Patterico's Pontifications


California Sen. Barbara Boxer Is Retiring

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I wish I was excited by this, but given the very real likelihood that another progressive Boxer-type will fill the vacant seat, there’s not going to be much change in representation. Names of Democrats being mentioned for a possible run are Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former San Francisco mayor; state Attorney Gen. Kamala Harris; former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; and billionaire Tom Steyer. And given this is California, perhaps some yet unnamed Hollywood star. As far as the GOP goes, there aren’t a lot of names being floated about yet. On a side note, in spite of being a Democrat stronghold, California is a top-two primary state, and if the Democrats crowd the field enough to seriously split the vote, it’s possible that a Republican could make it through to the general election. If it’s split enough, two Republicans could actually make it through to November and thus effectively take over the seat from Democrats. I wonder what Clint is up to…

Anyway, evidencing that her stepping down is happening none too soon, Yes M’am seems a bit confused about the whole retirement thing:

I am never going to retire. The work is too important. But I will not be running for the Senate in 2016.


68 Responses to “California Sen. Barbara Boxer Is Retiring”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  2. The collective IQ of the senate just went up a couple of points

    Capitalist Infidel (20d716)

  3. it doesn’t really matter if someone from the GOPe makes the final ballot: the blue masses, to include the not unsizeable illegal alien voting bloc, will vote lockstep Demonrat in November, even given a predictably RINO option such as the never to be sufficiently excoriated #CashAndCarry.

    #Failifornia, in its current state, is inexorably headed to third world status, and the majority of its residents are just fine with that.

    me? i want to move to Texas or some other free state, even if the weather there suxors.

    redc1c4 (269d8e)

  4. Problem is that CA is just likely to send someone as bad, or worse, to the Senate in her place.

    JD (86a5eb)

  5. I’d love to see a real conservative run against which ever crook the Dems put up to fill Boloxer’s seat. In the vein of the dem strategory of running a proven double talking parasite like Wendy Davis in Texas.

    Since they have no chance, why not push the envelope?

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  6. Mickey Kaus in 2016!!!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  7. It would get our agenda out in the air.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  8. Nah she’s not gonna retire. She still has to ride her broom from D.C. to Mill Valley. Then she’ll put on her mink coat, get in her Mercedes and go visit the slightly less rich peasants in the Mill Valley boutiques.

    As for me, my money is on Kamala Harris. She succeeded a liberal hero, Terence “K.O.” Hallinan who had a slight problem getting admitted to the California Bar on moral turpitude grounds. Seems K.O. had been convicted of a crime (leading sit ins at San Francisco auto dealerships during the early civil rights days). That conviction got the Bar Examiners knickers in a bit of a knot for a while, and he was denied admission to the bar. He eventually got in. Of course that conviction for leading civil rights demonstrations just made K.O.’s bones with the San Francisco electorate when he ran for District Attorney.

    So unless Kamala wants to run for Moonbeam’s seat when he shuffles off to the old folks home, or unless Obama nominates her for a seat on the Supreme Court, I’d say she’ll be Boxer’s replacement.

    Same olf same old–a San Francisco liberal.

    Skeptical Voter (12e67d)

  9. I no longer get to vote on such matters, but honestly I’d prefer that Harris be in the legislature than that she be in an executive office, so moving her from AG to Senate would be in improvement in my book. :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  10. god i hate her

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  11. Aphrael – she is best suited for private practice.

    JD (9cad5d)

  12. I bet they’ll try to get Sandra Fluke in that seat.

    Dejectedhead (4bfcf6)

  13. Dejectedhead,

    Click the second link in my post. :)

    Dana (8e74ce)

  14. Dejectedhead – there’s no plausible scenario in which Sandra Fluke gets that seat. There are too many high level Democrats with no other career prospects who will fight over the seat; Fluke has nowhere near the name recognition, seniority, or power to pull it off.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  15. The LAT mentions GOP possibilities: Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Neel Kashkari; and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  16. I doubt any of those three could win a statewide Senate race.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  17. The Bee mentions these Republican possibilities: Condoleeza Rice, Kevin Faulconer, Ashley Swearengin, Doug Ose, Ed Royce, Carly Fiorina, and Neel Kashkari.

    I think a Condoleeza Rice vs. Kamala Harris race would be fascinating to watch.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  18. Dana – that 2nd link is just not right.

    JD (9cad5d)

  19. aphrael,

    Had this retirement come on the heels of Rush’s gaffe re Fluke, I could see the Dems backing her, the youthful poster child of liberalism who fought to speak before Republican House members, and as well as speaking at the Dem convention, put up a public fight for contraception, etc., and took on on Rush Limbaugh and won. There was momentum to build upon. And she checked off a lot of the required boxes. (Although there was that loss to Ted Lieu…)

    Dana (8e74ce)

  20. aphrael,

    Fiorina doesn’t live in California any longer and is actually taking steps toward a possible presidential run in 2016.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  21. > is actually taking steps toward a possible presidential run in 2016.

    I think we can write that off, now, as a waste of time and money which will not succeed. But hey, it’s her money (and her supporters’ money) to waste.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  22. Dana, I think there are too many high profile Democrats who would consider that to be a goring of their ox.

    Honestly, I suspect this will be an entertaining fight to watch. :) I’m somewhat hoping for Ted Chiang, but I think it’s an unlikely outcome.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  23. I think a Condoleeza Rice vs. Kamala Harris race would be fascinating to watch.

    Hm, I hadn’t considered Rice. It would be a terrific race, indeed. I think there was hope that she would run in 2016, no?

    Dana (8e74ce)

  24. Yeah, it’s funny about Fiorina: never held office, money to burn and has hired a spokeswoman to join her pac.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  25. Well, we won’t have her to call “Ma’am’ any more.

    Cleve Watson (e40638)

  26. Well, there goes that dream:

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has no interest in running for Senate, according to a senior adviser, removing a big name from California Republicans’ recruitment list as they hope to compete for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) seat.

    “It’s not even a consideration,” Georgia Godfrey, Rice’s chief of staff, tells The Hill via email. “She’s happy here at Stanford!”

    Dana (8e74ce)

  27. eh…forgot to delete something in that copy/paste.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  28. A rare combination of hyper-partisanship and pure stupidity. Patty Murray is even dumber, but she has no vitriol to her, she just does what they tell her, walk here, read this, and functions. Boxer is one of a kind.

    When she was first elected, she got on the Senate elevator with Strom Thurmond, who assumed she was someone’s intern. Strom always was a good judge of ability.

    Estragon (ada867)

  29. It will take some serious vacuousness to fill Boxer’s vacant seat.

    Craig Mc (299f38)

  30. #CashAndCarry is DOA with what’s left of the GOP base here in #Failifornia.

    his hatred for 2nd Amendment rights, his willing participation in Obola’s first administration and his carpetbagger status are all guarantees he will not win.

    and that’s without asking why any of the huge FSA voting bloc here in this benighted 3rd world country would vote for an almost lieberal when they can have the pure quill from the other candidate.

    these days, i vote for the worst candidate in the main election, not the least worst. if we’re going to hit the wall, i want to be going fast enough to go quickly, not wind up slowly bleeding out in the wreckage.

    redc1c4 (4db2c8)

  31. Yes, my old high school classmate Ed Royce! As dry and droll as he was in teh Chess Club in our junior year.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  32. She’s a loathsome creature and a New Yorker (yeah, I know, what’s the diff?). She’s Hillary, but without the charm. How could one not be happy about her departure?

    ThOR (a52560)

  33. Honestly, I suspect this will be an entertaining fight to watch. :) I’m somewhat hoping for Ted Chiang, but I think it’s an unlikely outcome.

    aphrael, do you mean John Chiang (Controller) or Ted Lieu (my unseemingly ambitious newly-elected Congressman)? Chiang I could probably stomach, but Lieu strikes me as someone who would climb over his own grandmother to attain higher office.

    JVW (887036)

  34. Sorry, JVW, I meant John Chiang.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  35. Chiang might be the best case scenario here

    happyfeet (831175)

  36. > She’s a loathsome creature and a New Yorker (yeah, I know, what’s the diff?)

    Thank you for that, ThOR.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  37. time for New Yorkers to be proactive and go on a charm offensive i think and I don’t mean exporting more cronuts which was actually an extremely passive-aggressive thing for them to foist on us poor lil carb-besotted pikachus out here

    happyfeet (831175)

  38. Here’s me being selfish and regionalist: we haven’t had a non-San Francisco-based Senator for damn near a quarter-century so I just want someone from South of Santa Cruz to be elected. But I’ll bet that snake Gavin Newsome is going to throw his hat into the ring.

    JVW (887036)

  39. Chiang is a Los Angeles guy, so at least my part of the state would be represented.

    JVW (887036)

  40. You could probably hardly do worse than Barbara Boxer. This is how Politicalk Diary descriobes her career:

    The 74-year-old Boxer, elected to the House in 1982 and the Senate a decade later, carved out a niche as a hyper-partisan obstructionist. As a congresswoman, she helped lead the liberal inquisition of Clarence Thomas after President George H.W. Bush nominated him for the Supreme Court in 1991. She would go on to alienate Senate colleagues during the ethics hearings of Republican Sen. Robert Packwood of Oregon in 1995.

    More recently, Ms. Boxer has mucked up bipartisan legislation on cap-and-trade (2010), chemical safety (2013) and California’s water shortage (2014). Her modus operandi has been to squawk to the press about Democrats secretly negotiating with Republicans and industry groups.

    A platoon of younger Democrats will jockey to replace Ms. Boxer, but we’d put state Attorney General Kamala Harris, former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a tech titan such as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer at the top of the list. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is another possibility but appears instead to have his eye on the governorship, which will open up in 2018.

    Silicon Valley has been looking to place one of their own in the Senate, and Ms. Mayer would appear to be a good fit given her high profile and political engagement. Sure, the young tech leader would have to give up the job she’s held for only two-and-a-half years at Yahoo. But she was among President Obama’s top donation bundlers, and she could run as a pro-business liberal technocrat. She would have a natural funding base and a constituent advantage since the Bay Area represents a disproportionate share of voters. Note that every California statewide officer and senator hails from the Bay Area.

    California’s progressive AG would lock up the party’s base—public unions, green groups and the trial bar. That would leave Mr. Villaraigosa, who’s fashioned himself as a government reformer by criticizing the teachers unions, to run as a moderate. California’s top-two primary could mean two Democrats squaring off in the general election, an outcome not unlikely given the short Republican bench.

    GOP drubbings in the past three elections for statewide offices will likely disincline the party’s rising talents (e.g., Rep. Devin Nunes or San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer) from seeking the open Senate seat in 2016. But far from being disenfranchised, Republican voters would be a pivotal swing vote in an intra-Democratic clash in the open jungle primary election. Ms. Boxer’s retirement may present the best opportunity in years for California Republicans to influence Washington.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  41. JVW, one of my issues is that I intensely dislike Newsom and seriously objected to the behavior of the SF DA’s office during Harris’ tenure, so I’m disinclined to support either of them.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  42. I intensely dislike Newsom too, even though one of my friends is a big Newsom supporter (and has been since his pre-mayoral days). Anyone who cheats with his best friend’s wife and tries to explain it away by going into alcohol rehab is lower than a snake’s belly in my book. Short of outright illegal behavior, I can’t think of any conduct more repellent in terms of character.

    JVW (887036)

  43. All I can say is that the more liberal are the politics and politicians of a community or society, the more crucial are its non-ideological factors, such as a place’s natural resources, intrinsic history, and, in particular, demographics. In turn, the factor of power of people voting with their feet and the moving van. The future of California will be determined by such dynamics.

    The long-term specter of a Mexico or Venezuela is a cautionary tale and probably is a look into the future of segments of the US, California included or in particular. With that in mind, I’ll have to snicker and guffaw if certain “progressives,” as will be true of a variety of other people, also eventually vote with their feet and the moving van.

    Mark (c160ec)

  44. I’m no longer in California, so I may already meet your definition at #43, but I moved so my husband could go to graduate school.

    It’s totally unclear what’s going to happen when he graduates.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  45. Kamala Harris, or Tom Steyer, it will be a real fight.
    No GOP’er need apply.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  46. The “interview” with her grandson, Zach Rodham, the product of the short lived marriage between Boxer’s daughter and Hillary’s brother is just awful. Unwatchable.

    elissa (f9db24)

  47. I doubt any of those three could win a statewide Senate race.
    aphrael (e0cdc9) — 1/8/2015 @ 2:06 pm

    I doubt if any of them can finish 2nd in a Top Two Primary – Not with the amount of money Tom Steyer will be throwing at this race to defeat Kamala Harris.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  48. 40- Why no mention of how she got the nickname of “Barbara Bouncer” in the House?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  49. Boxer’s 74. The other esteemed senator from California is 81. How much longer is Dianne going to hold on?

    elissa (f9db24)

  50. Can’t we declare war against Mexico, pretend to lose it, negotiate armistice terms, and give it California as reparations?

    nk (dbc370)

  51. JVW,

    I agree re Gavin Newsom. There is seemingly little redeemable about him. Interestingly, to Fox News anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle is his former wife. Unfortunately, Newsom is a top-tier possibility.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  52. It’s totally unclear what’s going to happen when he graduates.

    aphrael, you should move to Detroit, Michigan, where over 90 percent of your neighbors (meaning the ones still sticking around) will share much of your ideology and vote not all that differently from the way you do. Either that or Mexico, or maybe Venezuela or Argentina, although in such cases perhaps only 70-plus percent of your fellow citizens will politically ruminate and vote in a way very much in sync with you.

    Mark (c160ec)

  53. Ding, dong, the Witc … oops, not yet.

    htom (9ba01c)

  54. Mark (c160ec) — 1/8/2015 @ 6:57 pm that was an utterly nasty and uncalled for and awful thing to say to aphrael. I am appalled. Even for you that was amazingly stupid.

    elissa (f9db24)

  55. Even for you that was amazingly stupid.

    Oh, please, Elissa. You’ve been riding a rather high horse this afternoon, even more so since the political traits described in the communities or societies in question follow the modus operandi of just about any liberal enclave out there. IOW, a majority of folks in Detroit, Mexico or Argentina sure as hell aren’t staunch socio-economic conservatives, even staunch moderates, so garden-variety liberals entering such places should feel right at home.

    Mark (c160ec)

  56. aphrael,

    Well, come back to California! We need common sense, smart, no-nonsense residents who understand how the outlandish $68 billion foolishness of our elected officials has hurt our state. And, as a reminder, it was 80 degrees yesterday at the beach.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  57. Whoever replaces her will be worse.
    It’s Cantafordya.

    mg (31009b)

  58. It is almost certain that a Republican will make it to the top two. The GOP never gets less than 40% of the vote in statewide contests. Each 2014 statewide contest had 1 Dem and 1 GOP.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  59. For the GOP to win this, they need to have a star. Rice would have a chance, but she won’t run. The only job she wants outside Stanford is NFL Commissioner.

    None of the state’s regular GOP politicians can get past the media blackout on their campaigns (or, in fact, the problem of advertising in the era of DVRs and cord-cutting). Kashkari, Sweringen, etc all lost in 2014 to nobodies.

    So who? Pickings are slim in Hollywood for Republicans. The only actor who might get in is Jolie, but I think she’s a Dem. Clint is too old. There’s Bruce Willis and Robert Duvall… That might be fun.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  60. BTW, Sandra Fluke could not win a legislative seat in Santa Monica. She got beat BADLY by a white male. In Santa Monica. Her career is over before it got started.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  61. Bruce Willis is a resident of ID, IIR.
    Duvall’s too old also.
    Kashinkari was a sacrificial lamb selected by the GOPe to keep Donnelly out of the General – when they abandoned him to his fate of losing to a loser.
    Swearingen had a few skeletons in her Fresno closet that she couldn’t overcome against a nobody –
    how anyone could consider her a strong candidate against the best the Progs have to offer would be delusional.
    The only GOP possibility with any kind of state-wide name recognition is Tom McClintock, and the media would crucify him for his conservatism – He is CA’s own “Dr. No!”

    askeptic (efcf22)

  62. askeptic–

    No one who is against abortion can win statewide in California. That leaves McClintock and a lot of Republicans out. Plays well in the midwest and south, but only the libertarian wing as a ghost of a chance on the left coast.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  63. elissa–

    There are some folks so far outside the mainstream that they lack all political parallax.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  64. Elissa, thank you.

    Mark: while I’m happy to live in New York and San Francisco, or perhaps Seattle or Portland, and possibly DC or Boston, Detroit simply isn’t on the list. My husband would not have many job prospects there, and while I could almost certainly get a job there, there’s little draw (despite the fact that I have a native Michigan friend who adores Detroit and tells me it will be the next best thing). We’re also looking exclusively in the US at this time – my husband does not speak any foreign languages and so would have a difficult time adapting to life in a non-English-speaking country, and my job prospects are reduced anywhere that I can’t practice law.

    So none of your suggestions are on the table.

    That said, I have a question for you:

    I’ve been an intermittent commenter at this site for literally a dozen years. In that time I’ve been a polite dissenter. I’m far from perfect as commenters go, particularly because I have a tendency to drop out of discussions when I get busy and come back when I have time to spare, which means I miss a lot – but even with those imperfections, I do what I can to engage with people productively, and to defend my views while *listening* to those who disagree with me. To, in the terms of a former President whom I didn’t like very much, disagree without being disagreeable, and to treat the people here as *people* deserving of respect and honor.

    In my experience of your comments, you do not treat me the same way.

    So my question to you is this: what *does* a liberal have to do for you to treat them respectfully and politely?

    Is it even *possible*?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  65. Dana, to be fair, the voters passed a ballot initiative authorizing that project. :)

    Kevin, speaking as a liberal who has voted for McClintock in the past: I cannot imagine him winning for Senate. If he couldn’t win for *controller*, a position in which his fiscal conservatism would be an asset and his social conservatism would be irrelevant, he has no hope for Senate.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  66. JVW, loyalty to friends is, in my mind, one of the highest virtues, and Newsom’s betrayal of that pretty much permanently cemented my dislike of him.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  67. the voters passed a ballot initiative authorizing that project.

    #Failifornia has a plethora of ignorant idiots who vote for all sorts of stupid things: Fineswine, Boxershorts, Obola, High Speed Fail… you name it, these morons vote for it.

    redc1c4 (269d8e)

  68. In other news, here’s a possible reason why Los Angeles does not have a football team.

    nk (dbc370)

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