Heidi Heitkamp Surrogate Makes Sexist Sexism Accusation
Despite attempting to anoint herself as a positive campaigner with polling done by Democrat pollsters for the Democrat party using a Democrat-provided sample of respondents, Heidi Heitkamp has been running a pretty ugly campaign against Rick Berg. The “war on women” has been central to that campaign, with Heitkamp accusing Berg in ads of “attacks on women” and of not wanting to fight domestic violence because he didn’t vote for a deeply flawed Violence Agaisnt Women Act.
But just when I thought this “war on women” stuff couldn’t get any sillier, a surrogate for Heidi Heitkamp wrote this letter to the Fargo Forum from Barbara Lee – founder and president of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation in Cambridge, Massachusetts – which accuses Berg of sexism for not recognizing that women have more integrity than men.
U.S. Senate candidate and Congressman Rick Berg’s newest ad is a typical attack on female candidates by their male opponents (using women, in this instance, to attack Heidi Heitkamp). It fails to mention his policy stances, priorities or potential to lead. Instead, the ad attempts to demean Heitkamp’s integrity – a strategy we’ve seen men repeatedly use against women.
The TV spot depicts four older women sitting in a diner, attacking Heitkamp’s character. The ad is a clear example of a larger, well-worn strategy men use against female opponents to try to undercut a long-held advantage for women candidates: their integrity.
The Barbara Lee Family Foundation’s research on women running for executive office shows that voters give women an advantage on honesty and ethics over their male counterparts. Female candidates have held this advantage in our gubernatorial research over the past decade. Knowing this, male opponents try to knock women off their political pedestals by launching negative attacks on their trustworthiness and honesty early in the campaign. Berg is no exception.
Instead of using attacks based on gender, let’s focus on the candidates’ records instead.
So women have more integrity than men? Isn’t that sort of, you know, sexist?
I know I’m just a lowly political blogger, but I have been following politics for a while now, and I’m pretty sure political candidates always try to undermine the honesty of their opponents whatever their gender. In fact, Heitkamp has been trying to undermine Berg’s honesty since the first days of her campaign.
Should we believe that Heitkamp is anti-male? Or is gender bias only an issue when it’s a man being critical of a woman instead of vice-versa?
That seems to be the standard Heitkamp and her supporters are using. If you’re a man, and you’re criticizing a woman, then it’s a “war on women” or something.
Really, the only people who have been bringing gender up in North Dakota’s Senate race are Heidi Heitkamp and her surrogates. For everyone else, Heitkamp’s gender really doesn’t matter, and nor should it. Heitkamp would be a terrible leader for North Dakota, not because she’s a woman, but because he is a practitioner of the sort of big-government, free-spending political leadership this country doesn’t need.Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News