This is a wacky year, politically, and it bids to be wackily wonderful, for Republicans. High on their wish list is the defeat of Barbara Boxer, the longtime senator from California. She is being challenged by a Republican newcomer: Carly Fiorina, a lifelong businesswoman. Boxer is the favorite in the race. But if strange things happen on Election Day, a Boxer defeat could be one of them — and Republicans will be dancing in the streets.
She is possibly the leftmost member of the Senate, Boxer is. And she is maybe the most partisan in style. (It’s been 15 years since Howard Metzenbaum served.) Boxer can be strident, shrill, and other things you must never call a woman. She is quite unlike the other senator from California, Dianne Feinstein. DiFi’s a liberal Democrat, all right: but she occasionally departs from liberal orthodoxy, and you can work with her. Boxer does not mingle much with Republicans. And, ideologically, she’s true-blue, or true-something. Boxer has a good deal in common with Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Both women grew up in the East, Boxer in Brooklyn, Pelosi in Baltimore; and both went west to San Francisco, to become scrappy heroines of the Left.