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Boxer Has 99 Problems But Kaus Ain’t One

May 17, 2010

Apparently, Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle wanted to write two articles, one on blogger-turned-pseudo-politician Mickey Kaus and another on Barbara Boxer’s potential difficulties in her upcoming Senate campaign, and so she combined them into one in today’s paper.. Unfortunately, they aren’t actually part of the same story, even though it may seem like it. Boxer is facing a distressingly close poll numbers, with only a single point lead over potential Republican challenger Tom Campbell. Against GOP hopefuls Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore, her lead is in the single digits. Of course, Boxer hasn’t started campaigning yet while the GOP candidates are currently out in force on the airwaves but those are still worrying numbers for an incumbent.

Mickey Kaus, however, doesn’t seem to be worrying Boxer at all, and shouldn’t. Until recently, he wrote an opaque column at Slate.com, which he left to pursue his “campaign.” While I used to work at Slate, and love almost everything they publish, I could never get into his column. It has a lot of indentation, boldface and cynicism, as I remember. We could get into why Boxer doesn’t need to worry about Kaus in terms of his substantive political positions, as Robert Cruickshank at Calitics did earlier. Thankfully, Kaus’s own words give Californians ample reason not to take him seroiusly.

From the LA Weekly: “I’m not going to win, don’t worry about it.”

From the NYT Magazine: “I do not expect to win.”

It’s too bad that Kaus didn’t run for Governor or the State Legislature instead of the U.S. Senate. His complaints about public employee unions would be considerably more valid and potent, especially after voters read articles like this one about the practice of pension spiking (when public employees’ salaries are increased substantially immediately before their retirement in order to increase their pension). Obviously, the stage in Sacramento isn’t big enough for Kaus’s ego.

Succinctly: Marinucci’s article probably did a lot to stoke that ego but the implication that Kaus is part of Boxer’s troubles (if she does end up having trouble) is ridiculous.

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