Monday, September 21, 2015

How Badly Does Carly Fiorina, The Pundits' Pick For GOP Nominee, Suffer From Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


We've all had a friend like Carly Fiorina once in our lives. Once is enough, though. Oddly enough, just 1% of Americans are afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder-- so that makes two 1% problems for Fiorina. The illness describes a condition in which a person is excessively preoccupied with power, prestige and vanity and-- worst of all-- is utterly incapable of empathy or of even recognizing the damage they cause around them. When I watched Fiorina's repulsive performance at the CNN Republican debate last week-- seeing how her face automatically became twisted and contorted when she was aggressively asserting that some monstrous lie was simple fact-- my mind went back to the very earliest horror movie I can remember seeing, The Bad Seed (1956) as a child. Carly Fiorina is very much the Rhoda Penmark of the Republican primary.

Over the weekend Trump-- still the GOP frontrunner by miles-- let loose on Fiorina's short-comings as a nominee for his party with a series of disparaging tweets:

On a more personal note, he told Fox and Friends that listening to her voice gives him a headache after five minutes, a remark that some will equate to the now infamous "that face" comment he made to Rolling Stone. With much of the mainstream establishment hoping to use Fiorina to take down Trump, media is bending over backwards to give her a pass on the whole "compulsive liar" aspect of his routine. Truth, however has a way of coming to the fore. (Like, for example, the fact that came out over the weekend that Hewlett Packard's "only stock pop under Fiorina's reign was the 7% jump the moment she was fired!")

Last week we all enjoyed the Business Insider article about Yale Business Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld explaining Fiorina's catastrophic career at Hewlett Packard in terms of destroying half the wealth of her investors while gobbling up $100 million for herself. It's very much worth reading if you plan to discuss Fiorina's qualifications for her presidential bid. Contacted recently, Sonnenfeld pointed out that "the board’s wisdom in her unanimous firing was vindicated by the fact that there has been no exoneration or contrition," that "virtually everything she bought... has been shuttered or divested" and that "she has never been offered another CEO position in the decade since." Her record in the business world was pretty sordid, but it's just a small piece of the hideous entirety of who she is. Last July, the Daily Mail covered that in all its gory details.

Her first husband, Todd Bartlem, never comes out and says she's suffering from narcissistic personality disorder specifically, but he leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that she is. They married in 1977. "I was useful to her then," he explained. "I got her through graduate school and broke her out of going to law school. She tried to go to law school but she hated it and it was a big problem because her father wanted her to be a lawyer but I was her rebellion-- her alternate lifestyle." Their seven-year marriage disintegrated, in his telling, because she was fixated on power in the corporate world.
That became her whole life because of the power thing that went with it, and, at the end of the day, everything got judged according to how useful it was towards allowing her to get ahead. I assume Frank [Fiorina, the AT&T exec she had an affair with and then married] was useful... She is pathologically narcissistic and all she cares about is her. Nothing holds together with her. I got kind of suspicious of her towards the end of the marriage because she had no old friends. She had nobody that she knew in the past, and I thought, "God that's kind of weird." If you aren't useful to her, your time is over. She learned that in business school... She only had one interest and that was to get ahead. When we were together she didn't have a political bone in her body. 'The only thing she cared about was herself. I assume that's all she's ever cared about since then. Why else would you subject yourself to the ridicule of trying to run for president? ... She's never held a political office. She has no experience whatsoever and it boggles the imagination, but that is pretty indicative of the Republican Party. It's like watching the Hindenburg go down-- basically a flaming mess. She's a plutocrat. Her net worth is high and she sees herself as a member of that class. She's got spare money in her piggy bank and she's trying to buy an office. Most normal people would take a county thing, a state office or something, but no. She doesn't have the ability to see that she's so got into this thing of mind-over-matter that she can will it. But there are some things in life that you can't will, and becoming president has got to be one of them. Carly can't see that because she's a corporate person. She views herself as a corporation. There's no humility or humanity left.
The woman's actual mother, who had custody of the child after the divorce, speaks out in the Daily Mail piece

The whole Daily Mail article is fascinating, and I suggest you read it if you're at all interested in knowing more about Fiorina, who is, according to knowledgeable sources in Texas, slated by the Ted Cruz campaign to be his running mate.

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At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The video lesson on narcissism is excellent. I would only take issue with "The Bad Seed" in that it fails to address the importance of early child-rearing in creating these people. Alice Miller did great work in examining this topic.
If enough people come to recognize narcissism for what it actually is, we could see our way out of propping up the wrong "leaders." And that could change the world.

At 5:34 PM, Anonymous tones said...

Bad Seed was a classic, but I think you summed up what Trump! actually meant by "That face..." she is a real piece of work.


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