El Dorado News-Times

Ah, Nikki. Change your shoes

- FROMA HARROP Columnist Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarro­p. She can be reached at fharrop@ gmail.com.

Nikki Haley is running for the Republican presidenti­al nomination. Her pitch is time-for-a-new-generation. Also a new gender. She proposes requiring mental competency tests for any president over the age of 75. That would apply both to the Democrat incumbent, Joe Biden, and Republican candidate Donald Trump. The former South Carolina governor is 51.

As for the gender part, she’s dug into the costume box of female candidates wanting to seem tough and pulled out high heels with pointy toes. In this, she trods the path already pitted by the likes of Kari Lake and, on the Democratic side, Kamala Harris.

The ability of the pointy toes to wedge into corners earned them the nickname of roach killers. And a stiletto heel pressed into an attacker’s metatarsal­s could do a good bit of damage.

Leaning into this theme, Haley proclaimed in her campaign launch video, “I don’t put up with bullies, and, when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels.”

Unfortunat­ely, that was followed by a Fox News interview where she passed on the opportunit­y to kick back at her only declared opponent. Sean Hannity asked her for an example of how she disagrees with Trump. No answer was the answer. He asked her again. Same unfilled blank.

“What they don’t understand,” she has said, “is I don’t have to be 100 percent Trump or 100 percent Anti Trump … I say what I think. When you’re doing something, right, I support you. When you’re doing something wrong. I call you out for it.”

So here’s a soft ball: Did you think Trump was wrong in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election? This woman won’t swing.

I am not alone among voters of various political stripes who believe this: If you support an insurrecti­on, I don’t care what else. I’m done.

Younger women have been forsaking high heels even before the pandemic, according to Beth Goldstein, an analyst of footwear trends at NPD Group. She told InStyle magazine that millennial and Gen Z profession­als “revolution­ized work culture by rotating Golden Goose high-tops and No. 6 clogs into their wardrobes.”

Sky-high heels were all the rage in “Sex and the City.” But, you know, “Sex and the City” was a long time ago — though it may seem like yesterday to the Boomers now packing the Republican Party.

Yours truly would not join the pack of word police howling about sexist microaggre­ssions, but CNN’s Don Lemon blew the door open on the unbridled sexism and ageism that Haley thought she was finessing. He argued that “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime.” Prime for women, he said, is their 20s, 30s, “maybe 40s.”

Lemon got yelled at for being sexist, but his bigger crime is intellectu­al inadequacy. The source that Lemon, age 56, cited for declaring a women five years younger than he as no longer in her prime was Google.

Trump, meanwhile, has yet to include Haley in his treasury of insults regarding women’s looks. She is going to need running shoes to outpace a bottom-feeder like him. Haley is clearly a long shot, but ditching pointy toes for sharper counteratt­acks would be the way to go.

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