No matter how distinctly different their backgrounds, experiences, and ambitions are, Republican women are all the same, according to the New Republic’s Naomi Shavin.
In an article on the magazine’s website, Shavin characterizes potential presidential candidate Carly Fiorina as “Sarah Palin 2.0.”
“It seems the GOP has finally found a new Queen,” she writes, referring to a title given to Palin in 2008 by the New York Times’s Maureen Dowd. But other than the fact that Palin and Fiorina are both women, Shavin offers little to support her argument.
Perhaps the best link she offers between the two Republican women is that they were both part of John McCain’s presidential campaign: Palin was McCain’s running mate, and Fiorina advised him on economic issues. Past that factoid, and Palin’s endorsement of Fiorina’s 2010 California Senate bid, Shavin’s evidence gets thin, and she is reduced to citing political positions that would be shared by most any Republican candidate for president, man or woman, to buttress her argument. She notes that both Palin and Fiorina have expressed skepticism towards the Left’s measures to address climate change, that they’ve both looked to cast themselves as political outsiders, and that they’re both critical of Hillary Clinton.
Shavin’s piece thus comes off as an awkward attempt to taint Fiorina with Palin’s cartoonish public image, simply because Fiorina is a Republican woman. She could have called Fiorina a recent iteration of most any male candidate, but opted instead to make the lazy, gendered assertion that the former HP CEO is the next “Queen” of the GOP. Regardless of what one thinks of Palin, Shavin is purposefully looking to discredit Fiorina by comparison, in an effort to care away the many voters with whom she lacks name recognition. This is likely just the beginning: Fiorina, who has said the chances of her jumping in to the race are “higher than 90 percent,” can expect to face more of the types of attacks and criticism uniquely reserved for conservative women in the months ahead.