The former president and CEO of online auction site eBay hopes to take a crack at state politics after announcing her interest to run for governor of California in 2010.
Meg Whitman, 52, has created an exploratory committee for her to possibly seek the Republican nomination, in an interest to run for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's seat when his term ends next year, citing that she "refused to stand by and watch California fail."
"California faces challenges unlike any other time in its history -- a weak and faltering economy, massive job losses, and an exploding state budget deficit," Whitman said in a press statement. "California is better than this, and I refuse to stand by and watch it fail. Now is the time for people across the state to join in a cause for change, excellence and a new California."
The state is suffering from a $40 billion budget gap over the past 18 months, unemployment around 10 percent, and a mortgage crisis that is plaguing the state.
It's likely both Democrats and Republicans seeking to become California governor will have an intense battle among a large number of possible candidates. Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a Silicon Valley tech executive, will also seek the Republican nomination for governor.
Whitman became involved in politics after she left eBay last year, working as finance chairman for Mitt Romney and serving as national co-chair for John McCain's campaign. The former eBay executive has never run for public office but hopes Californian voters take to her corporate background as the state tries to fix its fiscal troubles that will likely continue for years to come.
Critics have already come out of the woodwork to attack Whitman's credentials to lead the state. Chairman of the state Democratic party, Art Torres, faulted Whitman for her lackluster roles in the presidential campaign of both Romney and McCain. He said she's "a leading proponent of the disastrous economic policies that have left America in its worst financial crisis in generations."