About Carly

Carly Fiorina, for those of you who don’t know, is the current holder of the Herman Cain Traveling Trophy of Republican Electoral Sweetheart. She’ll be able to redeem the trophy in three to six weeks, when the genuinely awful media has moved on to another bonkers candidate, for a free slice of Godfather’s pizza.

But something about Mrs. Fiorina, and the new darling media attention she’s getting, struck me oddly. In a recent profile from that conservative bastion, NPR, I heard this:

Just outside Washington, at the University of Maryland, a plaque outside a classroom in the business school reads “given by the Carly and Frank Fiorina Family Fund.” Fiorina got an M.B.A. at Maryland, though she had to talk her way in.

Fiorina got an M.B.A. at the school after talking her way in through the dean.

Brian Naylor/NPR

Rudolph “Rudy” Lamone, the former dean of The Robert H. Smith School of Business, remembers that “when she applied here she was turned down.”

Fiorina, then Carly Bartlem, had been living in Italy with her first husband, and her application arrived too late. But Lamone said that didn’t stop her. “She came right here to Washington to the business school and said, ‘I want to talk to the dean.’ ” That sort of determination, Lamone says, “really identified the Carly that we know today.”

Impressed with her drive, Lamone not only reversed the admissions office and admitted her but made Fiorina his graduate assistant.

Now, why does this upset me? Well, many reasons in the Hobbesian nightmare created by Reaganomics, but particularly because of the following:

When I was a little sprite, I fell in love with Boston College. The History of Boston, the national profile, the sweet red-and-gold uniforms… something told me I really wanted to go to college in Boston. And so, when I was old enough to apply, I did.

But, I sent it in a little late. It’s very possible that, by the time it finally got from Minnesota to Massachusetts, I had missed the application deadline. I never heard back from BC, and part of me still regrets not getting that rather expensive ($50 application fee!) app in the mail a little earlier. But, I thought, fair is fair, rules are rules, and if I missed it, then that’s that.

If only I had known that, in today’s world of Ayn Rand’s dreams, people can just bully their way into getting what they want. I should have driven out to Boston and belabored the head of their schools, and maybe I’d be sitting pretty like the multi-millionaire Mrs. Fiorina, too.

The American Society, it seems, no longer rewards following the rules. Seeing as how Mrs. Fiorina did all of this five years before I was even born, it seems like they’ve stopped caring about being good people over thirty years ago.

Looking around, I sure wish someone would have told all of us that the world had changed while we weren’t looking.

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