Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina isn’t about to take any of Donald Trump‘s guff, and neither should other women, according to her new ad. Trump took a swipe at Fiorina’s mug in a recent Rolling Stone profile, exclaiming “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
Trump later insisted that he was only talking about Fiorina’s “persona,” but Fiorina is too sharp to be taken in by that nonsense. On Monday, Carly For America released an ad in which the candidate turned Trump’s attack into a stirring ode to female empowerment. Entitled “Faces,” the spot intercuts stock footage of smiling women in rack focus with Fiorina’s message that women are leaders, and they outnumber men. It’s similar in tone to the brilliant Always “Like a Girl” campaign, except that unlike the Republican Party, Always products are actually useful to women:
Look at this face. And look at all of your faces. The face of leadership in our party, the party of women’s suffrage. The face of leadership in your communities, in your businesses, in your places of work and worship. Ladies, note to Democrat Party: We are not a special interest group, we are the majority of the nation.
This is the face of a 61 year old woman and I am proud of every year and every wrinkle.
Good for Fiorina for standing up to Trump, but there are a couple of glaring problems with her message. The first is her contention that women are “the face of leadership in our party,” when she’s the only woman out of seventeen Republicans running for president, and less than 10% of the Republicans in the House and Senate are women, compared to more than triple that for Democrats. Those ratios are generally consistent for all women holding public office.
Now, if you’re a Republican dead-ender, you might just insist that the problem is with how the media has brainwashed women into thinking there’s some kind of “War on Women,” and they just need a good Republican to explain things to them. Except that when a good Republican named Carly Fiorina tried to explain it to them, the only Republican accomplishment she could come up with dates back to the Curse of the Bambino.
It also wasn’t much of an accomplishment, as these things go. Republicans led Democrats in eventually getting around to no longer denying women the right to vote, which falls squarely within the Chris Rock definition of wanting credit for shit you’re just supposed to do. It’s not just Fiorina, either. The conservative media fought back against the War on Women charge in 2012 by bragging that “The GOP’s longstanding “war on women” includes such horrors as giving them the vote” and.. well, just that. Giving them the right to vote. C’mon, gals, that’s worth at least a quickie and a ham sandwich, isn’t it?
The fact is that the party Fiorina fantasizes is led by women is actually populated by people who overwhelmingly agree with the guy who just called her an uggo. Even if they all agreed with Fiorina, she’s got nothing more to offer women than that face and the ability to act as an attack dog against the woman in this presidential race who actually does have a record of accomplishments on women’s rights. Not only does Fiorina support overturning Roe v. Wade, she opposes equal pay legislation and raising the minimum wage. Only in a field with men who prefer to let women die does Fiorina seem even remotely moderate.
I’m glad Fiorina is proud of every one of her 61 years, but I wonder if she’s equally proud of each of the 95 years since her party did anything for women, according to her own ad.