In an effort to get a little more attention to their flagging campaigns, three primary contenders for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Colorado decided to have a debate Tuesday night on the topic of “Women and Colorado’s Future.” Candidates Bob Beauprez, Mike Kopp, and Scott Gessler all attended, while Tom Tancredo, who is way ahead of the rest of them in the polls, was able to turn his nose up to this whole charade and stay at home. The debate was hosted on the extremely friendly grounds of Colorado Christian University, and a panel of women shared the stage with the candidates, peppering them with questions.
What made this particular debate one for the ladies? Mostly, because they used The Dating Game theme song, aka “Spanish Flea” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
“Bachelor one, bachelor two, bachelor three!” announced the moderator John Andrews. “Actually, their wives are all here tonight,” he hastily added, lest anyone start to get any funny ideas.
Unfortunately for anyone watching this, the moderator and the panelists did not follow through on the game show conceit. No one was asked, “If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?” or “What are three things that you want to happen on a first date?” Nor, despite framing women as “people that are here so men have someone to date,” did anyone bother to get clarity on how the candidates felt about women’s access to sexual health care that dating necessitates. Indeed, any woman-specific issues were pointedly ignored, according to the Colorado Independent:
There was nothing of note said about the heated subject of women’s health — about efforts in Washington and state capitols around the country including in Denver to shutter reproductive health and abortion clinics, to defund Planned Parenthood, to restrict access to contraception at state clinics, about the hardline anti-abortion “personhood” proposal likely to land on Colorado voter ballots this year — nothing on domestic violence policies and protections, university campus sexual harassment and assault, equal opportunities at school and in the workplace, discriminatory insurance policies, affordable day care, or even in any depth gender disparities in pay — the subject this week of national headlines after the firing of New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson.
Indeed, one of the questioners objected to even acknowledging the existence of female-specific issues, contemptuously declaring that she resented “being appealed to below the belt” by the Dems and adding, “As if my vote could be bought with free contraception.” Instead, it will be bought with swinging ‘60s theme songs.