Carly Fiorina, who once won the title of most powerful woman in business during her days as CEO of Hewlett Packard, might need some of that clout to get out of this one.
Fiorina has been one of John McCain's most active surrogates, particularly on economic issues and reaching out to women.
But asked by a St. Louis radio station today whether she thought McCain's running mate Sarah Palin could run a big company like her, Fiorina flubbed her answer.
"No, I don't," Fiorina replied. "But that's not what she's running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things."
Later on MSNBC, she tried to explain herself, but managed to make things worse. "I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation," she said.
Fiorina tried to clarify her remarks, saying that neither member of the Democratic ticket -- Barack Obama nor Joe Biden -- had the chops to be a CEO, either. "It's a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company," she said.
But the damage was done. Obama's campaign, jostling with McCain's over the Wall Street crisis, jumped all over the remark. "If John McCain's top economic adviser doesn't think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis?" spokesman Tommy Vietor asked.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.