Sneed: Who is Carly Fiorina?


Carly Fiorina leads other candidates taking the stage for the GOP presidential debate Wednesday night. | AP photo

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The Fiorina file

Who is Carly Fiorina?

Who is this woman whose maiden name is Sneed and who trounced Donald Trump during the CNN Republican presidential debate Wednesday night?

When Fiorina, 61, became a surrogate for U.S. Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid seven years ago, we chatted about the last name we shared.

It was a brief conversation with a tired woman on the stump. We did not talk, but because I rarely run into a “Sneed” — common spelling “Snead” — I was curious about her background.

She told me her father, Joseph Sneed, was a law professor and judge who served on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and served as a deputy attorney general during the Nixon administration. Her mother was an artist.

In cobbling together a few stats, I learned:

• She is the middle of three children and married twice; her first husband a college sweetheart.

• Her second husband, Frank Fiorina, she met when they worked at AT&T and married a year after her divorce. He took early retirement in 1998 to support her political aspirations.

• She is very private, presents a cool, calm demeanor . . . but expresses a lot of warmth on the campaign trail.

• She has one stepdaughter, but no children — but not for lack of trying — due to infertility problems.

• She also encountered a Bermuda Triangle of misery when she was diagnosed with breast cancer just before her unsuccessful bid to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (a close pal of Dem presidential contender Hillary Clinton) and lost her stepdaughter, Lori, to a drug overdose shortly thereafter.

• She claims in her memoir “Tough Choices,” one of the most difficult episodes of her early life was quitting law school at UCLA after one semester and having her father say, “I’m not sure you’ll ever amount to anything.”

• She raises Yorkshire Terriers. She has two, Max and Snickers.

• She knows a helluva lot abut foreign affairs because she is the former chair of the CIA External Advisory Board and possesses top security clearance.

Could Fiorina give Hillary Clinton a run for the money?


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Who woulda thunk it?

The Fiorina file II

Actor James Woods just tweeted he will narrate Carly Fiorina’s campaign film:

“I will be doing the narration for @CarlyFiorina’s campaign film. So proud to support this remarkable woman and her historic campaign.”

Pew news

Oops! Sneed’s fingers were typing so quickly we got the wrong location: Archbishop Blase Cupich is spending only one day in Washington D.C. during the pope’s visit.

Trump ’em

In case you are interested in all things Trump, the Donald occupied the most airtime on the stage of CNN’s Republican presidential debate: 18:47 minutes, according to NPR.

Rahm ’em

Mayor Rahm Emanuel caught last Saturday night’s performance of the play “Bad Jews.”

Trump tresses

Actress Helen Mirren, whose boffo bit on Broadway has netted her New York raves, weighed in on all things Donald Trump by equating his hair to the color of an Aperol Spritzer, a fizzy Italian cocktail. It’s “something quite delicious, but it’s the most disgusting color,” Mirren told Vanity Fair.

Kate’s tresses

The long, luxurious tendrils of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has gotten the Brit tabloid press in a tizzy. The future Queen of England (maybe) showed up wearing bangs . . . er, what the Brits call fringe. Just thought you’d want to make a note of that.

AmBush ’em

Better late than never?


• To wit: GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush’s demand that his bully boy opponent Donald Trump apologize to his Mexican-born wife, Columba, for statements he made about Bush’s “soft spot” for Mexican immigrants — seemed weak, wimpy and late.

• A top Bush supporter, who is this/close to the Bush clan, told Sneed after Trump made the comment Bush should have immediately demanded an apology from Trump.

“It was a missed opportunity and Trump did not accede to Jeb’s request in front of millions of people watching the CNN debate,” the Bush source said.


Friday’s birthdays: Jada Pinkett Smith, 44; James Marsden, 42, and Ryne Sandberg, 56.

Follow Sneed on Twitter: @Sneedlings

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