We Heard 'Very Clearly' What Carly Said
Sitting in for Bill O'Reilly, Eric Bolling made the point that Hillary Clinton is using gender in her campaign and Carly Fiorina is not. Um, back up, Eric. The question is not if Hillary or Carly uses her gender – they both do. The question is how they use it.
Much like her private servers and missing emails, Hillary doesn't try to hide her "anything to win" survival mentality. The surprising part is that it never seems to hurt her.
Hillary moved to New York in September, 1999. She'd decided she was ready for primetime and set her sights on the N.Y. open Senate seat. She figured that with her name recognition, a devoted press talking her up 24/7, and all the cash she'd wrung out of Bill's donors, she'd be a shoo-in.
But it didn't go down that way. Even with her advantages, Hillary found herself trailing the lesser known Rick Lazio in the polls. Their first debate didn't help. Michael Tomasky wrote in Hillary's Turn, "The post-debate conventional wisdom was clear, Lazio had won."
Panicked, Hillary fought for an angle. Her break came from the debate when Lazio interrupted Clinton mid-sentence, walked across the stage with a campaign finance pledge in hand, and urged her to sign it.
Talking points went out: Lazio is a sexist bully who attacked Hillary. The Daily News led with "IN HER FACE" and a picture of Lazio facing off with Clinton as the bully meme dominated the news. Hillary silently confirmed the "attack," demurred with a stricken look, or shrugged helplessly at the Lazio bully questions. She won in the end, a pity vote for the weak, defenseless little woman, not an informed decision for a United States senator.
Fast-forward to 2016, to Carly Florina, a woman with no political credentials, a horrible business record at Lucent and Hewlett-Packard, and a failed Senate run. But I have to give it to Carly: she keeps coming. Like the walking dead, who take hit after hit yet scrape and crawl their way to their target, she pushes ahead.
So if she can't be senator, how about president? Carly shrugs off her dismal record and declares her candidacy. But she hits a major setback when she doesn't make the main stage in the first debate. Carly starts a very vocal campaign to make first string, but she's not getting traction. Poll numbers just aren't there.
Enter Donald Trump. Donald shoots his mouth off, as the New York bad boy is prone to do. He makes some regrettable comments about Carly's looks, and it's on. Of course, I don't buy for a minute that Carly was truly hurt over Trump's remarks. Carly and her team were probably clinking champagne glasses, toasting Trump for giving her an opening.
Carly's team swings into action and comes up with her "injured but the bigger person" approach, a 60-second ad showing smiling faces of women of all ages. "Ladies, look at this face," she says – "the face of leadership." "The face of a 61-year-old woman." "I am proud of every year and every wrinkle." The media and political class give Carly kudos for her "smart ad," where she hits Trump without mentioning his name.
Why would she need to mention his name? What other purpose could this ad possibly have other than to blast Trump for being an insensitive boor and to imply that he insulted all women when he insulted Carly?
Good thing Barbara Boxer didn't think that way. She might have taken offense when Carly said on a hot mic, "God, what is that hair? So yesterday."
Maybe Barb should have made an ad about women's hair. There could have been pictures of women in buns, pixie cuts, bobs, and flowing tresses with captions, "This is the hair of leadership, the hair I am proud of."
But Senator Boxer didn't do that. She ran her campaign on issues, not her victim status. She didn't attempt to rally women to her side because her feelings were hurt, and bravo, Barb, for passing on that demeaning tactic.
But the ad got the attention of the anti-Trump movement, and fortunately for Carly, they were conducting interviews for a Trump hit man or woman, mafia style. So once they saw that she already had her sights trained on Trump, she magically made the second debate, poll numbers be damned.
So now Carly is on the stage. She interrupts every speaker at every opportunity to get her stump speech in. Then she gets the question she's waited for: How did you feel about Trump's comment? She looks the audience right in the eye (because this is a critical issue of national importance) and delivers her well-rehearsed, probably focus group-tested line.
"I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said."
What was that – a call to arms? Should all women jump on Carly's team because she was insulted? Should we pick a president for her cuts and bruises rather than qualifications?
Well, if that's the case, Donald Trump wins, hands down. Every paper, every network, every ad is geared to insult, ridicule, or scold Trump. If he turned every snide remark into a campaign, he would go broke. Hell, his hair alone would put a dent in his fortune.
Oh, I get it. We should all jump on Carly's team because she's a woman who was insulted by a man. How can anyone even infer that she's not exploiting her gender?
(By the way, don't forget the subtle little "had to do the three-hour debate in high heels" remark. To remind us yet again she's a woman?)
While Carly is huddling with her cohorts on how to maximize her female parts, while her adoring press is commissioning push polls to show she's on top, Donald Trump is taking "incoming" every waking moment. Yet he doesn't whine about who called him what, doesn't try to make political hay from every denigrating remark. He says we don't have time for that garbage, and he's right.
America is disappearing before our very eyes. The invasion on our southern border is catastrophic, our economy is in a downward spiral, there are no jobs, our military has been gutted, the vets are treated like homeless vagrants, and we're setting up Iran, our sworn enemy, with nuclear weapons. So Trump doesn't want to waste time talking about feelings. No, really, Carly, there are bigger issues.
Carly says she's an outsider, not a politician but that's just not true. She's the consummate politician. After her debate performance, she's raking in cash from players like Wall Street, banks, CEOs of major companies, all those people who want to help her become president so she can help them back, can someday repay them for their generous donations.
So Carly should give herself credit. Yes, she is a politician, as polished, conniving, and fake as Hillary or Obama. She's at the big kid's table now, mixing with the powerful movers and shakers of big government. She's arrived. She's one of them: a true Washington insider.