I remember the first time I saw a photo of Carly Fiorina, a former Republican candidate for the US Senate seat currently held by Democrat Barbara Boxer of California. I noticed something about Ms. Fiorina’s eyes, the positioning, the direction of her gaze … something. I did not give it much thought, as there were far more important things to consider, such as issues, in the run up to the election of 2010.
I went to a Honda dealership that election day for some maintenance on my Civic. While waiting for a ride in the dealer’s limo (really just a mini-van), I sat in a small room with free copies of USA Today, donuts and a TV. Two women sat in the room watching, as if in mild subservience, whatever happened to be on TV. I grabbed a newspaper and some donut-holes.
When an ad for senate candidate Carly Fiorina came on, the two women in the room stared at the screen. “Oh, look at those eyes,” said one of them, shaking her head. “She’s lying. I can tell for sure. I don’t trust her. It’s all in the eyes. Don’t vote for her.” To which her friend replied, “Oh yeah, for sure. No way would I vote for her.”
Then an ad for Dancing with the Stars came on. And the two women stared even more intently at the screen; there were several brief shots of couples dancing determinedly, as though it counted for something. “She was really good last week!” said one of the women regarding one of the dancers. “Oh yeah, I like her a lot!” replied her smiling friend.
As for me personally, I had no idea who any of those dancers were, not a single one; though I was to assume, from the program’s title, that some were celebrities. It was November 2010, our nation was in dire straights, Barack Obama already showing himself unequal to the task of being president, California was on the verge of financial ruin, it was election day, and there I sat with two women who knew a good deal about a televised dance contest, yet little about who might represent them for the next six years in the US Senate.
I would imagine they voted that day for the comforting nuance of Barbara Boxer’s eyes – and I don’t even know what color they are.