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January 15, 2005
The California Earthquake On Rice

The AP reports this morning that the nomination of Condoleezza Rice for Secretary of State has caused a faultline between California's two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. While Feinstein accepted an invitation to introduce Rice to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for her nomination hearing, Barbara Boxer intends on using character assassination to push her anti-war views:

Rice, Bush's national security adviser, lists California as her residence after having served for six years as provost of Stanford University, Feinstein's alma mater. It's customary for nominees to ask home-state senators to introduce them at confirmation hearings.

Feinstein accepted Rice's invitation to introduce her to the committee, and praised her in a statement Friday as "the natural choice to be our country's next secretary of state."

Boxer gave a hint Friday on how she is expected to greet Rice at the Tuesday hearing.

"I personally believe that your loyalty to the mission you were given overwhelmed your respect for the truth," Boxer plans to tell Rice, according to prepared remarks she released Friday.

So why does Barbara Boxer fear Condoleezza Rice? Besides her sobbing partisan performances on any issue she addresses, her concerns are more personal. Once George Bush leaves office, it's no secret that the GOP would love to get the widely-respected Rice to run for major elective office. Having just been re-elected, Boxer's next election for the Senate will come in 2010 -- two years after Rice leaves government service at State. Boxer needs to do as much damage to Rice as she can now in order to kneecap her for 2010.

Rice has given no indication that she will pursue elective office at the end of Bush's term, and even if she does, her ambitions might lead to the California governor's office rather than the Senate. Assuming Schwarzenegger runs again in 2006, that position will open up in the same election. It might be that both women run for Arnold's seat, but it's clear that they are likely to be political opponents at some level in six years.

For a senator who has long decried the pre-emptive strike, Boxer certainly doesn't mind employing them on her own behalf. I find it striking that Feinstein declined to give her any political cover for her actions. It may indicate that even the Democrats have tired of Boxer's antics of late.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 15, 2005 10:20 AM

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» Boxer Plans To Challenge Rice's Integrity from Powerpundit
Sen. Barbara Boxer plans to once again embarass California, as she did by protesting the certification of presidential electors just a week ago, with an attack on Condoleeza Rice. Her plans are at odds with California's other senator, Dianne Feinstein:... [Read More]

Tracked on January 15, 2005 5:32 PM

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