No matter where you sit on the political aisle, most would agree that the San Francisco Chronicle has been historically to the left when it comes to their election endorsements. As a kid growing up in the bay, I have watched every race in recent memory and read the opinions of those who sit on the editorial board, so it was much to my surprise the opinion rendered on longtime Senator Barbara Boxer.
The editorial itself now makes the rounds through political cyberspace and its wording still surprises me as I read it again hours after first seeing it. In part....."Californians are left with a deeply unsatisfying choice for the U.S. Senate this year. 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. "
Of course Republicans clamoring for any type of win on the left coast are stunned and throwing parties from Eureka to Encinitas with this, but is the lack of an endorsement an actual win for the ‘Grand Old Party'? Challenger and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina continues to hammer the airwaves right alongside the longtime incumbent and you can bet words from the Chronicle like the following will be on airwaves soon. "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."
As someone who has reported for Fox nearly nine years and before that in Sacramento, Santa Rosa and Chico, my e-mail is already getting the first spin on this and so far it has yet to receive anything in defense from the Senator's campaign. That will soon change and I am curious to the extent of the spin. Make no mistake; the Boxer bunch has California's voter registration on its side and 18 years in office to combat the Chronicle decision.
Even this blog follows the same path. Sure the Chron didn't give Fiorina flying colors, saying in part "Carly Fiorina, has campaigned with a vigor and directness that suggests she could be effective in Washington - but for an agenda that would undermine this nation's need to move forward on addressing serious issues such as climate change, health care and immigration."
Still....the paper and its staff realize what the lack of endorsement does. "It is extremely rare that this editorial page would offer no recommendation on any race, particularly one of this importance. This is one necessary exception."
So what do you think? How will the Boxer campaign ultimately respond and what should they do? In the long run does it make any difference in California and at a time when the political winds may be changing nationwide, will they blow a bit more to the right here in the Golden State? While the Chronicle says neither candidates warrants their endorsement, does either warrant yours?