2020 July 28 Mattel has announced that it will release its license seventh president Barbie. They’ve released one in almost every cycle since 1992, but of course America hasn’t seen Barbie in the Oval Cabinet yet. But this year, for the first time, Mattel gave her a campaign team. Candidate Barbie 2020 arrived with the campaign manager, fundraiser and one (1) voter. At Barbie’s camp, there was hope again that it might be the year she won.
Looking ahead to 2020 November 4 In the alternate universe, four women discuss with NPR how Barbie lost her presidency again. Candidate Barbie and campaign manager Barbie speak from a hotel hall in downtown Miami shortly after the concession speech. Fundraiser Barbie talks via Zoom from her home in Connecticut. Voter Barbie talks out of her kitchen in the Suburbs, USA.
How the campaign started
CANDIDATE BARBIE: [pours scotch] This was my seventh run. And this is the last one, I swear to God.
SPONSOR: [stubs out cigarette] I joined this campaign with a heartbeat. I mean the fundraising potential ̵1; it’s BARBIE.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I mean, yeah, she got lost again. And she suggested a two-person campaign team. How did she think it would work? But then I thought … thinking about the name recognition a woman has. I mean, who will reject it? Of course, I said yes when she asked me.
VOICE: Sure, I was interested in her. It’s been so long. And so smart, put together and fulfilled. She did every job there. Why can’t I keep it?
CANDIDATE BARBIE: I’ve been running for president since you were in the media, even taking women candidates seriously. I was of different races, different nationalities – I tried to overcome all kinds of obstacles. I’ve been running for president since there were a lot of those biggest politicians out there any gender or race, even got into politics.[pause] Well OK. Joe Biden ran before I did. But anyway.
How the campaign worked
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You are absolutely right that it is difficult to run a campaign without a party or positions. Any language was essentially half an hour long.
CANDIDATE BARBIE: Besides, “I’ll create jobs,” I said nothing insignificant. But I have political views! I swear I do! For example- [campaign manager lunges at her, clamps hand over her mouth. Both fall to floor, wrestle for 30 seconds.]
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: [gets up, dusts self off] Candy. Even now it cannot be done.
CANDIDATE BARBIE: But I came up with a sheet of paper that could be a platform! I must believe something!
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: [pours a glass for each of them] Yes, but too little to read. For good reason.
VOICE: Candidate Barbie looked pretty enough. I think I wanted her to say a little more about what she stood for, but not angrily or otherwise.
SPONSOR: [lights new cigarette, deep drag] About [expletive] Of course, we took corporate money. We were created by a huge international corporation. You think we will change that [expletive] down?
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: But seriously, we couldn’t say too much about Barbie’s beliefs. Do you know how hard it is to assemble voter Barbie? She is a blank canvas! I mean, she’s not a protest Barbie or a conspiracy theory Barbie. She is “Voter Barbie”. How the hell do we tempt her? It is best to stay harmless.
VOTER: Fundraiser Barbie will call me anytime. At dinner. In the middle of my kids soccer games.
FUNDRAISER BARBIE: Look, we had that sweet Mattel money, but we needed small dollar victims. I had to show voter Barbie that candidate Barbie supports ordinary people. So yes, I sucked Water Barbie for the victims. A lot.
VOTER: OK. I don’t have many opinions, but fundraiser Barbie needs to relax.
SPONSOR: [stubs cigarette out on campaign button] I excuse the moment the voter hits it [expletive] $ 2800 limit.
About communicating with sexism
CANDIDATE BARBIE: Break the glass ceiling? In this case? The chances of a woman having this figure are almost the same. [motions to her own DD-cup breasts and 22-inch waist]
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I’m so sick of that joke.
VOICE: Candidate Barbie is not married. That’s weird, right?
CANDIDATE BARBIE: [draining scotch] Okay, I’ll take it back. Girls can do anything. I know that. Remember to print: “girls can do anything.” [glares] Make. Of course. You print it.
Voter: I’ll be honest: I just wasn’t one hundred percent sure she was elected.
SPONSOR: [gestures with cigarette for emphasis] I am subconsciously proud to work for a single woman, I will tell you that.
VOTER: You know what I mean, right? I mean me wanted vote for her. But is there anyone else?
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: O. Mano. God. It’s “is she elected?” thing. Voter Barbie said that same thing in each target group. But, like … LITERALS ONLY VOICE.
SPONSOR: [unintelligible string of expletives]
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: LITERALS VOICE ONLY.
Because of the loss … or maybe even give up
FUNDRAISER: That head worked so hard. You have to feel a little bad about it.
CANDIDATE BARBIE: Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel. Finally allow yourself to be me. Lay down a few pounds, do the surgery to calm your feet, write everything down, and finally have some opinions.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You don’t mean that.
CANDIDATE BARBIE: [leans forward] Okay, journalist lady. I will tell you my approach to abortion, but we have nothing else.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: [sighs, rubs forehead, pours four fingers of scotch] You’re really not going to run again, are you?
SPONSOR: [casually puts cigarette out on tongue] Oh, I don’t think I’m getting out of the game. Like, yes, I could start with a super PAC, but that’s a cowardly way out. Maybe I’ll convince one of the Bratz girls to run. I don’t think they’re doing anything these days.
VOTER: Thank God they made me not a pointed leg. I had to stand there waiting for five hours to vote. Yes, it was a test.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I stress again: she is a VOTER ONLY.
Voter: Yes. I waited five hours. Why do you ask?