This election cycle could not be more perfect for Hillary and her woman card.
On one side, you have a female who is dangerously close to her challenger’s poll numbers in a year that should be hers. On the other side, you have an incompetent, insulting con man whose obnoxious behavior dominates the headlines. With Hillary Clinton in the mix, we knew that gender would play a major role in the 2016 election. But adding Trump in as her opponent brings the gender issue to the forefront in a way that would not have happened otherwise.
Donald Trump’s past and present interactions with and comments about women are such that they should play right in to the hands of the Clinton campaign. His behavior is actually a dream come true for them, and Trump seems to not notice all that much. He gleefully goes along with spewing mockery, and perhaps believes he is scoring points with voters who might view it as talking “tough”.
The gap between a man who routinely comments on the appearance of women and a woman who has been publicly humiliated by her husband’s many infidelities is wide. Hillary and her team know this, and are using the woman card to keep that wedge of difference open.
Which brings us to Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe beauty queen. Since Hillary mentioned her name, Trump has been on a rampage not to right a wrong, but to prove that his statements back then don’t need to be corrected. That he called a beauty queen “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” bothers me much less than his general unfitness for the presidency. But it’s easier, and probably more effective, for Hillary to point out that he called a woman “fat”. Female voters of the liberal and undecided persuasions are provoked by the tale, and will remember that as they head to the polls. As we saw in his tweetstorm very early Friday morning, Donald Trump himself promotes Hillary’s point perfectly.
Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
Hillary, and the rest of us who got our rest overnight, noticed.
What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 30, 2016
With a Cruz, Rubio, or Bush opponent, Hillary’s chances to play that woman card would have been minimal at best. In fact, using it (though it’s her year) would have appeared quite desperate. After all, despite their many flaws, Cruz, Rubio, and Bush are not insufferable jerks toward members of the opposite sex. However, Donald Trump is, and that has worked and will continue to work in her favor.
Besides looking desperate, the use of the woman card has been exhausted. But again, this is an entirely unique election cycle. The normally worn-out card suddenly springs to life when played against Trump and all his serious insecurities.
Hillary Clinton has done something incredible this election year. She has revitalized the use of the woman card by baiting her opponent with one of the groups he believes he knows best: women. Yes, it’s a cheap ploy, but use of the woman card is just that. Instead of noticing the tactic, backing away, and remaining patient as the past is dredged up, Trump takes the bait. Although he believes he is beating Hillary at her own game, he is actually enabling her to perform better than ever. And Hillary could not be happier.