Back in October, the ladies of “The View” decided to take out their political frustrations on Carly Fiorina’s…appearance.

The height of discourse, this show is not.

At any rate, their comments ignited a firestorm of intense politicking that culminated with a second appearance for Fiorina—and a panel in high dudgeon. Whoopi Goldberg kicked things off by bringing up View-gate, and Fiorina took the ball and ran with it.

Via Fox News:

“You know what, look I’ve been called all kinds of things, Whoopi… I’ve been called a bimbo from the time I was a secretary to the time I was a CEO. I think we need to be able to have civil conversations in this country about our differences… so I’d just like to have a conversation about where we agree and where we disagree,” Fiorina said.

Goldberg later asked if Fiorina would be able to handle humor should she become president.

“We saw that you were a little upset with us about a comic comment that was made, so how will you… get a thicker skin to accept some of the humorous things that will be said about you?” Goldberg asked.

“If you meant [the] comment about my face being demented as a Halloween mask as humor, so be it… I have a real thick skin,” Fiorina fired back.

Joy Behar then chimed in, insisting she was a comedian who jokes about all the candidates.

“You know what Joy, you can say whatever you want. I’m not going to stop that,” Fiorina said. “And don’t worry, I have skin plenty thick enough to take whatever people throw at me. I think there are real issues in this nation that we ought to able to discuss in a fact-based [conversation].”

You can watch the full interview here (in two parts):

In this second chunk, Fiorina takes on gender, and the possibility of a final contest between herself and Hillary Clinton. When confronted on why she believes she is Clinton’s “worst nightmare,” Fiorina was quick to call out Clinton’s repeated and blatant use of the gender card, saying, “I would never ask people to vote for me just because I’m a woman. I’m gonna ask people to vote for me because I’m the most qualified person to win this job and do this job, and restore possibilities in this nation.

I am very proud to be a woman. I think it’s awesome that we have two women running for president. But instead of talking about our gender, we ought to be talking about the issues that face this nation. And so what I’ll ask Hillary Clinton to talk about is not her gender, but her track record. Not her gender, but her accomplishments—or lack thereof.

The one thing that turned me on to Carly Fiorina is her ability to counter criticism without coming across as shrill or combative. This is an acquired skill, and one that has clearly carried Fiorina to the top. You can tell the “View” hosts aren’t used to this type of reaction—after all, every member of the panel has defined herself at one point or another by her willingness to shout down anyone with a differing opinion.

At the end of the day, what matters here isn’t Fiorina’s actual appearance on a television show, or the content of her comments (although she manages to bring substance to the table every time I catch her on camera). What really matters is that, time and again, she has proven her ability to control the narrative, control the conversation, and drive her own talking points home without having to worry about whatever is flowing from the other side of the table.

That’s a much more valuable asset than simply being able to shout the loudest. Sorry, Joy!

h/t RCP

Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller