Fiorina's Mixed Messages

Carly Fiorina has made big progress in her race against incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, pulling into a virtual tie in polls. She's done well by focusing on Boxer's record. But her success has brought more scrutiny to her own plans, and they've been found wanting.

Fiorina has made a strong case for the need to fight deficits and cut federal spending. But she had a disastrous TV appearance over the weekend where she couldn't explain what cuts she'd vote for (She talked instead vaguely about some kind of commission on entitlements). Yesterday, she held a press conference at a former car dealership in San Bernardino, where she suggested that Boxer was responsible for its demise.

Huh? One thing that Boxer and other Democrats shouldn't be accused of is neglecting car dealerships. In fact, one of the bills in particular used against the Democrats has been their bailout of General Motors and the auto industry. It may be that the U.S. still has too many car dealerships because of Barbara Boxer.

If Fiorina were intellectually honest, she'd campaign in a GM dealership that's still open because of the bailout and explain that Democrats are delaying the inevitable.

But Fiorina's campaign is devoted to throwing everything it can at Boxer -- instead of offering a real strategy for downsizing government and painful economic transformation.

Talking about those painful steps is the sort of thing political consultants advise against. But if Fiorina would make the leap, she might be able to close the deal.

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