Carly Fiorina, slated to be the Republican party’s 2016’s “pit bull” and “mama grizzly” presidential candidate who can attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with impunity because she also has ovaries, set the stage for making it all about her girlness by using Alicia Keys’ “This Girl is On Fire” as she exited the stage Saturday.
Carly Fiorina walks offstage at #FITN to Alicia Keys' "This Girl is on Fire"
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) April 18, 2015
Fiorina was speaking at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in New Hampshire. She hasn’t yet officially entered the Republican primary race. In an interview, she told the interviewer that she was “not from the political class” but she does understand how the economy works. She also touted her understanding of “executive decision making” which is “making tough calls” during tough times with high stakes.
“Not being of the political class” is a pretty obvious attempt to try to diminish Hillary Clinton’s vast experience in international diplomacy as well as being a part of two administrations during which we actually added record making jobs. Fiorina is an infamous job-killer, so this is a topic she needs to gloss over quickly.
Republicans keep citing “business” experience as a qualification for being president, but if we look around at Republican governors implementing “business” expertise, it’s not looking so applicable to the economy– especially when Republicans are forced by the big money controlling the party to tout policies that don’t add up, and would thus be unlikely to be utilized by a successful business.
Fiorina tried to pull a Palin by condescendingly saying that she knew more world leaders than anyone on the presidential stage with the exception of Hillary Clinton, “But I didn’t do photo ops with them, I actually did something with them.”
This attempt at nasty fell flat. Maybe it was the lack of an audience, but she doesn’t have Palin’s presence or stunningly gluttonous appetite for cruelty. Fiorina is not a Mama Grizzly and the base requires blood lust to get fired up. She will be a boring poster “girl” for anti-feminism, but Republicans have to take what they can get these days.
There is no word yet on whether 2008 and 2012 President Obama supporter Alicia Keys gave the okay for her song to be used by the Republican, but Republicans have made a habit of abusing artists by co-opting their populist messages as cover for a distinctly pro-1% policy party.
And that is the point here. Because Republicans believe that they need to find someone of “color” to attack someone else of “color” in order to avoid being called “racists”. They use women the same way. For Republicans, it is always made personal in order to avoid discussing policy.
So Carly Fiorina is the “girl” on board, who will be used to lob sexist attacks at Hilary Clinton, demonstrating yet again that Republicans don’t understand what sexism is. Fiorina is going to be the “Republican feminist”. You know, the feminist who doesn’t believe in policies that support the feminist agenda. Yeah, that feminist.
All of this will greatly annoy voters who want to discuss things like why women don’t have equal pay yet, but when they ask that question they will be painted as tiresome and angry women who can’t get along with men and aren’t successful. Look, Carly did it, so stop being a loser, ladies! You shouldn’t ask the government to save you! (Republicans – and some Democrats – are too busy using government to save Big Oil to help actual voters.) Rinse, repeat.
Republicans need to come up with new game because this game is beyond rancid. Hillary Clinton is going populist gangbusters, hiring former Wall Street cop Gary Gensler as her CFO. Clinton is going to discuss policies for the middle and working classes. And they will listen to her because she has consistently polled as a most liked political figure.
All of the Carly Fiorina attacks in the world can’t stop Hillary Clinton from explaining that when women are paid equally, it will help middle and working class families. As to the tired Republican talking point that there is no need to regulate equal pay, if that were the case, it would no longer be a problem. But like trickle down, women are still waiting for the promised rain.
If there is a “girl” on fire in this picture, it is not Carly Fiorina.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.