View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Roger Gitlin: Boxer and Fiorina are a study in opposites

SCV Voices

Posted: October 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Updated: October 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh was delivering testimony on the Louisiana restoration process in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when Sen. Barbara Boxer interrupted the deposition after the general referred to the junior senator from California as “Ma’am.”

Boxer, D-Calif., chimed in, “Do me a favor, can you say senator instead of ma’am?” Walsh retorted, “Yes, ma’am,” to which Boxer responded “It’s just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title, so I’d appreciate it, thank you.”

Boxer’s exchange with the general also illustrates the level of her ego equaled by her display of insecurity. That conversation defined just who Boxer, 69, is as she takes on her most formidable opponent since she was elected to the Senate in 1992. Boxer faces Republican Carly Fiorina on Nov. 2.

The differences between these two are as glaring as a Hollywood spotlight. Boxer is a left-wing ideologue totally bureaucratized over a federal political career that has endured since 1983. Fiorina is an absolute newcomer to political office and comes from the private sector, as she was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999-2005.

Powerful Boxer is a shining star under the Obama administration. She is the chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Boxer is also the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and also serves on the subcommittee on oceans, atmosphere and fisheries, where she delivered her illuminating comments to Gen. Walsh.

During her career in the House’s 6th Congressional District of Marin and Sonoma counties, Boxer was (and is) a staunch supporter of a woman’s right to abort, and supported higher spending for health, biomedical research and education.

Then a representative, Boxer was entangled in a House banking scandal, writing a total of 87 checks in excess of her available balance. One of 450 congressional reps and aides, Boxer did make good on the bounced checks.

As a representative, Boxer came out early and strong in support of Anita Hill and her opposition to the Supreme Court appointment of George Bush nominee  Clarence Thomas in 1991. Though she had no vote in the confirmation process, Boxer made her bias clear in the “he said, she said” squabble between accuser Hill and Thomas.

Boxer ran for the Senate seat vacated by the retirement of Democrat Alan Cranston, and beat conservative Bruce Herschensohn in a campaign most agree was contentious and fraught with lots of dirt and 11th-hour smear. Boxer was re-elected twice against state Treasurer Matt Fong in 1998, and California Secretary of State Bill Jones in 2004.
Notable on her liberal voting record are:

 Failure to confirm national security adviser Condoleezza Rice

 An unsuccessful public censure of former President George W. Bush

Sen. Boxer enthusiastically supported the widely unpopular Obama health care-reform bill. Boxer is an ardent supporter of the Obama administration on comprehensive immigration reform, voted for Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants and failed to support the Senate resolution stating English as America’s official language. Boxer supports same-sex marriage and similarly supports cap-and-trade legislation.

According to Survey USA, Boxer garners a 41-percent approval and 52-percent disapproval rating as of July 22.
Fiorina, 56, earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford, and she is a University of Maryland MBA graduate. She entered politics as an advisor to John McCain in his bid for the presidency. During the campaign, Fiorina announced she would challenge Boxer for the Senate seat and won the June 8 primary in a notable field of candidates that included conservative Congressman Tom Campbell and tea party-endorsed Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, gathering more than 50 percent of the vote.

 Fiorina opposes abortion.

 Fiorina voted for Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and was highly critical of the activist federal court that overturned Proposition 8.

 Fiorina opposes cap-and-trade energy legislation

At the time of this writing, Boxer is just slightly ahead of Fiorina, but that status can change with a large undecided vote in arguably the bluest of blue states.

The Boxer campaign took a big hit when the prominent San Francisco Chronicle refused — in a rare decision — to endorse her, opting to remain neutral on the 2010 Senate race. The Chronicle was scathing in claiming Boxer has made no significant change in Washington, D.C. in 18 years.

If you like Congress and the Senate the way it is, you’ll vote for Boxer. If you are unhappy with Washington, D.C. and seek a change, you’ll vote for Fiorina.

I’m voting for change. I am voting for Carly Fiorina.

Roger Gitlin is a retired teacher and founder of the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutemen. He can be reached at His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...