California is a bell-weather state in so many ways, and this year, both the gubernatorial and senatorial races are special. Two political outsiders are running, and they're both women, Meg Whitman (candidate for Governor) and Carly Fiorina (candidate for Senator).
Meg Whitman is the former CEO of eBay. I think everybody knows about the success of eBay, and if you haven't bought anything on eBay, you're the rare person. Some people might even accuse you of living under a rock.
Carly Fiorina is a more recognizable name from Hewlett Packard. She was the first woman to head a Fortune 20 company, working her way up from a secretarial position.
Both of them are only in their 50s, so they're still rather young, and they're both businesswomen who have now decided to take a stab at politics. It's nice to see a fresh wave of competent business people get involved.
And I love that both women are the Republican candidates. I never doubted that there were great women in the party who would make outstanding candidates, but it just seemed like they didn't step up to run in big numbers.
California is a tough place for a governor--just ask Arnold Schwarzenegger, another Republican. He has had a very hard time muscling over the state legislature and controlling spending, but a lot of that is out of any legislator's control with the whole proposition aspect to California politics. And the strong unions, especially the teachers' union, make spending cuts very difficult.
But Meg Whitman has decided to try to take that on. She is proposing tax cuts, especially in capital gains, to stimulate growth and job creation.
Carly Fiorina, likewise, is pro-business, especially small business. She has criticized her opponent, Barbara Boxer, for not doing more for small businesses.
While it would be great to see both women win, I think that the harder job will be that of Governor of California. We could use both women, though, to help move the Republican agenda of tax cuts and business growth. And, of course, it's always nice to have smart people running for office whose past successes speak for themselves.