California politicians use ‘Barbie’ for their political goals

Nabil Anas
Nabil Anas

Global Courant

Barbie can be anything she wants to be: astronaut, mother, teacher, doctor, princess, president.

She can also apparently be a mascot for a whole host of political causes.

Call it corny or cutesy, but California politicians have jumped aboard the hot pink bandwagon on the heels — stilettos, of course — of all the “Barbie” movie hype in recent days.

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“Not only was this iconic character created in Malibu, California, but Barbie also embraces many of the values ​​that make California the Golden State,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. tweeted.

In a poison-drenched Twitter thread, the Democratic governor — who has touted the “California way” as what he considers an antidote to red state policies — noted that Barbie has more than 200 jobs and that the Golden State has “more scientists, researchers, professional sports teams, engineers and Nobel laureates than any other state.”

She is also a righteous surfer, the governor stressed. And she is a “climate champion” who drives an electric vehicle. (Yes, Mattel, an El Segundo-based company, really makes a lavender electric convertible car for Barbie dolls, complete with charging dock.)

Buzz about this weekend’s double openings of “Barbie,” the PG-13 comedy directed by Greta Gerwig, and “Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s R-rated historical biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, has, well, broken the internet, as the kids say.

Cue the “Barbenheimer” memes.

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“Barbie” just had the biggest opening weekend of 2023, grossing $155 million in the US and Canada and scoring the all-time best domestic debut for a title directed by a woman.

“Oppenheimer” opened in second place and earned $80.5 million.

The openings were a bright spot for a film industry beset by writers’ and actors’ labor strikes. And it’s been talked about, it seems, by just about everyone.

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With all the hype, it was perhaps inevitable that politicians would try to use the ever-mouldable Barbie to score political points.

In a TikTok video posted last week, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) rode a Bay Area Rapid Transit train in a pair of bright pink stilettos

“Wake up baby, the new public transport Barbie just dropped,” he wrote.

“Did someone say BARTbie?”

The California State Assembly Democratic Caucus posted a TikTok with its members as Barbies and Kens. The caption read, “This Barbie is dedicated to serving the voters of California.”

For the past few days, crowds of Twitter users have been trying to guess whether each of their US senators would look at “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer” first.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) tweeted a picture of himself and Senator Cory Booker (DN.J.) on Capitol Hill, hunched over, apparently deep in conversation.

“Deciding whether to buy tickets for ‘Oppenheimer’ or ‘Barbie’ this weekend. Which one do you think we should see first? he tweeted late last week with some eyeball emojis.

California’s other Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein — who has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent months about her age, health and ability to perform the duties of her job — has not publicly weighed in on the debate between “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”

She, or one of her staff, tweeted late last week that she was “deeply saddened to learn of Tony Bennett’s passing.”

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield, started last week a two-part movie night in the Capitol for members of Congress. It started with a screening – not of ‘Barbie’ or ‘Oppenheimer’, but of Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film ‘Lincoln’.

‘And Barbie? We demand a Barbie show for members,” tweeted Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Long Beach) with fingernails being painted emoji.

He had before shared one twot with him on a fake Barbie poster that reads, “This Ken is the first LGBTQ+ immigrant in Congress.”

And he got in a Twitter jab over a photo of Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and his wife dressed in pink, attending a “Barbie” premiere.

Garcia quoted the photo saying, “Oh, look, it’s White Nationalist Ken.”

In a Twitter direct message to The Times on Sunday, Garcia said he spent the weekend at Comic-Con in San Diego, where he was photographed on the picket lines with notable members of the Screen Actors Guild.

“But tomorrow I’m going to see ‘Barbie’!” He wrote.

California politicians use ‘Barbie’ for their political goals

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