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The real story about Baucus and Boxer and "we don't legislate very much"

A portion of the debate today - just a small portion - touched on Barbara Boxer's chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works committee. Patt asked whether Boxer had been effective in her leadership of the EPW committee - citing something Senator Baucus said - parahrasing him, saying it was disconcerting that the message amendments and bills kept coming through and not actual party leadership.

Plenty of valid questions about Boxer's effectiveness in EPW remain. But here's a video of what Baucus actually said:

Certainly he's speaking about his frustration with something that may be going on in the committee in which he is sitting, which is EPW. But he is careful to say phrases like - in his personal experience - on the Finance committee - and, at the end, in Congress. In the video, he seems to me to be applying his caution not only to the committee Boxer chairs - but to his Finance committee as well (he's the chair of that one). What do you think?

Recall, too, that lots of Dems - Baucus and Boxer among them - were jockeying for a piece of the climate bill pie when it was still a pie worth eating. (Like strawberry rhubarb...or blackberry....mmmm.) But, uh, in a nod to one of my favorite moments in Days of Thunder, isn't it the case that, as Robert Duvall might say, that's just rubbin' - and rubbin' is racing?

Anyway, here's what Fiorina's camp sent out about this earlier today, saying Boxer was "boxed in" by her disconcerting chairmanship of the EPW: 

Boxer: "He Was Misquoted. And He Of Course, You Didn't Get The Corrected Quote." QUESTION: "I would like to take off from that point about the chairmanship of the Environment and Public Policy. For Senator Boxer, one of your colleagues, Democratic Senator Max Baucus who headed that committee says that he thinks your committee has accomplished very little under your leadership. He was concerned. He said he found it disconcerting that the message amendments and bills coming through and not actual policy leadership to the extent that John Kerry in a sense was taking through the cap and trade bill rather than yourself. Have you been ineffective in that leadership when your own members have said that you have not accomplished what you should?" BOXER: "Well Max is one of my strongest supporters and he was misquoted. And he of course, you didn't get the corrected quote." (Sen. Barbara Boxer, KPCC U.S. Senate Debate, 9/29/10)