Barbara Boxer says she wants California voters to send her back to the Senate, but she might have an easier time making that argument if she had spent more time there in the first place. Jim Geraghty reports on Boxer’s travel habits, as well as her habit of having family tag along to such hotbeds of foreign-policy focus as … Paris, France, where Boxer ostensibly studied Islamic influence, and Dublin, where Boxer researched US-Russian relations? I guess Moscow wasn’t as much fun:
Since 2000, Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, has taken 18 trips sponsored by outside organizations, at a value of $97,975.
Naturally, if you want to learn about the Islamic world, you go to . . . Paris, France. With your spouse. For a week. At a cost of $12,272, as Boxer did in 2008.
If you want to become more familiar with the impact of U.S. policy on Latin America, clearly, you go to . . . thePunta de Mita beach resort in Mexico. With your spouse. Three times, in 2006, 2005, and 2002, at a cost of roughly $6,000 per trip.
If you want to learn more about U.S.-Russia-European relations, you go to . . . Dublin, Ireland, for five days, at a cost of more than $6,000, as she did in 2005. (I salute her taste.) Or perhaps you go to London, at a cost of $8,260, as she did in 2002.
It’s not just a California thing, either. Jim also notes that while Boxer’s 14 privately-funded trips cost over $5,000 each as of 2005, her colleague Dianne Feinstein traveled a lot more lightly, with an average cost of just $292 per trip. It’s difficult to keep expenses down when traveling to such lush locations, thanks to the influence she wields in the Senate.
Perhaps that’s why the latest Fox News poll shows Boxer’s approval rating at 41%:
She and incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer remain essentially tied. Fiorina gained 2 points to finish at 46 percent. Boxer bubbled up one point to finish at 47 percent.
While Boxer’s 41 percent approval rating may explain why she is having so much trouble getting elected to a fourth term, her performance may have something to do with slack support for Obama and his agenda.
Obama’s California job approval rating slid 3 points to 45 percent. The percentage of voters who think Obama’s policies have hurt the state’s economy rose 2 points to 37 percent. Only 25 percent believe Obama’s policies have helped the state economically.
Or it may have something to do with Boxer living large while voters expect her to work.