By Nancy Kaffer
Detroit Free Press.
All this time, I thought the GOP didn’t get me.
I thought that I’d never vote for a Republican candidate, as we just don’t have the same positions. Because Republicans are constantly working to undermine my ability to control whether, when and how often I become pregnant, or to be paid the same wage as equally qualified men in the same job. Because they’re chopping away massive chunks of the social safety net, which disproportionately hurts women with children. Or because we differ significantly on foreign policy.
But now — now — I get it, thanks to an ad paid for by the College Republican National Committee endorsing Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who is facing Democratic challenger Mark Schauer in the Nov. 4 election.
This ad, it changed my life. What do I want? To get married. In a dress that’s stylish, modern and affordable. Just like Rick Snyder.
That may not make sense to you. It may seem reductionist, surreal, maybe even absurd. That’s because you haven’t seen this ad.
In this minute-long spot of epic campaign brilliance, a recent college graduate and undecided voter named Brittney tries on a cute strapless number in a wedding boutique. It’s got a rhinestone belt and a tiered skirt. Just like Rick Snyder.
“Rick Snyder is becoming a trusted brand!” Brittney carols, echoing the words of literally millions of college students, as her friends ooh and ahh.
But Brittney’s mom, Gloria, a fuddy-duddy liberal Democrat, is having none of it. Now, some of you may be put off by the fact that this ad is being used in races across the country, with different candidates’ names dubbed in. Not me. The universal appeal just shows how thoroughly the GOP understands ladies.
Gloria (whose hair, frankly, could use a little brushing) urges Brittney to choose “the Mark Schauer,” also a strapless wedding gown, but more expensive and with a lace overlay, sheer long sleeves and extra costs, for a thick rope of pearls and a bouffant veil. Just like Mark Schauer.
I know, right now you’re probably freaking out a little bit. I mean, Brittney trusts her mom, right? And her mom is pushing Schauer. Her friends are, like, “We cannot let her walk out of the voting booth like that!” Brittney musters up her courage, and tells her mom she’s picking Snyder. “Brittney said ‘yes’ to Rick Snyder!” the voice-over proudly proclaims, as the ladies clink champagne glasses.
(I got a little confused at this part — I know it’s hard to follow, but Brittney is not marrying Rick Snyder. She is just buying the dress that would be Rick Snyder, if Rick Snyder were a wedding dress.)
So, I get it now. I thought the GOP and I had significant ethical and policy differences. I thought we veered far apart on social causes, like gay marriage, or economic issues, like monetary policy. That was before I saw the ad. Now I understand. The Democrats’ progressive policy looks like it aligns with my priorities, but I have been overthinking this way too much.
The Republicans understand that I need a fashionable, modern appearance, a husband and a wedding dress. Just like Rick Snyder.
I admit, I’m a bit older than the demographic that this ad is trying to reach. I think the fact that this ad spoke to me so strongly is just one more testament to the timelessness of its message, to how utterly well-crafted it is.
If we can just get this ad in front of every woman in Michigan before Nov. 4, Rick Snyder can win this thing in a landslide, propelled by the votes of ladies who just want to get married. Ladies just like me.