruel vacant cold schemey vacuous empty triumphalist , all elbow and eyebrows , Oh !
My goodness I think I may be falling , unless this is flying .

Posted by: FRP on June 10, 2010 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Meow, Meow.

Speaking of cats, I do hope the NCAA has not sanctioned Kevin Drum by not allowing any Friday cat viewing for two years. Yeah, Kevin, pity, pity about USC.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 10, 2010 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

As a rule, mocking your rival's hair is not the way to boost your favorability ratings.

This will not lose her a single Republican vote. It's this kind of snarky, assholery that gets these shitheads elected.

Posted by: chrenson on June 10, 2010 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but remarking about Hannity's "bizarre" choice of guest and commenting he's "a tough interview" doesn't qualify as complaining. Fiorina is a wank....but nothing here folks.... move along...just another ex-post turtle trying to climb back on top of the fence by herself.

Posted by: Alrighty Then on June 10, 2010 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

@berttheclock:

Um, you can enjoy Friday cat pics with Kevin, here.

Posted by: AK Liberal on June 10, 2010 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

The specifics of what she said are relatively unimportant. Overall she left an impression of being trivial, petty, inarticulate, insensitive, and juvenile. If Ms. Fiorina does not understand that unguarded moments for a political candidate are extremely, extremely rare -- and never occur on television set -- she isn't sharp enough to be Governor of California. A public figure is always being observed by someone and must be aware of that.

And who was she talking to on the side? My impression is that it was a staff member. Bad staff work. The staffer should have said, "This may not be the place to have this conversation." I worked for an elected official for severals years and I was instructed to say something like that when it was necessary. And my guy knew what it meant.

Posted by: jpeckjr on June 10, 2010 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry. I meant she isn't sharp enough to be a US Senator. Or Governor of California. Maybe I'm not sharp enough to be a voter!

Posted by: jpeckjr on June 10, 2010 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Requirements for Republican candidates:

Have lots of money.

Check.

Have good hair.

Check.

Be bat-shit crazy.

Check.

Posted by: DAY on June 10, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps she was too concerned about the board members hair while she was driving HP like it was the Titanic.

Posted by: doubtful on June 10, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, AK Liberal. I was joking about poor Kevin going into withdrawals as his beloved Trojans have just been placed on two years probation for bowl games and have had 20 scholarships cut for football recruiting.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 10, 2010 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

And Carly's hair is ever so stylish, no? Pot, meet kettle. What a dope.

Posted by: msmolly

Fiorina's hair is like that because she's recovering from chemotheropy (which makes your hair fall out) for breast cancer, and she'd ever so love to backlash against liberals who foolishly mock her hair.

So I'd suggest you, Simon, TR and John Stewart all chill it with the hair comments.

Posted by: Lance on June 10, 2010 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

LANCE WROTE: "Fiorina's hair is like that because she's recovering from chemotheropy (which makes your hair fall out) for breast cancer, and she'd ever so love to backlash against liberals who foolishly mock her hair.
So I'd suggest you, Simon, TR and John Stewart all chill it with the hair comments."

PETEY TO LANCE: Well, Lance, as a cancer survivor Carly should have known better than anyone not to mock someone else's hair! But since she brought it up, and it is now fair game...let's talk about the ridiculously bad dye job Carly is now showing (after letting her hair grow back with its natural grey)...chill yourself, dude.

Posted by: petey on June 10, 2010 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

If you look at the clip, it's not a CNN interview, it's a local news broadcast. I'm guessing that channel won't get another Fiorina interview anytime in the future, which could be a problem if she wins office. So either the clip was an unauthorized leak, or the local channel doesn't expect her to win.

Posted by: jimBOB on June 10, 2010 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Always nice to be reminded why this incompetent bimbo was kicked out of Hewlett-Packard. I'm sure "that little housewife from Marin County" will remind everyone further about Carly the Moron. She's now done the thing every Boxer Republican opponent going back 35 years has done: underestimated the Senator.

Posted by: TCinLA on June 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Lol. Carly won't be running on her record and will be moving the contest to one about personality and style. It should be one of the nastier political seasons California has seen.

http://politicalcorrection.org/factcheck/200908200003

Posted by: gone_west on June 10, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Did Palin endorse her? Because it would make perfect sense for one superficial airhead to endorse another.
Fiorina was ranked as one of the worst CEOs, and presided over a 30% drop in HP stock.

Please, California voters, don't do this to us. I beg of you.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on June 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't saying someone's hair is "so yesterday" so yesterday in itself? It's just such a stupid phrase. I bet she still thinks things are "boss" and "the bomb."

Posted by: DM on June 10, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I take back my crack about Fiorina's hair. Wasn't aware of her battle with cancer. I hope she has a long a healthy life. :)

Posted by: Simon on June 10, 2010 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

@simon 12:58PM: If she is battling cancer and makes a remark about someone else's hair, I cut her no slack. How does she know that Sen. Boxer's hairstyle is not the result of some trauma in her life? When you open the box(er), the gloves come off and it is open season.

I hope Carly recovers sufficiently to experience the humiliation of defeat and the full exposure of her failed corporate career.

Posted by: st john on June 10, 2010 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Now Petey, you should know that rules that apply to Democrats don't apply to Republicans, so while Carly can critize Barbara's hair without backlash, we can't critize Carly's hair without backlash.

I'm just trying to avoid giving her supporters something to whine about.

But I'm with Simon and St John. I hope she's well and lives a long life...

... and has the opportunity to dwell long and hard on her defeat in November.

Posted by: Lance on June 10, 2010 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Lance (@10:23) insofar as this whole thread tends toward the sophomoric. I'm as disgusted with the comments on Fiorina's hair as I am with Fiorina's own comments.

That said, I also agree with petey (@10:37) that Fiorina shows a complete lack of humility in going after a person's hair after losing her own.

Schadenfreude in reverse!

Also, I for one had no idea Fiorina had been through a battle with cancer. I am certain I am not the only one for whom that's the case.

For this, she has my sympathy and I'm quite sure we'll see at least a slowing of insults of her hair once everyone learns of this (not that they should be going there in the first place).

Posted by: JTK on June 10, 2010 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

@Lance: CORRECT ANSWER!!!
You win the "I spotted the evil Karl Rove Plot" award.

I *know* this was an intentional political trap, because a comment like that is COMPLETELY out of character for Carly Fiorina, personally. I don't know her that personally, but I've followed her career, first as an avid fan. . . she was someone to look up to as the first female CEO of a fortune 20 company, in the middle of the dotcom boom era. Unfortunately, (as I was very bitterly disappointed to learn) she VERY quickly proved herself unworthy of any hero worship. (and it's no secret how utterly incompetent a leader she proved to be).

To be sure - she is brilliant. But she's a sociopath. Her charisma is extremely well-practiced and labored. She's not prone to uncalculated pettiness. That certainly wasn't her reputation at HP.

She is hoping that the story of her breast cancer gets out there, to garner sympathy, and drown out the stories of her career of failure at Lucent and HP. She is hoping that she will be perceived at having made an "accidental off-mike slip" (and I'm sure the Rush Limbaughs and Glen Becks of the world will back her up and downplay the nature of her remark) - and she is hoping that when someone (Boxer, or liberal pundit) viciously attacks her for this, she can feign a hurt response and tearfully relate her struggles of being a "hardworking entrepreneur in a man's world" and "struggling with cancer" -etc. blah blah blah.

(Also note: I predict she will use her status as a barren woman to garner sympathy, instead of allowing people to frame her as having "sacrificed motherhood for career"; she raised her husband's daughters, and bore no children of her own because she was unable. .. "wasn't in God's plan." - - if ANYONE insinuates anything about her character in this area, look for holy hell to rain down in the punitsphere. This woman is being positioned as the next "Sarah Palin" for the Republicans, who are DESPERATE to capture the female demographic. Just watch. You gotta smell Rove's stench all over this.)

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 10, 2010 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

If you look at the clip, it's not a CNN interview, it's a local news broadcast. I'm guessing that channel won't get another Fiorina interview anytime in the future, which could be a problem if she wins office. So either the clip was an unauthorized leak, or the local channel doesn't expect her to win.

That's Sacramento channel 10, I believe. If I recall (I haven't watched local news in a year and a half), "News 10" was about 3 steps to the right of Fox News, in a media market where all the stations lean heavily Republican in their coverage.

I don't think 10 will have a problem getting Fiorina back on; they've most likely fired the guy responsible for letting this video leak and set Carly's campaign a smoke-blowing apology.

Posted by: Tom Dibble on June 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

You win the "I spotted the evil Karl Rove Plot" award. -- Osama_been_forgotten

Sadly, that would be a potted Turd Blossom.

Posted by: Lance on June 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Total fake.

Posted by: arsenalroo on June 11, 2010 at 7:02 AM | PERMALINK

And that watch owned by the make up dude was hideous.

Posted by: arsenalroo on June 11, 2010 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK
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