Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Why Carly Fiorina's Candidacy Matters

This past week brought another round of Republican primary debates.  This month brought a newcomer to the main stage event, though.  Carly Fiorina, following a bump in the polls, was brought out of the underdog debate and into the prime time spotlight.  Standing in a crowd of men, Fiorina brought something new to the stage that has not yet existed this election cycle: an appeal to women.  Her presence brings an interesting new twist to the criticism of Republicans that they are leading a “war on women.”  It allows people to perceive the supposed war as a problem within a faction of the party, while recognizing that there is another, lesser seen female side of the GOP.  Generally, women are not as frequently seen in powerful positions within the Republican Party as they are in the Democratic Party, where the current head of the DNC is a woman.  Carly Fiorina offers the chance to change that.
While Fiorina is not necessarily liberal by any means on social issues, she still brings a sense of feminism to the stage.  For example, when asked by the moderator to respond to an insult of her appearances earlier in the week by Republican front-runner Donald Trump, she replied, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”  Furthermore, one of the closing questions pertained to putting a woman on the ten dollar bill.  Unlike the other candidates, who overwhelmingly chose either Rosa Parks or their wives, Fiorina stated, “I think, honestly, it’s a gesture. I don’t think it helps to change our history,” which is a sentiment yet to be heard within the Republican Party.  She went on to say that women were not in the minority, and thus should not be treated as such within the GOP.  

It is important that, policy aside, such a statement is made on a national platform from within the Republican Party.  For a party that lost the female vote in one of the most shocking examples of the gender gap in history, having a strong female candidate who is willing to discuss women’s issues could be priceless.  Therefore, given her unique appeal to voters who may otherwise be off put by the Republican lineup, Carly Fiorina could be just what the GOP needs to be successful in this election cycle.