If Carly Fiorina gains any traction from her barbed attacks on Hillary Clinton, the right-wing cartoons will practically draw themselves: Carly and Hillary in a teeth-baring cat fight, Carly’s claws like a tiger’s, HRC’s eyes as red as a Demon Sheep’s, their hair seriously mussed, and Benghazi burning in the background.
As one man tweeted, “Let the Cat Fight begin!! Fiorina will tear Hillary to shreds.”
“Fiorina vs Hillary in 2016,” someone else raved. Why? “Because men love a cat fight.”
It is indeed a male dream, especially males who are Republican presidential candidates (and who isn’t?). If Carly handles the edgy, personal attacks on Hillary, they figure, we won’t get Rick Lazio-ed off the stage.
But at the press conference-ambush that Fiorina held outside a South Carolina hotel where Clinton was speaking, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO bristled at suggestions that she was doing the male Republicans’ dirty work. Fiorina, Maggie Haberman wrote,
quickly grew discomfited when the questions seemed to treat her more as a heckler pulling a stunt than as a formidable candidate making an otherwise significant campaign stop.
One reporter asked if Ms. Fiorina was being used by the men in the Republican field to harass Mrs. Clinton.
Ms. Fiorina insisted she had planned her trip here “many, many weeks ago, so perhaps she’s following me.”
The first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company has had to deny that she’s a tool of the GOP boys—the poisoned-tip of their spear—for a while now. “The party is not leaning on me to do anything, and I didn’t ask the party’s permission,” she said in March.
She’s her own woman, independent, thinks for herself. But in her self-appointed role as Hillary’s foil, there’s a fascinating tension between the politics of cat-fighting and her feminist-tinged complaints about just those sort of stereotypes. “I think the media hold women to different standards,” she said at the same press conference. “[The press] scrutinizes women differently, criticizes women different, caricatures women differently.”