This might be “The Year of the Woman.” It’s possible that we’ll see our first woman president, but even without that, women are playing an important role. Elizabeth Warren was pushed by MoveOn.org to run. And this week, Warren attacked Donald Trump, calling him a “loser.”
We’ll have a lot more to say about the voting power and preferences of women as we go along, but right now, we have two issues about the candidates and individual women that came up on the day of the Utah caucuses.
The first, and most ballyhooed, is the uproar over Trump calling a reporter “beautiful,” according to Fortune Magazine:
Trump was meeting with the Post‘s editorial board in an opportunity for the paper to grill him on his positions. Karen Attiah, an editor, wrote that she asked the Republican frontrunner about his plans for racial inclusion, to which he responded that he was actually “doing very well” with African Americans and Hispanics. Attiah contested that statement, which prompted Trump to differentiate between the support of “people that are legally living here” and “illegals.” Attiah followed up by asking if he felt his rhetoric was divisive, which he refuted.
“As the meeting ended,” Attiah writes, “and we were walking out of the room, I thanked Trump for taking my question. He turned to me and said, ‘I really hope I answered your question,’ and added casually with a smile, ‘Beautiful.’” Attiah was stunned.
It must not take much to stun Attiah. Just about any man alive would have to admit that she is “beautiful.” And she intentionally does things that make herself more beautiful. Not less.
We were not there to hear the voice inflection, but “beautiful” is one of the words Trump overuses—“This is a beautiful crowd,” “That was a beautiful win,” “We have a beautiful plan.” It’s possible that he was referring to her question. Beautiful question. OR–that he’s glad it went as well as it did. After all, Attiah suggests there was a pause. As the article is written, it doesn’t sound as if it were one thought: “I really hope I answered your question, [you beautiful person].”
But what if he did? Since when has it been a crime to state the obvious? And when did a man ever complain about being called “handsome”? I was today, and I wish I had my iPhone ready to record it! Political correctness gone wild.
Especially considering what Trump has said about women such as Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly, wouldn’t one think Attiah should feel particularly honored?
However, the other candidate/woman story was more clearly abusive. This is “War on Women” stuff:
Make America Awesome, a conservative super PAC devoted to “blocking and reversing Donald Trump’s political ascent” is hoping to convince Mormon voters in Utah to vote for Texas Senator Ted Cruz over Trump by running a series of ads on social media, one of which shows Melania Trump, posing naked on what appears to be furs and jewelry, reports Buzzfeed.
The text over the image reads, “Meet Melania Trump. Your next first lady. Or, you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday.”
Cruz was already forecast to win Utah almost unanimously, and he did so with almost 70% of the vote, so why did he crudely go after Trump’s family member?
If you didn’t know, Donald Trump married a former model, and in her job as a model, (surprise!) photographs were taken of her, some of which were non-Mormonly. But that was sixteen years ago. It’s not like she rode through the streets of Salt Lake City naked on a horse, like Lady Godiva.
The message behind the ad is clear: A woman who once posed nude for British GQ doesn’t deserve to be a first lady.
Have we sunk that low? Should we now expect ads finding a way to shame Heidi Cruz? Or daughter, Caroline? Or Catherine?
Admittedly, it was a PAC, and not Cruz, personally. But no one who knows anything about Cruz would believe that he didn’t know about this. He’s a micromanager and master of image.
Again, everyone knew Cruz would take nearly every vote in Utah. As an act of desperation it might be understandable. To do this out of pure spite – against an innocent – is really not necessary. And one might say “par for the Cruz.”
Since the above article was written, we have regrettably “gone down that road.”
(1) The Cruz ad attacked Trump’s wife, Melania–because 16 years ago, in 2000, she had one photo shoot as a model for GQ Magazine/British edition. The Trumps were not married until 2005. The theme of the ad was that Trump’s wife did not “deserve” to become First Lady.
(2) Thanks to that ad, and other tactics by Cruz, Trump lost badly in Mormon Utah.
(3) Shooting from the hip, as usual, Trump sent an ill-advised tweet that he would “spill the beans” about Cruz’ wife, Heidi. Really?? The only thing we’ve found is her bouts with depression, such as when a police officer found her at the side of the road, head-in-hands, and feared she’d be a danger to herself. But that was eleven years ago.
(4) Trump removed the tweet in just seconds. But of course, once a comment gets out there, it can’t be “unseen.”
(5) Heidi had a mini-press conference about it, and is also reported as saying elsewhere, “bring it on!” Bad idea.
(6) Trump tweeted a split photo, with a “glam shot” of Melania, and a photo of an angry Heidi yelling. Dumb, Donald.
(7) Cruz’ has tried to get as much mileage out of this as possible. First, he said, “Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.” That should cause some trouble at home. Heidi is a quite attractive woman, too. Cruz should have said, “we both have lovely wives, and they should not be abused in a campaign.”
(7a) Cruz’ also said, “Donald, real men don’t attack women.” And that brings us back to step number one, the Cruz ad saying Melania didn’t “deserve” to be First Lady.
My guess is that there will be more regrettable back and forth, since we have a two-week hiatus until the next primary, in Wisconsin.