Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina debate: watch out for 'head blimp'

The race between Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) of California and her Republican challenger, Carly Fiorina, has already had some odd moments. On Wednesday night, the two debate.

Robert Galbraith/Reuters
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) greets supporters after speaking to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, California August 31.
Justin Kase Conder/AP
Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) address the media during a campaign stop at Fowler Packing Company in Fresno, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug 31.

Anytime you can write “tonight’s political debate” in the same sentence with “hair,” “demon sheep,” and “giant head blimp,” you should. So we will.

Yes, we’re all looking forward to Wednesday night’s big word fling between Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) of California and her feisty Republican challenger, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. They’re scheduled to debate at 7 p.m., Pacific time at St. Mary’s College, near San Francisco.

The “hair” part comes from the fact that in June, Ms. Fiorina was caught on an open mike saying that Senator Boxer’s hairstyle is “so yesterday.” Boxer has tried to jujitsu that line, turning it back against her opponent.

“It’s not about hair. It’s about real issues that matter,” said Boxer Tuesday in an appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

(We’ll just note here that the US Senate has 100 members, and probably 90 of them have out-of-date hirsute stylings. The other 10 are bald.)

Meanwhile, Fiorina has run a very imaginative campaign so far. That’s where “demon sheep” and “head blimp” come in.

In February, Fiorina’s campaign released an ad in which her primary opponent, ex-Rep. Tom Campbell, was depicted as a demon sheep. At least, we think that’s what it showed – it’s kind of hard to follow. But it’s compelling in a way that most such ads aren’t.

Yes, we thought it wasn’t going to work, at first. But we had second thoughts later.

And Fiorina dispatched Mr. Campbell fairly handily.

The blimp thing came from another ad produced by the same shop, released in March. This time, Boxer herself was the target. It showed Boxer’s head inflating into a kind of giant zeppelin-like object that burst through the Capitol dome and floated west toward California, scaring children and chattering about wasting tax money along the way.

However, we’ll note that the hairstyle on the blimp looks pretty good. It’s sort of a soft blow-dry look, with subtle coloring. A little long around the ears, maybe.

Since then, Fiorina has tried hard to portray Boxer as a traditional tax-and-spend liberal who is pushing policies that will do little to help the state, while bankrupting the nation. She’s said that if elected, she herself would push tax credits that help California businesses while cutting the deficit overall.

Boxer, for her part, says Fiorina is a failed CEO who wants to take the United States back to the days when economic policies favored the rich. Democrats need a Senate majority, says Boxer, to keep pushing recovery policies and green-energy industries that will benefit the Golden State.

Right now,’s survey average puts Boxer in the lead, slightly, at 46.9 percent to 43.5 percent.

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