Whitman Visits UP Facility and Chaos Reigns

Yesterday, former eBay CEO and Republican governor candidate for California, Meg Whitman, toured the Union Pacific’s intermodal facility in Oakland, CA which resulted in a very odd, and perhaps, a very telling exchange between Meg Whitman and the press.

Watch the following two videos from the San Francisco Chronicle and you will see what I mean.

The first one is of Whitman’s spokesperson, Sarah Pompei, in a brief meeting with the press after Whitman’s tour of the facility had concluded, advising the press on what was going to happen next.  At this point the press was NOT allowed to accompany Whitman on the tour even though the press where invited to the event by Whitman’s campaign and, as seen in the video, they are not even going to get an opportunity to ask any questions of the candidate.


In the second video you can see the end of the “conference” between the Union Pacific managers and Whitman.  At this point the reporters try to ask questions of the candidate.  


If I were running for governor of California, I am confident that I would be in charge and know how and what decisions need to be made.  Especially in handling a press conference.  “How do want to handle this Sarah?” asks Whitman.  “I think we’re not going to take questions right now.”  Are you kidding me? 

Also, in the first video, you can see and hear Pompei clearly state, albeit in a stammering sort of way, that the reason that the press were not allowed to accompany Whitman on the tour was “UP did not want that to happen…”

According to reports, Aaron Hunt, a spokesperson for the Union Pacific, said “we planned, actually, to have press talk with Meg on the tour….we understood there would be media availability and we wanted to work with that.”  Clearly someone is not being truthful.  Since I have not seen video of the UP statement I placed a called to Aaron Hunt and I am awaiting his response.

Based on the compelling videos, I suspect that the UP is telling the truth.  Not a good way to launch your candidacy for governor to say the least, or ANY office for that matter.

I had hopes for Whitman, coming from the technology sector and all.  Meg Whitman is not very impressive at all and I even have lost respect for eBay!

Here is video from a post from CBS 5 in San Francisco for a more complete picture of the events:

Let me know your thoughts.

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References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Source
    Press shy GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman found herself challenged by reporters today after she announced an "open press" stop in Oakland, then refused to take questions the press -- which was also barred from covering her tour of the port's Union Pacific facility.
  • Source
    Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has faced a steady drumbeat of criticism from her Republican primary opponent -- state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner -- for ducking debates and non-choreographed media appearances in her run for the California governorship.

Reader Comments (1)

Corporate execs rarely become successful pols. Whitman just showed us why:
1-Thin skin as a result of being surrounded by sycophants.
2-Inability to think on her feet because CEO's have staff to do that.
3-Unable to accept responsibility (blaming UP) because CEO's have staff to take the blame.

March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Pierce

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