The New Yorker's Connie Bruck weighs in this week on the U.S. Senate campaign in California. The Republican who emerges from the party's primary "may have a good chance of defeating Barbara Boxer, who faces an anti-incumbent mood and discontent over the state’s foundering economy," Bruck writes. [Link fixed.]
The national Republican Party has seized upon the race as a bellwether. Tom Campbell, a five-term Republican congressman who describes himself as a fiscal conservative and social moderate—he is pro-choice and supports gay marriage—believes this is his year. Recent polls show, however, that his opponent, Carly Fiorina, has overtaken his lead, and Campbell’s greatest assets—policy experience and a powerful intellect—now seem to be handicaps. Fiorina, the polished former C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard, said at a debate on May 6th: “I am not a career politician.” Campbell’s other opponent, Chuck DeVore, casts himself as anti-government. The resolution of this contest will determine a great deal about the future of the Republican Party.
Bruck's focus is really on Campbell: "He has long been almost perversely independent. A supporter of Israel, he has nevertheless voted, on occasion, in ways that incur the enmity of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby."