Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Babs and Carly Show

I was invited to the debate between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina tonight at Saint Mary's College.  I came prepared not to be impressed.    Boxer has been one of least able senators in the US senate for all of her three terms.  Her legislative output in the total of 28 years of being in Congress has been pathetic.  She has but four bills passed that she initiated although she claimed that she had her name on 1000 pieces of legislation.  That is a nonsensical claim.

I also start out as not a fan of Carly.  I believe her work at HP was hype not substance.  I worked a bit with the firm that advised Walter Hewlett and think the transaction over-payed for Compaq but a lot of dough.  

But the exchange was one of the best debates I've ever witnessed.  Boxer relied on trying to tie Carly to Wall Street.   But the claims, in my opinion, fell hollow.  Carly was able to hammer Boxer on her positions and her inability to work with republicans.  

There were several interesting exchanges.  Fiorina said she supported the "dream act" but opposed amnesty for illegals.  Boxer argued that Fiorina had moved a bunch of jobs out of the US and Carly countered that we operate in a global economy and that jobs were as likely to compete with China or Brazil or Texas (all of which offer incentives to employers).  She said she supported Proposition 8 but also supported ending "don't ask, don't tell" and changing federal law to allow domestic partnerships to allow gays to gain the benefits of tax and other provisions that benefit married couples.  She had a nuanced position on stem cell research which I believe is close to what most Californians would support.

For three terms in the Senate, Boxer seemed remarkably inept in explaining the most basic of public policies.  At every point that Fiorina tried to make points, Boxer kept going back to cliches.

I came into the debate unsure about who I would vote for.   After an hour with both candidates, I became an enthusiastic supporter of Carly.

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