What happens when you take two presidential candidates — one a chauvinist and the other a woman — who are proud of their business acumen, and put them in a live televised debate? We’ll find out Wednesday night at 8pm EDT on CNN, where the dialogue between Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump will likely rival any MMA championship fights this year.
Trump isn’t particularly interested in hiding or sugarcoating his biases, showing little restraint with racist and sexist comments. As Fiorina has risen in the polls and appeared on Trump’s radar, she has become the latest victim of his Catskills-style comedic insults. “Her face,” he said in Rolling Stone, “why would anyone vote for that?”
What happens when you take two presidential candidates — one a chauvinist and the other a woman — who are proud of their business acumen, and put them in a live televised debate?
Taking aside the facts that relatively few US presidents have been empirically attractive (Warren Harding looks like a mean owl) and that Trump may be calling the kettle black, there is at its core a deeply sexist attitude. While Trump has since backtracked and said he was speaking as “an entertainer,” which I suppose means he gets a pass to say whatever he wants without consequence, there is no denying the implications of his comment: Women should always be objectively beautiful, and if they’re not, they are not worthy of our vote or attention.
Fiorina brilliantly used this ridiculous statement to her advantage, making a campaign video that reads like a Dove Real Beauty ad. She manages to shank both Trump and Democrats in 55 seconds.
I’m glad that Fiorina is comfortable in her skin and knows herself well (a problem that persists with Hillary Clinton). She’s made her mark in the heavily male-dominated world of tech, having served as CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999-2005. She’s worked with the One Woman Initiative, which empowers Middle Eastern women, and Opportunity International, which aids women in poverty. Her far-right leaning positions on women’s issues may deter some, but she does seem to genuinely care about the sisterhood and wants to help.
I can’t help but feel that must threaten Trump in some way. If there is a competitor with his same debating style, who is brash and brassy and tells it like is, but is a proud woman, I imagine every alarm in his brain has been tripped and is sounding loudly. The sheer amount of cognitive dissonance alone must be deafening. Trump has met his match, and she’s a lady. Tune in Wednesday to find out how what level of meltdown this will cause.
Lori Chandler is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, NY, which is the most unoriginal sentence she has ever written. You can look at her silly drawings on Tumblr, Rad Drawings, or read her silly tweets @LilBoodleChild. Enough about her, she says: how are you?
PHOTO CREDIT FIORINA: Chip Somodevillia/Getty
PHOTO CREDIT TRUMP: Tom Pennington/Getty