On July 28, 2020, Mattel announced that he would release the seventh presidential Barbie. They’ve released one in almost every cycle since 1992, but of course, America has yet to see Barbie in the Oval Office. But this year, for the first time, Mattel gave her a campaign team. The Barbie 2020 Candidate came out with a campaign manager, fundraiser, and one (1) voter. There was renewed hope in Barbie’s camp that this could be the year she won.
Flash ahead on November 4, 2020. In some alternate universe somewhere, the four women discuss with NPR how Barbie lost the presidency again. Barbie Candidate and Barbie Campaign Manager speak from a hotel lounge in Downtown Miami, shortly after the concession speech. Barbie talks of funds through Zoom from her home in Connecticut. A Barbie voter speaks from her kitchen in Suburbia, USA.
How the campaign started
BARBIE CANDIDATE: [pours scotch] This was my seventh run. And it is the last, I swear to God.
FUNDRAISER: [stubs out cigarette] I signed up on that heartbeat campaign. I mean, think about the fundraising potential ̵1; she’s BARBIE.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I mean, yeah, she lost more and more. And she was proposing a two-person campaign team How did you think it would work? But then, I thought … think about recognizing the name the woman has. I mean, who will drop it? Of course, I said yes when you asked me.
VOTER: Sure, I was interested in it. It has been in this long time. And so smart and put together and accomplished. She did all the work there. Why didn’t I consider it?
CANDIDATE BARBIE: I’ve been running for president since before the media people even took female candidates seriously. I was a different race, a different ethnicity – I tried to break down all sorts of barriers. I came to president long before many of those bigtime politicians any gender or race, even entered politics.[pause] Well, OK. Joe Biden ran before I ever did. But still.
How the campaign works
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You are very right that it is difficult to run a campaign without a party or positions. Each speech was basically half an hour of platitude.
BARBIE CANDIDATE: Beyond “I’m going to create jobs,” I didn’t say anything of substance. 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] Cute. Even now, you can’t do that.
Barbie CANDIDATE: But it came up with a piece of paper that could be a platform! I have to believe something!
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: [pours a glass for each of them] Yes, but it is too small to read. For good reason.
VOTER: Barbie’s candidate looked pretty enough. I guess I wanted to tell her a little more about what she was, but not in an angry way or anything.
FUNDRAISER: [lights new cigarette, deep drag] Tal [expletive] of course we took corporate money. We are made up of a massive multinational corporation. You think it’s going to change [expletive] down?
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: But seriously, we can’t say too much about Barbie’s beliefs. Do you know how hard the Barbie Voter is to avoid down? Hi canvas blank! I mean, she’s not a Barbie Protest or Barbie of Conspiracy Theory. She’s a “Barbie Voter.” How the hell are we rocking her? Better to stay non-offensive.
VOTER: Barbie’s fundraiser calls all the time. At dinner. In the middle of my children’s soccer games.
FUNDRAISER BARBIE: Look, we had that sweet Mattel money, but we needed it small dollar donations. I had to show Voter Barbie that Candidate Barbie has support from the grassroots. So yeah, I pumped Barbie Voter for donations. Many.
VOTER: OK. I don’t have many opinions, but the Barbie Fundraiser needs reeling.
FUNDRAISER: [stubs cigarette out on campaign button] I want to be afraid of the moment a voter meets her [expletive] $ 2,800 limit.
When we deal with sexism
BARBIE CANDIDATE: Do you break the glass ceiling? At this point? There is about as much chance as there is of a real woman having this figure. [motions to her own DD-cup breasts and 22-inch waist]
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I’m so sick of that joke.
VOTER: Barbie’s unmarried candidate. That’s weird, isn’t it?
BARBIE CANDIDATE: [draining scotch] Ok, I take it back. Girls can do anything. I know that. Please be sure to print that: “girls can do anything.” [glares] Do it. Sure. You have to print that.
VOTER: To be honest: I just wasn’t one hundred percent sure I was eligible.
FUNDRAISER: [gestures with cigarette for emphasis] I was proud as hell to work for one woman, I tell you so.
VOTER: You know what that means, right? I mean, I do he wanted nivvotaha. But anyone else?
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Oh. My. Alla. Who “is elected?” thing. Barbie voter said this the same thing in each focus group. But, like … she’s LITERALLY THE ONLY VOTER.
FUNDRAISER: [unintelligible string of expletives]
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: LITERALLY THE VOTER ONLY.
Who loses … and maybe gives up
FUNDRAISER: Li ˙adem gal tant. You want to feel a little bad for her.
BARBIE CANDIDATE: Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel. In the end let me be myself. Put on a few pounds, have surgery to put your feet up, write tell-all, at last you get some opinions.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You don’t mean that.
BARBIE CANDIDATE: [leans forward] OK, female reporter. I’ll tell you my views on abortion, but we have to go by the fact.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: [sighs, rubs forehead, pours four fingers of scotch] You’re really not planning to work again, are you?
FUNDRAISER: [casually puts cigarette out on tongue] Ohhh, I don’t think I’m going to get out of the game. Like, yes, I can start a super pac, but that’s the cowardly way. Maybe I’ll convince one of the Bratz girls to run. They’re not doing anything these days, I don’t think.
VOTER: Thank God you made me with my feet not pointed. I had to stop there waiting five hours to vote. So yeah, that was a remedy.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I stress again: she is the ONLY VOTER.
VOTE: Yeah. Five hours I waited. Why are you asking?