Today the Los Angeles Times endorsed Sen. Barbara Boxer for senate. Arguing that “the paramount responsibility of a senator is to cast the right votes for her state and her country,” the editorial noted that “Boxer has been a voice — if sometimes a strident one — for values promoted by this editorial page: individual rights, equality, environmental protection and constructive engagement by the federal government with national economic problems, including the crisis in healthcare.”
The Times lauded Boxer’s support for TARP, extending the Bush tax cuts for only the middle class, comprehensive immigration reform, cap-and-trade, California’s assault weapons ban, legal abortion, and gay marriage.
Criticizing Fiorina for “reflect[ing] the doctrinaire conservatism that is ascendant in the Republican Party,” the Times declared that “the contrast between the two candidates couldn’t be starker.”
But it was not an unqualified endorsement for Boxer. Mentioning that “we have criticized Boxer in the past for not exercising influence commensurate with her seniority,” the editorial then chided her about her work as chair of the environment committee, saying that “she has brought creative ideas to the process of crafting a six-year transportation bill, but she bears some responsibility for the panel’s failure to produce one — the legislation is now a year overdue. Part of the problem is an assertiveness that often is perceived as arrogance.”
The Times also expressed the hope that “[Boxer’s] fourth term will be marked by less bluster and more bipartisan achievements.”
During the primary season, the Times refused to endorse a Democratic senate candidate. On Boxer, the paper said that “we find that we’re no fans of incumbent Barbara Boxer. She displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could.”