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petegz28
08-17-2009, 07:51 AM
Democrat Barbara Boxer's quest for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate may give Californians a chance to pass judgment on Washington in the Obama era: Do voters approve of the early performance of the Democratic president and Congress? Or is it time to restore more power to Republicans, in this case to a controversial former Silicon Valley CEO making her first run for elective office?

What looks increasingly likely is that Boxer will be in for the re-election fight of her career. While she has yet to announce her candidacy, all signs point to a run by Republican Carly Fiorina, the charismatic ex-chief of Hewlett-Packard who was ousted from her job in 2005 and last year served as a top surrogate for John McCain's presidential bid.

Fiorina would bring a combination of traits to the race never faced before by Boxer: She is a woman with the wherewithal to pump millions of her own dollars into her candidacy and probably raise millions more from others. And historically, the election after a president first takes office has not been kind to the party in charge at the White House. Exhibit A is 1994, when Democrats lost control of Congress halfway into President Bill Clinton's first term.

In this case, analysts say, the 2010 California Senate election is expected to be at least partly a referendum on the policies of Obama and the Democratic Congress from health care to immigration to climate change. And as chairman of the Senate committee shaping global warming legislation in the coming months, Boxer will have little distance from the president for better or worse.

As Obama's fortunes go over the next 14 months, in other words, so might Boxer's.

"Like almost any Democrat, she carries the burden of the party that controls the White House and Congress and the voters' pleasure, or lack thereof, in what the Democratic majority produces," said Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. "And as the Senate takes up climate change, Boxer is in something of a hot seat as chairman of the committee. That could be a blessing and a curse."

Those uncertainties notwithstanding, Boxer enters the race a solid favorite, Duffy and others say. With three terms under her belt in the Senate going on 18 years Boxer, 68, is both a known quantity and a staunch Democrat in a state with a growing Democratic voter edge.

She is also known as an aggressive fundraiser and campaigner and will no doubt take the fight to Fiorina, 54, whose business career and personal background have never been subjected to the scrutiny of a statewide political campaign.

During last year's presidential race, Fiorina remarked that she is personally anti-abortion and defended companies, including H-P, that sent jobs overseas to take advantage of lower taxes. She was also forced to answer questions about the severance package she received worth tens of millions of dollars when she was ousted at H-P in 2005 after a stormy six-year run at the iconic Silicon Valley company.

Fiorina can expect questions about those issues, and many others, to rise to a crescendo if she jumps in the race. Boxer's camp already is characterizing Fiorina's views as "right wing."

"I've heard Carly Fiorina described as a moderate, but on a woman's right to choose, (she) is out of step with most California voters," said Rose Kapolczynski, Boxer's campaign consultant.

An aide to Fiorina declined to comment on anything related to a possible campaign other than to say that the former HP chief is seriously considering running, as she has been for months. Fiorina has put off a decision as she receives treatment for breast cancer, with which she was diagnosed earlier this year. She is reportedly recovering well.

Boxer is not without her own question marks. A staunch liberal, she appeals mainly to the Democratic base rarely have her approval ratings topped 50 percent since she was first elected senator in 1993, according to the California Field Poll.

Other factors do not bode well for Boxer. A fierce critic of George W. Bush, she won't have the former president to kick around anymore. On the flip side, Obama will not be atop the ticket to boost Democratic turnout. And the type of bare-knuckle campaigning Boxer has embraced in the past against male opponents may be trickier to pull off against Fiorina. (Republican state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore has already entered the Senate race but likely would be overwhelmed by Fiorina's fundraising advantage.)

At a more fundamental level, political analysts say Fiorina almost certainly would be a more formidable challenger than Boxer has faced before.

The senator "has been somewhat fortunate in the past in drawing candidates who are ... often too conservative" for California's left-of-center electorate, said Bruce Cain, director of the UC Washington Center. "That has allowed her to win her races without a great deal of trouble."

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_13095441?nclick_check=1

BucEyedPea
08-17-2009, 07:53 AM
Isn't she the one who ran HP into the ground? I believe so.

petegz28
08-17-2009, 07:57 AM
Isn't she the one who ran HP into the ground? I believe so.

Yes, she is.

BucEyedPea
08-17-2009, 08:00 AM
Even with that, still an improvement over Boxer.

petegz28
08-17-2009, 08:10 AM
Even with that, still an improvement over Boxer.

Anything (almost) would be an improvement over that witch.