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Liquid Lunch: Carly Fiorina Discusses Tough Choices With Sir Harold Evans At Le Cirque

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hosted by the venerable Week

Let’s just cut to the chase—I’m in love with Harold Evans. And had I been given more than 20 minutes’ notice that I was going to be in his delicious presence, I might have stood out among the suits in more of a tastefully displayed cleavage way and in less of a “I shop at American Apparel" way.
Evans begins to read a passage from the book about the board telling everyone that Fiorina’s leaving because of “personal reasons, to spend more time with her family,” etc, and then gives the audience what I swear to God is a come hither look and paraphrases with, “basically a bunch of bull shit.” I’m sitting within maybe 10 inches of him, and if I thought it wouldn’t distract the audience from the conversation at hand, I would reach over, place a hand on his forearm and mouth, “I love you.”
Fiorina waxes on about the H-P takeover of Compaq for about six minutes; very articulate and all but you’d have to have a really deep interest in H-P and/or Compaq to not start hearing “If you like pina coladas…gettin’ caught in the rain…if you’re not into yoga…if you have half a brain” 90 seconds in. Evans interjects—“I’ve been involved in some takeovers myself; mostly on the receiving end.” I laugh and toss my hair over my shoulder—he knows what that means.

When she was first promoted to an executive-level position, Fiorina was told she couldn’t go to a meeting with her boss and some clients because said it was at The Boardroom, a restaurant where the waitresses “wear see-through baby doll dresses and dance on the tables,” as the site of the get-together. But she went anyway, and the next day, her boss felt like a douche bag. Not unlike my first DealBreaker sit-down with John and a guy from Lehman Brothers (except for the fact that John didn’t have any morning-after feelings of douchey-ness, and it took place at Scores).
Fiorina self-deprecatingly notes that she “was a medieval history major and a law school dropout with no reason to be hired by anyone.” Evans asks her if she ever used the teachings of Machiavelli while governing at H-P. “I thought a lot about ‘there is nothing more difficult and dangerous, or more doubtful of success, than an attempt to introduce a new order of things’,” she offers, earning her keep. Evans one ups her with a Mach. quote about “killing your enemies,” to much laughter. I try to blink him a message—“Let’s get out of here,” but the damn waiter steps in between us and ruins everything.
During the Q&A portion of the show, someone asks Fiorina if she’ll consider sending a copy of Tough Choices to “Ms. Pirro.” “Ooo, burn,” I think to myself, and am surprised when Fiorina starts talking about what a great woman “Pirro” is and several audience members cheer and get up and applauded. But then I realize it was “Pelosi.” So that clears things up a bit (but I still don’t think it was necessarily something to “raise the roof” over. Suggest sending it to Patty Dunn or something a little more catfight-worthy, next time. That, at least, I can respect).
Dessert’s served and I need to get back to the office, as Carney and I are in the midst of a best-of-seven badminton tournament. (My educated guess is that) Tough Choices is a great read that you should probably go out and buy right quickly. Myself, I got a free copy, which was fortuitous, because I’ve got bigger fish to fry, those fish being how I can get an internship or the like with Sir Harold. If anyone hears of anything, you know where to find me.


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