Thank God Almighty!
We in California will not be represented in the United States senate in 2017 by the most incompetent person elected in my lifetime.
That is the good news.
The bad news is that this is California and it is a better than 60-40 chance that the Democrats will retain the seat. If that is the case, one hopes that the person elected is better than the dim bulb that has been Sen. Ma'am Boxer.
Before I go one, I must remind you of how Sen. Ma'am got her name on this blog.
On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, during a hearing with Brigadier General Michael Walsh of the Army Corps of Engineers, he made a horrific mistake. Brig. Gen. Walsh called the senator such a foul name, I'm not sure that I can write it on a family blog.
He called her ma'am.
OH THE HORROR! HOW DARE HE USE SUCH LANGUAGE IN A SENATE HEARING! RIGHT TO BARBARA BOXER'S FACE!
Well, Barbara Boxer put this eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll, awful man in his place:
“Do me a favor, can you say ‘senator’ instead of ‘ma’am’?” It’s just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title, so I’d appreciate it. Thank you.”
Take THAT you, you brigadier general!
So, due to Barbara Boxer's hypersensitivity and self-importance, this blogger refers to her as Sen. Ma'am Boxer.
Now on to the meat of this post.
While the task is daunting for the Republican party to snatch that seat from the Democrats, nothing is impossible.
So, who are some possible candidates that can do the job?
First on the potential list is one that has indicated he wants to run for another office. But could he be convinced to lower his expectations and settle for a senate seat?
Well that would be Mitt Romney, of course.
I know, I know, Mr. Romney wants to be president and he really thinks he can do it in this third time. But for the moment, in a reality burst, Mr. Romney says, "Ahh, I can't really win this president thing. Maybe I can serve in another way. I'm now pretty California connected. More than Hillary Clinton was when she carpetbagged her way to a New York senate seat. Maybe I'll give this senate run a try."
If he does, the positives are that he fits the overall California electorate. While a center-right politician, in his one term as governor of Massachusetts, he governed in the same manner. As conservative as one could when the state legislature and senate are two-thirds Democratic. Oh, and he ran for the senate before, you know.
In 1994, while the Republican landslide that saw the GOP take the house from the Democrats after 40 years, Mr. Romney decided to take on the legendary senator, Edward "Teddy" Kennedy. Mr. Romney did not win that race, but it was the closest a Republican had gotten or ever did get to Sen. Kennedy. Mr. Romney lost the race by a large 58% to 41% percent margin. OK, that is a wide margin, but the fact is he did well in his first political foray.
So, Mr. Romney does have the experience of running a campaign for the senate.
Also important is that he would have the kind of money to run a competent, issue-oriented campaign against any Democrat.
But the downside is that counting that senate campaign, Mr. Romney is a three-time loser. And that is a hard thing to shake.
I still hope that Mr. Romney considers a run.
Another potential candidate is one that has ran before, in fact in the last campaign against Sen. Ma'am Boxer.
That would be Carly Fiorina who lost to Sen. Ma'am Boxer by a 52% to 42% margin. That is one of Sen. Ma'am Boxer's largest margins of victory.
Mrs. Fiorina did have a coherent platform and spent a lot of money to lose in the end. She would do so if she thought that she had a decent chance again.
And being a woman does help somewhat. She comes off more polished as our senior senator, Dianne Feinstein. She is not abrasive and would certainly never dress down a member of the armed forces unnecessarily.
Mrs. Fiorina has real-world business experience in being the CEO of technology giant Hewlett-Packard.
But her negatives are very strong.
Obviously, she ended up losing the senate race to Sen. Ma'am Boxer. In a year Republicans did well across the United States, Mrs. Fiorina spent a lot of money to end up with 42% of the vote. One way to look at it is she did five points better than Sen. John "F--- You" McCain did in his failed 2008 presidential campaign.
Mrs. Fiorina's time at Hewlett-Packard was fraught with controversy and she was eventually forced out of her position.
A really major negative in my book is that after that campaign, she left California and is based in Virginia. In my serious opinion, to make any other run at office here in California, she needed to stay. That would seriously hurt her in a Republican primary.
And Mrs. Fiorina is also being bitten by the presidential bug.
But really, what can she offer in a presidential run? She lost her only serious campaign for office. But she could redeem herself with a move to run again for the senate from California.
I don't think that she will go for another chance to represent the voters of California.
The third potential candidate is one that I personally want to see get in this race and that is congressman Tom McClintock, a man that has run for statewide office before and while he lost, both times were by very close margins.
Mr. McClintock is no stranger to politics in California. He has successfully ran for and won in the state assembly and senate and in congress.
However, Mr. McClintock has not been so lucky in three statewide elections that he ran in.
In 1994, he ran for state controller and lost to Kathleen Connell by a slim 48%-46% margin. Other candidates received six percent of the vote.
In 2002, Mr. McClintock tried again for the controller job and he lost in a closer and more heartbreaking loss to Steve Westley. Only 16,811 votes separated the top two candidates as Mr. Westley gained 45.4% of the vote to Mr. McClintock's 45.1%.
In the 2003 gubernatorial recall election, Mr. McClintock finished in third place behind the eventual winner, Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger and the then Lt. Governor, Cruz Bustamante. In that election Mr. McClintock only received 14% the vote. Out of about 130 candidates.
But the loss that grates on me is his loss campaigning for Lt. Governor in 2006.
In that election, Gov. Benedict Arnold was already assured of winning reelection. And Mr. McClintock had a good chance of defeating Democrat John Garamendi. But Gov. Benedict Arnold did not campaign for any Republican candidate down ticket. As is wont for most moderate Republicans, they look out for themselves. And in what was a bad year for Republicans, Mr. McClintock went down to defeat losing to Mr. Garamendi, 49% to 42%.
The positive is that Mr. McClintock has ran statewide elections. He has consistently received over 40% of the vote each time.
For conservatives, he is consistent and true to what he believes in. He does not waver and is not a flame thrower in his conservatism. He is a traditional values conservative, but has never made it an issue in any of his statewide campaigns. Out of the three candidates I have chosen to highlight here, Mr. McClintock is the solid conservative.
But the obvious negative is that Mr. McClintock has lost every statewide race he has run. And in the last go round in 2006, his percentage of votes went down to 42%. And that seems to be the ceiling for the GOP in statewide elections for the most part.
Again, I have not said it would be an easy climb for any Republican to win Ma'am Barbara Boxer's seat. But one thing to remember that while Californian's were voting for Republicans at the presidential and gubernatorial level, they were also voting the late Sen. Alan Cranston, a liberal Dem if there ever was one, back to office with solid numbers.
All three of the candidates do have baggage in different ways. Yet they all have certain appeal that can possibly pull them over the top. I do beleive that Mr. McClintock would please us conservatives and thus the volunteers would will get excited to support a candidate. And while Mrs. Fiorina and Mr. Romney might not excite a lot of the grassroots, they could run against the Democrat establishment in California.
Nothing is ever easy for the California GOP these days. But a chance to take a Democrat seat has to be tantalizing to leadership. There will not be an incumbent so it is going to be a race for someone new on both sides. But make no mistakes. They will be "professional" politicians on both sides.
The most exciting thing is that in two years at this time, no matter what, there will not be Sen. Ma'am Barbara Boxer.