South Carolina was the scene Wednesday as two polar opposite female presidential candidates mysteriously keynoted two political events that were being held in the very same venue. Hillary Clinton spoke for a closed meeting of Democratic women. She took no questions from reporters. Fiorina spoke at a meeting of the South Carolina House Republican Caucus.
Fiorina, however, took full advantage of the situation and met with reporters on the sidewalk outside the venue. Drawing a sharp contrast between herself and Hillary, Fiorina blasted Hillary for hiding from the media by refusing to take questions in most of the places she has been thus far. By contrast, Fiorina pointed out her consistent accessibility to reporters and has never hesitated to answer their questions.
Both candidates spoke on “equal pay for equal work” at their respective meetings. Hillary claims she is a relentless champion for the cause, but she managed to get in a few of her infamous and persistent lies in doing so.
Hillary stated, “We could get get equal pay for equal work if only Republicans would support it,” she said. “Republicans have blocked proposed legislation that would be fair to women in the workplace,” she claimed.
A quick fact check, however, tells an entirely different story. Women lag behind men in pay across the spectrum, even in the federal government, no matter who is providing the jobs in question — Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and every shade of political nuance in between. This is due to a multiplicity of reasons, such as the fact that men outnumber women in the top paying jobs by a large margin. In addition, many women are willing to take less pay in exchange for some extra leeway during their child bearing years. Extensive research by the Pew Research Center tells the story.
But even more jolting is the fact that Hillary herself has done little to make sure women are paid the same as men. While serving as a U.S. Senator from New York prior to her joining the Obama Administration, the record shows that Hillary paid her female employees 28 cents on the dollar less than she paid men. And she continued to pay women at a lower rate than men while Secretary of State.
It is obvious that Fiorina had these facts on her mind as she answered questions from the press on the sidewalk, and she certainly did not skirt the issue in her speech before the South Carolina House Republican Caucus. The former head of Hewitt-Packard has been dazzling audiences around the country with her candor, her courage, and her gift for the articulate as she speaks off the cuff and thinks fast on her feet in answering reporters’ questions.
Hillary has never been popular in South Carolina and lost big here to Barack Obama in 2008. There is no evidence to indicate any movement upward this year. And Fiorina obviously stands willing and able to step up to the plate while Hillary continues to shy away from the press, perhaps out the fear that she will be inundated with questions that will cause her great embarrassment.