Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Anticipation!: Carly Makes Up Her Mind

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Maybe it's a Carly thing.  First Carly Simon spelled it out in her 1971 hit Anticipation  ("Is making me late.  Is keeping me waiting").

    Then Carly Fiorina kept us waiting for days before she finally took a stand on Prop 23.  But we shouldn't be too hard on her.  It's a tough call to make for a GOP candidate taking on a strong incumbent.

    Proposition 23 would suspend California's global warming laws while unemployment is as high as it's been lately.  Those green laws would cap emissions of greenhouse gases, including those from more than 600 power plants and factories all up and down the Golden State.   Some say it would force us to move toward greener energy sources like solar and wind.  Others say it would cost billions and drive up the cost of just about everything.  Prop 23 would put all that aside until unemployment drops to 5.5% or lower for four consecutive quarters.

    Ms. Fiorina's Senate opponent Barbara Boxer used Prop 23 to get a good lick in during Wednesday's debate.   When Fiorina took no position on Prop 23, Boxer saw her opportunity.  "If you can't take a stand on Prop 23, I don't know what you can take a stand on."   Boxer went on to say Prop 23 would mean China and Germany would take then lead the way in the development of green technology, and ended with a solid shot "I guess my opponent is used to creating jobs in China and other places.  I want those jobs created in America."

    Carly had no counterattack. No position Wednesday night. No position Thursday.  Even conservatives grew impatient with Fiorina's stall.  Finally, earlier today, Fiorina came out with her position.   Not a fiery defense of Prop 23, but support nonetheless.    She said, "Prop 23 is a band-aid fix ... The real solution lies ... with global action.  That's why we need a comprehensive national energy solution ... including nuclear, wind, and solar in an environmentall responsible way."

    So why the waiting and the anticipation?  Ms. Fiorina is going to need moderate voters, and so she needs to avoid a decision between pro-business and pro-environment.  Trying to decide that might give anyone pause.   But pausing too much could make Fiorina look indecisive.  (Yes Carly, I'll bet you think this blog is about you, don't you.)

    The days won't get any easier for either woman.  Labor Day is right around the corner, and the campaigns will only get tougher as the election nears.