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Will Tea Party conservatives crash Boxer-Fiorina?

Untitled-1 It looks as if they're trying. The Washington Independent's David Weigel reports today about a conference call among conservative bloggers and Carly Fiorina, a Republican challenging Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) for her seat:

Halfway through the call, however, conservative blogger Dan Riehl awoke the elephant in the room. Did Fiorina have anything to say to Chuck DeVore? One day earlier, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) had endorsed DeVore, a Republican assemblyman from Irvine, Calif., who had been running against Boxer for months, and had pre-emptively attacked Fiorina for her allegedly liberal positions. ...

In the wake of the NY-23 special election debacle, where Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman united the national conservative movement against a liberal Republican candidate and let a Democrat sneak in to win a key congressional seat, Republican strategists are looking at more contested primaries than they’d like. While the Senate primary between Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Fla.) has gotten the most attention, there are primaries in Ohio, Kentucky, New Hampshire and to a lesser extent Illinois that pit experienced Republican politicians against more ideological activist candidates–some with deep pockets. Democrats who are running defense on their control of Congress are making all they can out of primary battles that, so far, have driven candidates such as Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to dent their moderate credentials as they try to win over the party’s base.

The California primary is something of an aberration. DeVore has a longer political resume than Fiorina. Her political baptism came as an adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign. He worked for the Reagan administration and has been a member of the California legislature since 2005. He has a lengthy voting record and a longer rhetoric of conservative speeches and blog posts. Ever since it became clear that Fiorina might jump in the race, his small campaign staff has laid traps for her by portraying her as a closet moderate -- the kind of candidate many Republicans believe they need in blue California, but not one the base should have to settle for.

The whole article, very much worth a read, is here.

What immediately comes to mind is the 2002 gubernatorial race between incumbent Democrat Gray Davis and GOP nominee Bill Simon (for those whom memory doesn't serve, click here for a bio). Davis, of course, lost the 2003 recall vote a year and a half after his reelection as governor, not because of bullet-proof approval ratings on election day in 2002 that somehow wilted less than an election cycle later, but because he essentially selected his opponent by running ads against the moderate Republican Richard Riordan during the GOP primary. Fiorina entered the race taking shots at Boxer; I wouldn't be surprised if Boxer obliges and gives the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive the primary battle she asked for.

So Californians may yet again endure the letdown of an electoral battle royal that never was. In 2002, it was supposed to be Riordan-Davis; in 2010, the "what if" may be Fiorina-Boxer. The outcome of a Boxer-DeVore match (the latter, as Weigel reports in his article, has expressed Obama birther sympathies) would seem a foregone conclusion. After all, when asked to choose between a far-from-the-mainstream partisan and an incumbent with limited legislative accomplishments, Californians in the past have sided with the bland over the bracing.

-- Paul Thornton

Left photo: U.S. Sen. Barabara Boxer. Credit: Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency.
Right photo: GOP Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina. Credit: Michal Czerwonka / Getty Images.


Comments () | Archives (15)

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tom Bates

Tea folks cut both sides of the aisle and are an upset majority!!!

Bye Bye Barbara (Call me Senator) Boxer!!!


Boxer is one our country's most uninformed and embarassing senators and ran virtually unopposed last time. It's imperative the Republicans field a candidate who can defeat her, unless they enjoy having her around for some reason.


Chris and Mr.Bates: you are delusional if you think either Fiorina or, DeVore (insert laugh track) have a shot at unseating Boxer.

California is B-L-U-E by a mile. Don't confuse a slim victory in Prop. 8 with some Republican revolution in the state. As well, don't forget that you GOPers are the kings of Immigration scare-mongering and Lord knows California is not just a blue state, it's an "azul" state (blue in Spanish, gringoboys).

If there's any question, it's does either Fiorina or DeVore stand a chance of getting within ten points of Boxer in 11/10. Maybe Fiorina. But DeVore? (Insert even longer laugh track.)


Tea baggers from both sides of the aisle? What planet are you on? Try right and extreme right. A righty like DeVore doesn't stand a chance in CA.


Deshard is correct, California is Blue to the core. Which explains why it is in such financial trouble. Boxer is just another symptom of the disease. Conservatives should seriously consider moving out of the state.


I just want to know ONE thing...which one is AGAINST illegal aliens?

That's the one I'm voting for...period!


Obama is so deluded, so robotically unaware and so determined to force his worldview on all Americans, by this time next year I believe my cat could beat Boxer.

The Democrats are doomed.


Tom the tea party folks do not come from both sides as a dem thats insulting we know where they are coming from the right wing extreme right wing repubs the same ones who screwed up our country under BUsh. Good luck winning anything in California thats funny .


Boxer is a joke. She needs to go. California is a wreck. The country is a train wreck and the conductor of this wreckage are Democrats. Though Republicans are not far behind. What we need is some true fiscally minded people in office! Boxer isn't it. Her engergy bill that she is throwing down our throat should be an example.

It's time to go out with the old and inwith the new!


I am an independent voter and I want a realistic alternative to Barbara Boxer. Today I saw that Carly Fiorina would be unwilling to end a fillibuster in order to BEGIN DEBATE on a health care bill. I don't need someone who is with Obama on everything, but if a Republican candidate isn't even willing to open up debate, I'm not willing to even listen to them. If Republicans want to attract independents, they need be at least a little independent.


Right, because climate change is not an important issue in California... Oh wait, it is important! And it's one of the only growing employment sectors in the state and nation! If any of your keep up on the news, renewable tech manufacturing jobs are being created right here in the USA by retooling automotive plants.

As Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Boxer is continuing to push ahead on clean energy, as most Californians want her to. She is unveiling climate change legislation at the dawn of Copenhagen. Everyone in CA knows we need a clean energy bill and Carly obviously has no intention of supporting one. Carly would instead fire 40,000 state employees and try to stop the creation of "green collar" jobs. I agree with what people are saying about Carly -- that she is a RINO and is desperately trying to prove her conservative cred. But her tactics are pathetic. Does she think that aligning herself with Palin is a tactical move? Does she not know the State in which she is running? And to question Boxer's voting record could easily misfire. Carly has no voting record to speak of, given that she couldn't be bothered to vote in any recent elections.


I find Barbara Boxer to be arrogant, radical, and morally repulsive. She is typical of leftist California politics. However, hard times have a way of sobering people up, forcing them to realize that the fruity ideas of fruit-loops like Barbara Boxer actually cost them jobs and money.


Seniors and Independents will be looking for blood in 2010. The Spendocrats are going to have a beat down. Voters (i.e. those that will come out in the mid-term election) will be looking for fiscally responsible candidates. As California continues to slide into bankruptcy, driven by the nimrods in the State Legislature gifting to the unions and pouring money down the ill-fated green initive that is driving what remains of the State's manufacturers out of the State, will the voters be able to get rid of the likes of Pelosi, Lee, Waters, Waxman and Boxer? Gerrymandering has really put the State in a deep hole where these idiots can keep being returned to office.

Scott in LA

Go Chuck Devore!

Paul Revere

Hey Babs (Maam) you deserve nothing as you have never put your life on the line! You are a self serving individual just like the rest that hide in the rat hole



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