California Republicans Meg Whitman, candidate for governor, and Carly Fiorina, candidate for Senate, both triumphed over male challengers in their respective primaries Tuesday. Feminist columnist and author Gail Collins greeted the news...sourly, not even mentioning the female angle in "Rise of the Richies ," her Thursday column marking the results.
Collins, the paper's former editorial page editor, is also author of two books on the history of women in America and has written articles tracking and lamenting the lack of political progress of American women. But today she was concerned more about the immense wealth of the candidates than the prospect of California electing its first female Republican governor and first Republican female senator. A sour reception indeed:
Whitman, as the world now knows, is the former chief executive of eBay who won the Republican gubernatorial nomination by spending $71 million of her own money.
Collins would evidently prefer that Whitman had won with someone else's money - perhaps through public financing of elections.
Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina, a fellow former C.E.O., snagged the party's Senate nomination by spending several million dollars of her fortune on last-minute ads. She was running against a well-thought-of former elected official who wasn't particularly wealthy and was crushed, crushed, crushed.
Collins pivoted to a call for campaign finance reform and joined Obama in slamming a Supreme Court decision that was a blow to the liberal version of "campaign finance reform," expanding the free speech of businesses to fund campaign advertising during elections.
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