Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and challenger Carly Fiorina meet up tonight in their first debate, this time in the Northern California town of Moraga, with the event broadcast throughout the state. (It airs on Fox 11 in Los Angeles).
The race is a dead heat, but Boxer is the clear favorite among Hollywood Democrats, based on the money that has poured into her campaign from multiple events (One of her first big industry fund-raisers for her re-election bid took place in April, 2007). But Fiorina is capitalizing on an anti-incumbent mood, not to mention that Boxer has benefited from not having any serious challenger since she was first elected in 1992.
Time’s Kevin O’Leary writes that neither has much experience in debates. Pomona College political scientist David Menefee-Libey tells him, “Both are very articulate speakers, both are comfortable in front of an audience and neither backs down from conflict.”
The Big Shift: The American Foundation for Equal Rights, the org that is backing the Prop 8 trial now headed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has been particularly successful and bringing in conservatives to the pro-gay marriage side, so much so that the White House should be concerned that Republicans are co-opting same-sex unions as an issue. A Democratic consultant tells the Huffington Post, “There are a whole group of people to the left of them on gay rights. And they are Republicans. It should make them uncomfortable.” The news last week that former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman has come out and is raising money for the Equal Rights Foundation was accompanied by the announcement of a New York fund-raiser featuring a long list of conservative co-hosts including Mary Cheney, Benjamin Ginsburg, Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt, with the event held at the home of GOP stalwart Paul Singer.
A New Challenge: Here’s one debate we’re waiting to see: James Cameron vs. Andrew Breitbart. The matchup may never happen, but Breitbart has asked the director to join him in a “moratorium on wasteful and redundant sequels.”
‘What the Hell’ Moment: When you can run in the middle, there’s some stuff you don’t have to worry about: The CEO of Penthouse is holding a fund-raiser for the independent Senate bid of Charlie Crist.
Change of Heart: Fox News says that it will run a Media Matters ad critical of News Corp.’s $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Assn., but only after revisions were made to the ad’s text.
Really?: Mother Jones checks Glenn Beck’s claim that, at a tour of the National Archives, he held the original inaugural address written by George Washington. A spokeswoman for the archives says that he did get a private tour, but no, he did not actually touch the document. “I’m certain it was a figure of speech,” she says.
Quotable: With Apple announcing an array of new products today, Jerry Brown tweets, “Steve Jobs started Apple in California when I was governor.”