Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is not always the most diplomatic of members on Capitol Hill and over the years some of her outbursts have gotten her some negative attention, but one in particular has come back to bite her. At a hearing last year in the Environment and Public Works Committee, of which Boxer is chairwoman, the senator publicly dressed down a general for repeatedly calling her "ma'am". Boxer, in no uncertain terms, made it clear that Brigadier General Michael Walsh was to call her "senator," because she had "worked so hard for that title."
And now that moment is emblazoned across televisions in California and beyond in a political attack ad by her opponent, former Hewlitt Packard executive Carly Fiorina, as Boxer battles to hang onto her seat. Fiorina chose this as her first ad of the general election, but Boxer seemed unfazed, telling Fox Tuesday, "The general and I are really good friends. And we really work well together. We put all this behind us."
Gen. Walsh, who is an Army Corps of Engineers division commander, has worked in California in years past and in the Gulf with deep interaction with the EPW Committee, according to a GOP source on the committee.
Boxer said Gen. Walsh just came to Capitol Hill to meet with her recently and that "(Fiorina) knows that. She's just making political points on something that, you know, we've resolved."
Boxer, for her part, is training her fire on her opponent's tenure at HP and what the senator, who has widened her lead somewhat in recent polls, says is Fiorina's record of shipping jobs overseas. In the span of a five-minute interview, the senator told me three times about her opponent "shipping 30,000 jobs overseas" and "stamping 'Made in China'" on her company's products.
And it's no wonder Boxer has made "jobs, jobs, jobs" her focus as her state faces a whopping 12.4% unemployment rate.
And the Chamber of Commerce took up the "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantel and clubbed the senator with it Tuesday, dropping another television ad which blasts Boxer and her "28 years in Washington" supporting an anti-business agenda by "raising our taxes" and "driving away California jobs."
Still, Boxer says she's proud that she's given her life to public service, adding, "I think the people are going to judge: would they rather have me there who's worked all these years to make their lives better fighting for jobs, or my opponent who, when she had the chance, laid off 30,000 workers and shipped their jobs to China and India? It's a pretty clear choice."
Watch Wednesday for more Fox coverage of this race with "Campaign Carl" Cameron out in the Golden State.