By Jamie Stiehm, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
When the Californian Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate made a snide remark about Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer's hair--"So yesterday," she sneered--the punditocracy was off and running. MSNBCs cool, jaded take on the gaffe was that the former CEO of Hewlett Packard should know better and watch her words with an open mic. It's understood that kind of talk is dished out all the time in private--just make sure it doesn't go public.
Personally, I happen to like Sen. Boxer's hair (and fighting spirit) but now I have a new tidbit on Carly Fiorina's character that I don't particularly like.
Fiorina's life as a corporate darling--until she got fired at HP--and as a campaign adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain in his losing quest for president proved she is very good at pleasing powerful men. Maybe she likes being the only woman in the boardroom in all-alpha-male company and doesn't wish to share her success in the pyramid with other women. That is the loner syndrome.
More to the point, that remark--"So yesterday"--had shades of contempt for her fellow women. A woman of Boxer's record is not to be belittled, but it may well be the way Fiorina looks at women in general. Women who worked at HP under her reign say, privately and publicly, that she was haughty at best, arrogant at worst. To be sure, women are not her best constituency.
As for Boxer, her opponent, she's known for a favorite phrase she repeats on the floor: "Where's the justice, Mr. President?" Her voice has been heard since she was elected to the Senate in 1992, the "Year of the Woman," after the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings in late 1991 infuriated the female electorate. Previously she served in the House, representing Marin County, that liberal neck of the woods across the water from San Francisco.
The outspoken Boxer never watered down her views to fit the political tide--she was one of the few Senate thorns in the side of the Bush administration and is number one in the Republican's party's sights this fall. Her anti-war stance and environmental activism are looking smarter all the time. True to her name, she says, "I will fight for my seat."
Let's say that Fiorina is a certain kind of man's woman. And Boxer is a woman's woman.
Give me yesterday any day.