“Somebody” emerges to challenge Boxer

Carly Fiorina smoked her opponents in the California Senate Republican primary yesterday. She captured approximately 57 percent of the vote, compared to 22 percent for Tom Campbell and 19 percent for Chuck DeVore.
I have a few reservations about Fiorina. However, I’ve come to believe that she is potentially a very strong candidate for the Senate. She will need to be. California is a Blue State and Sen. Barbara Boxer, though vulnerable in a year like this one, is a tough customer.
But Fiorina’s assets seem considerable. She’s bright, attractive, and rich. Moreover, having never held public office, and not to my knowledge having made many controversial pronouncements, she doesn’t give the opposition much to shoot at.
Fiorina might be an ideal candidate, but for her social conservatism. To be clear, I’m glad she’s a social conservative, but recognize that it’s very difficult for one to win a statewide race in California. On the other hand, the economy is far and away the dominant issue this year, so perhaps Fiorina — who, as a highly successful business women seems to have a considerable edge over Boxer, the veteran Washington pol, in this realm — won’t suffer too much for being socially conservative.
For what they are worth, polls from late May show Boxer leading Fiorina 44-38 (LA Times/USC) and 45-42 (PPP). The fact that Boxer doesn’t clear 45 percent in either poll, and that only 25 percent of California voters have a very favorable opinion of her while 34 percent view her very unfavorably, is encouraging.
Of course, you can’t beat somebody with nobody, but it has become clear that Fiorina isn’t nobody.
UPDATE: Sen. Boxer’s line of attack against Fiorina is captured in this piece that her campaign sent out today. Focusing on the economy, Boxer notes Fiorina’s opposition to job bills, the layoffs that occurred at Hewlitt-Packard when Fiorina was CEO, and the fact that HP fired Fiorina and gave her lots of money when it did. Fiorina’s opposition to abortion is also mentioned in the secondary wave of attack.

After Carly Fiorina’s win in the Republican primary yesterday, now we know who we are up against.
This race may be the clearest choice in the nation. It’s a choice about which candidate is fighting for jobs and who’s in touch with Californians.
Now we need your support to let the voters know what’s at stake in this election — and we’ve got to start right now.
Please contribute now — and help us show the voters the clear choice in the race for U.S. Senate!
I am proud of my record of fighting to create jobs for California. I have met construction workers, law enforcement officers, teachers, scientists, and many other hard-working Californians who are working because of the Recovery Act — a bill that has saved or created 150,000 California jobs.
Yet Carly Fiorina not only opposed that critical bill, she also opposed the HIRE Act, which gives tax breaks to businesses that hire long-term unemployed workers and extends the highway trust fund.
In fact, Carly Fiorina opposed every major jobs bill that I supported — even though that legislation will continue to help create jobs and put our economy back on track.
Plus, remember that before Fiorina was fired as CEO of HP and walked away with a $21 million “golden parachute,” she laid off more than 30,000 workers.
You and I know that, but we need to make sure every California voter knows about this choice, too. And we can’t do it without your help.
Please contribute now — and help us show the voters the clear choice in the race for U.S. Senate!
Our opponent is a well-funded candidate with deep pockets who has been attacking me since the day she entered the Senate race — and her attacks are only intensifying.
It’s no surprise that Fiorina is attacking me, because she’s so out of touch with California voters. Fiorina wants to criminalize abortion. She supports allowing people on the no-fly terrorist watch list to buy guns. She wants to repeal the landmark health care reform bill and opposes efforts to enact real Wall Street reform. So Fiorina’s attacks are a way to distract attention away from her own extreme views on the issues.
But I’ve got good news. With your help, we will win this race — and here’s why.
Carly Fiorina and I have different priorities — and the people of California have a clear choice.
Let’s make sure the voters see that choice, crystal clear.
Please contribute to my campaign today — so we can make sure the voters know the facts.
Thank you so much. I look forward to your active support in this critical campaign over the weeks and months ahead.

Did Boxer remember to ask us to contribute to her campaign now, as in today?

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