Monday morning’s Jolt begins thus…
Feeling Boxed In By Their Options
Newspaper endorsements generally don’t move many votes – ask Creigh Deeds how endless love letters from the Washington Post helped him in last year’s governor’s race – and the polls have looked a little better for Barbara Boxer lately. But the San Francisco Chronicle editors’ refusal to endorse Boxer as one might expect has to be a big morale hit for them. In a way, the non-endorsement reinforces the point I tried to make with last week’s series, that entirely separate from her very liberal voting record, there are a lot of reasons to want to see Boxer out of the Senate: her purchasing of endorsements, the five-figure expenses tied to her jaunts to do “official business” at beach resorts, her 143 bounced checks for more than $40,000 in three years, her massive payments to her family from campaign funds, and her amazing capacity to remember things that didn’t happen.
A Republican watching this race closely flagged the editorial and told me, “this has got to be devastating news for Team Boxer… This is the most liberal paper in the state, pretty much.” I’m not sure it’s devastating, but you have to figure a San Francisco paper’s endorsement of a Democrat was one of those factors the Boxer campaign took for granted, on par with the continued presence of gravity.
It is clear that the editors disagree with Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina on policy; if elected, she wouldn’t vote the way the Chronicle leaders would prefer. Even though Boxer would, they can’t give her a thumbs-up: “he incumbent, Democrat Barbara Boxer, has failed to distinguish herself during her 18 years in office. There is no reason to believe that another six-year term would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation… For some Californians, Boxer’s reliably liberal voting record may be reason enough to give her another six years in office. But we believe Californians deserve more than a usually correct vote on issues they care about. They deserve a senator who is accessible, effective and willing and able to reach across party lines to achieve progress on the great issues of our times. Boxer falls short on those counts.”
There’s even something of an unintended compliment to Fiorina: “In past elections, Boxer has had the good fortune of having Republican opponents who were inept, underfunded, on the fringe right – or combinations thereof. Her opponent this time, Fiorina, is proving to be articulate, well-funded and formidable.