Carly Fiorina went there. At the “kiddie-table” round of the first 2016 GOP debate, she made a comment aimed right at Hillary Clinton’s personal life, specifically her marriage.
In her opening remarks, Fiorina compared herself to the Democratic front-runner. And she went straight for the Bill Clinton narrative.
” You know, I’m not a political insider; I haven’t spent my lifetime running for office. The truth is, I’ve had and been blessed by a lot of opportunities to do a lot of things in my life. And unlike another woman in this race, I actually love spending time with my husband.”
This comment isn’t entirely unexpected. As Bill Clinton hits the campaign trail, Republicans, especially Donald Trump, have taken to bringing up his past as “fair game.” The Clinton’s marriage is not a new topic of discussion, but Fiorina’s comment might have added new dimension to the overall dialogue in this campaign.
There’s no getting around the gendered aspect of Fiorina’s comment. We often hear male candidates boast of happy marriages. Rick Santorum has seven children, and Jeb Bush defended his wife, Colomba Bush, against Donald Trump in September.
Marriages and personal lives come into debates. But this is one woman comparing her marriage to another woman’s. This is one candidate claiming that enjoying time with her husband makes her a better female candidate than her fellow female candidate. This is different.