Technology is the engine of the U.S. economy.
So wouldn’t it be nice if we had a president who understood the Internet of Everything, Big Data, cloud computing and all the other paradigm-altering advances coming out of Silicon Valley at an incredibly rapid pace.
Well, there is a candidate for president hitting the campaign trail now who is well-versed in all these “pools of innovation.”
She’s largely running under the radar of the mainstream media and the U.S. political establishment right now – so you may not know about this candidacy yet.
But you should.
I’m not endorsing her (yet), but today I want to tell you all about her.
The Silicon Valley Candidate
I think the 2016 presidential election will be extremely important, especially when it comes to the economy and technology’s place in it.
That’s why when Republican Carly Fiorina threw her hat into the ring I took notice.
After all, Fiorina was the most powerful woman in business during her 1999-2000 stint as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), shares of which have had a peak gain of 64.3% since I first recommended them to you in July 2013.
Carly Fiorina is the presidential candidate from Silicon Valley.
Not only was Fiorina the first female to lead a Fortune 20 company, but she served as the captain of a global tech enterprise that was struggling to navigate through the troubled waters of the early 2000s.
And let’s be honest here. HP was a tough ship to steer.
Fiorina instigated the merger between HP and Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002, which ultimately strengthened HP’s market position and enabled the Silicon Valley pioneer to become a major player in desktops, laptops and servers.
On the other hand, Fiorina laid off 30,000 people as a result of the merger. And HP’s stock price dipped more than 50% during her tenure.
Fiorina’s decision-making ruffled the feathers of her board of directors (HP founder Bill Hewlett’s son Walter Hewlett in particular), and she was ousted in 2005. But when she left, the company was operating in 170 countries – 50 more than when she took the job.
And she left with the respect of other tech leaders.
Since 2005, she’s joined several powerful boards, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum.
Now, as I said before, the White House could use a leader who eats, sleeps and drinks tech. A truly tech-savvy president would ensure that the United States and Silicon Valley remain at the forefront of global innovation.
Here’s why that’s important to you.
Why You Want a Tech-Savvy President
At this point, there is no turning back the Digital Age.
That’s why it’s critical to have someone in the White House who understands the fundamental role technology plays in our lives and, more importantly, in our economy.
Fiorina has been arguing for nearly 15 years that the United States must become more competitive on the global stage to keep its innovative edge.
And she’s right.
The lowering of barriers to foreign investment has strengthened markets across Asia. That’s why some of Asia’s wealthiest tech companies are investing in the rising stars of Silicon Valley.
Earlier this year, e-commerce giant – and Million Dollar Tech Portfolio holding – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) invested $200 million in video-messaging app developer Snapchat Inc. And Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. invested $530 million in Lyft Inc., bringing the ride-sharing startup’s value up to $2.5 billion.
Compare that to Europe. Over there, stringent regulations and a failure to invest in its people’s own technical prowess have stalled economic growth -not to mention its ability to compete.
We should also expect a bump in defense spending.
Fiorina was chair of the Central Intelligence Agency’s External Advisory Board when it formed in 2007. Obviously, those meetings are classified, but based on Fiorina’s tech background, she likely offered guidance on cybersecurity, which the government hadn’t been taking all that seriously until recent times.
Also, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell sought Fiorina’s advice as to how the government could share information between agencies more securely. She worked with the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency in similar capacities.
So, throughout these last 15 years, Fiorina got a bird’s-eye view of government policymaking and the highly secretive world of national security – something that civilians are rarely granted.
And this probably sharpened her hawkish worldview that the United States “needs the strongest military on the face of the planet, and the rest of the world needs to know it,” as she’s said.
So if Fiorina should win her long-shot bid for president, expect policies that foster innovation and tech investing.
And that will be very good news for tech investors like you.
But Does She Stand a Chance?
Will Fiorina successfully wedge her foot into the White House door? I doubt it.
But we shouldn’t dismiss her as another Michele Bachmann, who never stood a chance in the 2012 race.
She’s the first legitimate presidential candidate coming out of the high-tech world since 1992, when Ross Perot (the founder of two major information-technology companies) ran on the Reform Party ticket. Plus she’s the only one to come out of Silicon Valley.
And I think she has a better shot at the presidency (or vice presidency) than Perot ever did.
First of all, she comes equipped with a great underdog story. She’s a law-school dropout who started her career off as a secretary.
But through hard work and tenacity, Fiorina rose through the ranks of the male-driven tech industry to earn a spot as the first female executive of a global tech powerhouse.
Not only is Fiorina a charismatic businesswoman, but she’s a strategic thinker. Fiorina hit the campaign trail hard last fall as an “advocate for the Republican Party.”
She toured battleground states to “engage female voters” and help the GOP in its attempts to win control of Congress, all the while charming voters with her carefully planned public appearances.
She certainly seduced the folks at the New Hampshire Union Leader, the influential conservative paper whose endorsements matter in the state that’s home to the first primary election every four years. The paper’s editorial board ranks her as was one of the best candidates with whom they’ve ever met.
And voters at candidates’ forums in Iowa and Nebraska swooned over her. When her microphone was cut off during her speech in Iowa last month to indicate her 10 minutes were up, the crowd erupted in boos and hisses. Lines of people snaked across hallways hopeful to meet her face to face.
If Fiorina continues to do as well as she has been lately, she could be a serious contender for the Republican nomination – or at least for the vice-presidential seat. In that regard, you could think of her as Sarah Palin 2.0.
Palin had great grassroots support in 2008, but ultimately failed on the national stage. She would have been a much stronger candidate had she been on the campaign trail for longer and passed national media scrutiny.
Then there’s the fact that Fiorina gives the Republicans a response to Democratic Party heavyweight Hilary Clinton.
Fiorina lost her bid for a California U.S. Senate seat in 2010 and has never held elected office or served in a Cabinet-level position. So her political chops pale in comparison to Clinton’s background as U.S. senator, secretary of state and first lady.
But Clinton is sinking fast in the polls, while Fiorina is turning heads.
That means attention will be brought to the importance of investing in the nation’s technology sector and infrastructure. No one on the campaign trail now is a better advocate for that than Fiorina.
And attention can quickly become dollars spent and – even better – regulations softened. As tech investors, some of those higher profits will flow your way.
The bottom line is that it’s becoming increasingly important for elected officials to be technologically savvy.
And once you have a person in power who is technologically savvy, then that’s going to add to the push for technology and create more winners in the marketplace.
- Strategic Tech Investor: The Million Dollar Tech Portfolio.
- Strategic Tech Investor: This “Double Your Money” Stock Pick Will Shock You.
- Strategic Tech Investor: The First Rule for Spotting a High-Tech Winner.