carly fiorina

Carly Fiorina thinks voters are stupid & her candidacy neutralizes GOP “war on women”

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is the latest Republican to officially throw her hat into the presidential ring. As ThinkProgress notes, it looks like Fiorina’s campaign strategy will be to position herself as Hillary Clinton’s kryptonite, her mere presence capable of neutralizing the Republican “war on women.” 

“If Hillary Clinton were to face a female nominee, there are a whole set of things that she won’t be able to talk about,” Fiorina told reporters mid-April. “She won’t be able to talk about being the first woman president. She won’t be able to talk about a war on women without being challenged. She won’t be able to play the gender card.”

She later told Bloomberg that her candidacy “renders the Democratic ‘war on women’ baloney sort of neutral. It will be definitely harder for her to run against a woman. … because the political rhetoric that she talks about will be far more difficult for her to make credible.”

It’s just so insulting to the voters that Fiorina, and the other conservative women who’ve tried this approach recently, think it could possibly work. As if our political debate is so utterly free of substance that we might see two female candidates and suddenly become confused about which party has spent the last several years passing laws restricting our reproductive rights and blocking efforts to ensure our economic security. As if those of us who would be excited to vote for the first woman president would take literally any woman — even this one who believes your employer should be able to deny you birth control coverage, opposes raising the minimum wage and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and instead blames the pay gap on porn-watching government bureaucrats in unions.

I am eager to see how her political ad game has evolved since 2010 though.

Header image credit: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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