Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal

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Boxer Now Officially a Fighter

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In other non-Tiger-related news this Friday: California Sen. Barbara Boxer is now officially going for a fourth term, filing her Declaration of Candidacy and nominating petitions earlier today.

That she’s a candidate isn’t a surprise. Where she did it is: at the Riverside County Registrar of Voters office in Riverside, the heart of California’s Inland Empire, which is chock full of independent-minded voters who’ve fled east from Los Angeles for more affordable housing and, presumably, a better quality of life.

Why not Marin County? Well, for openers, Boxer left the Bay Area (physically, not spiritually) in 2006 for the decidedly warmer climes of Rancho Mirage (average daily temperature: 88 degrees Fahrenheit).

Second, it’s that Bay Area baggage — too liberal, too out of touch with working-class California — that Boxer must avoid in this, potentially her most difficult run since her first Senate campaign of 18 years ago. Unlike past election years, Boxer can’t count on a big Democratic win at the top of the ticket, as was the case in 1992, 1998 and 2004. That, plus the nation’s anti-Washington/anti-incumbent mood, puts the senator on shaky political ground.

Thus today’s announcement lacked much of the usual Boxer flair — abortion rights, women’s equality, social injustice. As with President Obama, campaigning today in Nevada for beleaguered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the message du jour was jobs.

Jobs, jobs, jobs . . .

“I only have one goal, to get California back on track by creating jobs and making life better for the people that I represent,” said Boxer.  “That is what I have always done, and that is what I will always do. It will be tough, regardless of who my eventual opponent will be, but we’re ready, and we’re excited.”

Ironically, one of Boxer’s opponents was also scheduled to be in the neighborhood today. Republican Carly Fiorina is slated to be the keynote speaker at the Lincoln Club of Riverside County’s annual dinner in . . . yes, Riverside.

Which goes to show that the new hot spot in California contests — and the place where the Senate race could be decided — just could be the Inland Empire.

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Written by Bill Whalen

February 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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