More times than not, pre-Labor Day debates are much ado about nothing. Voters aren’t paying attention. Election Day isn’t for another two months.
That said, tonight’s one-hour, televised face-off between U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Republican challenger Carly Fiorina (7 p.m. starting time here on the Left Coast) is compelling viewing, if you’re a political aficionado. Here’s why:
- It’s the first time the women share the same stage, which makes this a refreshing change of pace from two campaigns talking past each other, and talking primarily to their ideological bases. One never knows what happens when the conversation becomes up close and personal.
- Neither candidate seems to have much personal respect for her opponent — witness Fiorina’s pot shot at Boxer’s coif; and Boxer’s determination to portray the pioneering Fiorina as a failed CEO.
- Can both sides resist the temptation to go to the dark side? For Boxer, that’s trying to palm off Fiorina as Sarah Palin sans designer specs. For Fiorina, it’s the temptation to call the senator “ma’am”.