When Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Cal., released her surprise video announcement that she is retiring from the Senate in 2016, she apparently forgot to warn her old liberal buddy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi, D-Cal., was utterly blindsided and stunned when asked by a reporter during a press conference about Boxer's retirement, The Hill reports
"What? That's funny," Pelosi said. "She called me, said she wanted to talk personally. I thought she maybe wanted to have dinner tonight or something."
Boxer's political career
spans over three decades. Elected to the House in 1983, she ascended to the Senate in 1992, The Washington Post reports, noting that her sudden announcement will trigger a wide-open, free-for-all to fill the seat.
Among those said to covet Boxer's Senate chair are Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Cal., Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Even Tom Steyer, the wealthy environmental activist, is said to be interested in running, the Post reports.
Boxer made the announcement in a video with her eldest grandson, Zach Rodham, the son of Nicole Boxer, the senator's daughter, who once was married to Tony Rodham, Hillary Clinton's brother, CBS News reported
Pelosi said that she and Boxer, both 74, have been longtime friends, and added: "Our family celebrations have been together over time, whether it's weddings or babies or whatever, so it's a close personal friendship," The Hill reported.
She called Boxer "one of the most unselfish politicians I have ever known. She has always shared her ideas; she has always shared the credit.
"Of course, I wish the best for her personally," Pelosi said. "Officially, I think it's a big loss for the country. But she knows her timetable."
Boxer insisted in the video that age is not the reason for her decision.
"Some people are old at 40 and some people are young at 80. As for me, I feel as young as I did when I was elected," she said in the video.
Pelosi may have been caught off-guard, but Boxer's retirement was not entirely unexpected. A recent statewide poll
found that only 41 percent of California's adults approved of Boxer's Senate performance, a drop from 47 percent in September.
Federal Election Commission filings show that she has only $149,000 in campaign cash, with her lack of fundraising indicating that she has been planning her Senate exit for some time, the Post noted.
Another factor in global warming activist Boxer's decision may be the loss of her chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who has termed global warming a "hoax."
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