Newspaper endorsements 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 something of a 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, like 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 the formal thumbs-up: "The 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.
At Liberty Pundits, Clyde Middleton wants us to keep it in perspective: "What does it mean? Probably no more than a waste of soy ink printed on 90% recycled paper. . . . But it is important to note that the overwhelming majority of its readership is liberal. So an op-ed that fails to support Boxer is worth a few more stay-at-home folks that won't be voting. If Fiorina wins by default, that's perfectly fine. The key is that the 112th Congress opens with Boxer watching on CSPAN with a remote control in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other."
Califorina's liberal bloggers are furious: "The rationale is contradictory and ignorant of key facts, producing an outcome that lacks basic intellectual credibility. Their basic argument is that while Carly Fiorina is an extremist who doesn't share California's values, Barbara Boxer has spent too much time representing California's values. Because Boxer wouldn't sell out California's progressive values to implement a bipartisan set of corporate-friendly policies, the Chronicle views her as 'ineffective' and therefore not worthy of support."
Clifton B., writing at Another Black Conservative, has a problem with the paper's lament that Fiorina's agenda "would undermine this nation's need to move forward on addressing serious issues such as climate change, health care and immigration." He writes, "The nation has spent the last two years with dry heaves over the lefts' position on these issues. It is the main reason why Democrats are getting kicked to the curb in November. Why then would the Chronicle think Fiorina should champion those positions the same way Boxer did? Wake up Chronicle, America doesn't like left's ideas on climate change (sham science), health care (socialism deluxe) or immigration (amnesty for all). It will be interesting to see where the other California papers place their endorsements."
(Source: National Review Online)