Carly Fiorina Won’t Rule Out Run For White House

By Carla Marinucci
San Francisco Chronicle.

Carly Fiorina is ruling out a return to California to run again for the U.S. Senate, but she’s not ruling out a future White House bid — and it’s clear she hasn’t given up campaigning for issues she cares about.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO’s latest drive is as board chair of the nonprofit, which bills itself as the world’s largest product philanthropy group, a kind of “eBay of charitable giving” that matches corporate donors that have excess inventory with charities providing disaster relief.

Fiorina says the Ebola crisis in West Africa is such a disaster. “Our goal is to encourage corporations to step up — and they will, when they have a mechanism” to get their goods to areas in need, she said Monday in an interview with The Chronicle.

“Money is fine, but money actually isn’t what these people need right now,” Fiorina said. “They need more medical personnel to go into these afflicted areas, but people will be reluctant to do that unless they’re protected.”

So is seeking corporate donors that can donate a range of medical goods, from gloves and gowns to stretchers and even, “sadly, body bags,” Fiorina said.

“What the Ebola crisis requires is material, and that’s what we do,” she said. “We have the tech platform to match needs to goods” through partnerships with firms like Home Depot, “and we have the means to deliver the goods” to medical personnel in Africa, thanks to help from firms like UPS, she said.

Fiorina’s work on behalf of is just one of her major charity activities. She’s still involved in her own Fiorina Foundation, which supports education and business efforts around the globe with seed investments, and she chairs the board of Opportunity International, which has loaned $6billion, mostly to women, in micro-financing around the world.

But Fiorina also has the political spotlight as chair of the American Conservative Union Foundation, the annual host of the Conservative Political Action Conference, a mega-gathering of conservative leaders. And she’s become a prominent GOP voice on Sunday talk shows.

That flurry of activity, combined with Fiorina’s campaigning for GOP candidates and causes this year, has not gone unnoticed among Republican activists.

Fiorina lost her 2010 Senate campaign to Sen. Barbara Boxer. But with speculation rampant that the four-term Democratic incumbent won’t run for re-election in two years, Republicans meeting in Los Angeles at their statewide convention last weekend were talking about Fiorina returning to California for another try.

Some also mentioned her as a possible candidate for governor in 2018, or even something bigger, like the White House in 2016.

“I’m flattered,” Fiorina said, but she called a return to California unlikely. Now that she and her husband are living closer to her daughters and granddaughters, “Virginia is home,” she said.

But asked about the possibility of a White House campaign, Fiorina said, “Well, maybe — you know, maybe.”

Fresh from a keynote address to the New Hampshire Republican Party’s convention last weekend, Fiorina said that on the political front, “I’m focused on helping Republicans win in 2014. But when people raise that question enough times, you have to think about it.

“Right now, I’m thinking about 2014,” she said. But “I never rule anything out.”

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