STATESIDE STORIES: On Carly Fiorina, Bernie Sanders and the U.S. Presidential Primaries

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A female President is a distinct possibility if Hillary and Carly have their way. Or, if Bernie Sanders has his, why not a Democratic Socialist?

By Mary Foran

 

Carly Fiorina: On the Rise!

In a head-to-head match-up with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for U.S. President 2016, Carly Fiorina received 44 percent of the poll vote to Clinton’s 43 percent, a statistical tie. The recent poll was conducted by Quinnipiac University last week.

Born Cara Carleton Sneed on September 6th, 1954, Fiorina became the CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005, after working at AT&T and its spin-off Lucent Technologies starting in 1980. She broke through the “glass ceiling” that most women face in the workplace, becoming the first woman to lead a top-20 company as ranked by Fortune magazine. Fiorina was forced to resign by HP’s board of directors February 9th, 2005 due to declining stock value, disappointing earnings reports, disagreements about the company’s performance, and her resistance to transferring authority to division heads.

After leaving HP, Fiorina served on the boards of several organizations and was an advisor to Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. She ran for the United States Senate for California in 2010 and won the nomination but lost the election to Barbara Boxer, the incumbent Democratic Senator, by 10 percentage points.

On May 4th, 2015, Fiorina announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Fiorina is thought to have outperformed Donald Trump in the most recent Republican Debate, but Trump continues to lead the Republican pack with polls giving him the advantage with 25 percent as compared with Ben Carson at 17 percent and Carly Fiorina at 12 percent.

As a businesswoman, Carly Fiorina is considered as much as an outsider to Washington politics as Trump and Carson, although she did run for political office before.

Carly Fiorina currently chairs the non-profit philanthropic organization Good360 and has made her pro-life position well-known in the funding controversy for Planned Parenthood, which has been accused of selling fetal body parts for scientific research.

The race for women’s vote is heating up, it seems, and Democrats and Republicans both have irons in the fire. A female President is a distinct possibility this time around, if Hillary and Carly have their way.

 

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Bernie Sanders by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Bernie Sanders: Democratic Socialist for U.S. President?

Hillary Clinton’s major rival for the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination is Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He is drawing huge crowds of supporters across the country, even among the young, which is quite a feat considering he is 74 years old, the oldest of the presidential hopefuls in both parties.

His views include reforming Wall Street, avoiding costly and ineffective conflicts in the Middle East, and helping working families prosper. His campaign slogan goes like this: “One percent of this country(USA) owns 38 percent of the wealth. The bottom 60 percent owns 2.3 percent. We are essentially living in an oligarchy, one that is headed for the edge of the cliff if we do not address the social and economic inequalities that are propelling this downward spiral.”(quoted from “The Onion”)

Born September 8th, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, Sanders is the longest-serving Independent in U.S. congressional history. He favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those instituted by the Nordic countries. These include health care for all and free tuition for university students.

After an activist youth, Sanders settled in Vermont in 1968. As an Independent, Sanders was elected mayor of Vermont’s most populous city, Burlington, in 1981. He was re-elected mayor 3 times before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, lasting 16 years. In 2006 he was elected to the U.S. Senate and re-elected in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote.

Sanders’ father, Eli Sanders, was a Jewish immigrant from Poland whose family was killed in the Holocaust. His mother, Dorothy Glassberg, was born to Jewish parents in New York City.

Sanders has been quoted as saying that he became interested in politics at an early age. He said, “a guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932…and 50 million people died as a result…what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important.” Sanders is known for his sincere support for civil rights.

Sanders has said that he is ‘proud to be Jewish” but “not particularly religious.” Sanders’ wife is Roman Catholic, and he has frequently expressed admiration for Pope Francis and his ideas, and he quotes the Pontiff on economic issues, describing him as “incredibly smart and brave.”

Sanders has spent time on a Kibbutz in Israel, and he has a brother in politics in England. He has a varied support base and he is considered to the left of President Obama, who promised change in his campaign, and Hillary Clinton, who is seen as a moderate Democrat who would continue Obama’s policies. Sanders is slightly behind Clinton in the polls, and Joe Biden, on the Democratic side, is considering a run for the nomination as well. Martin O’Malley, the 61st Governor of Maryland, is also running for the Democrats, but his campaign is not producing as much steam as Clinton and Sanders, both of whom the media covers well.

So, will America go Democratic Socialist with Sanders, or will the epitome of successful capitalism, Donald Trump, get the Republican nomination for President? As my English grandmother would say: “There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.” We’ll just have to see how the race goes.
Images
Featured image (Carly Riorina) and Bernie Sanders by Gage Skidmore (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/), CC BY-SA 2.0