Elections 2010 |

Corporate, political insiders face off

“Career politicians in Washington, D.C., be warned,” Meg Whitman threatened at her victory rally, after congratulating Carly Fiorina. “You now face your worst nightmare – two businesswomen... who know how to create jobs.”

It’s the kind of rhetoric we might see more of heading toward November, with both the Senate and gubernatorial races shaping up as contests between corporate and political insiders.

Both Fiorina and Whitman are former CEOs, a credential that could hinder more than help after the recession left voters leery of big business.

At the same time, both Democratic candidates, incumbent senator Barbara Boxer and former governor Jerry Brown, are seasoned politicians facing an electorate in a decidedly anti-incumbent mood. As Brown told reporters, “Look, I’ve done this job before.”

Expect to see a new line of negative ads with candidates all trying to paint themselves as fresh faces and their opponents as out-of-touch.

The Public Policy Institute found in a poll that Californians don’t particularly like any of the candidates. Boxer and Brown both had approval ratings of 37 percent, while Whitman and Fiorina clock in at 24 and 22 percent respectively.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)