In a last-ditch effort to steal the spotlight from Trump, Ted Cruz has announced Carly Fiorina as his future vice presidential running mate. You might remember Fiorina as the woman in the red suits who never seemed to get a chance speak during the GOP debates. The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard dropped out of the race a few months ago, but with the help of Cruz, she's making a comeback. Or is she? Cruz picking Fiorina may seem like a big step forward for women in politics, but it's actually two steps back.
Let's look at the facts. Ted Cruz has only been a senator for one term, so he has very limited political experience. Therefore, the logical choice would be to select a running mate with some Washington insider knowledge. Instead, he chooses someone with even less experience than himself. Carly Fiorina has never held a position in public office. Her connections on the hill are very limited. Though she may have been a powerful business woman, she adds no valuable political experience to Cruz's campaign. At this stage in the race, there is no need for Cruz to pick a running mate. Presidential nominees are the only ones that need a running mate, and there are still three Republican candidates left.
Why then, did Cruz pick her? It could be that he wants to attract more voters. But if you go back a few months and look at Fiorina's ratings, she was never very popular. Sure, she may have had a loyal fan base, but it was nowhere near the numbers Cruz would need to overtake Trump. One could argue that he picked her up to attract female voters. But this is also a poor move on Cruz's part. Republicans are three times less likely than Democrats to pick a candidate just because she's a female. In fact, it's been said that Fiorina had a hard time breaking through to female voters. Coupled with the fact that she doesn't support basic women's rights, you'd be hard-pressed to find any self-respecting woman that would be swayed to vote for Cruz just by adding a female vice president. John McCain tried the same strategy with Sarah Palin in 2008, and where did they end up? Not in the White House.
So if Cruz didn't pick her for her experience or her fan base, then why did he pick her? The answer is simple -- because she is a woman. Because women and women's rights are a hot topic in the media right now, and he knows it will get him attention from the press. If Cruz can't fight the Trump media craze, he may as well join it. What better way to do so than to pick the woman Trump so publicly insulted? It's no secret that Trump is a yuuuge misogynist. By bringing Fiorina back into the mix, Cruz is clearly hoping to get a rise out of Trump and even take some of Trump's supporters. Ted Cruz simply wants to use her controversial status to aid his own campaign.
The problem is not that Carly Fiorina is a woman. It's that Ted Cruz picked her because she is a woman. It would be different if he selected her for her political talents or for her political experience. But the fact that he picked her for her gender, and not for her talents, completely undermines the fight for gender equality. It's an insult to Carly Fiorina and an insult to women everywhere. We have so much more to offer than just a gender label. It just goes to show that Ted Cruz is extremely disconnected from the needs of women and the desires of the Republican voters if he thinks this move will rescue his campaign.