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Boxer Cites Rice Confirmation in Pitch for DSCC

As the Senate debates the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to be the next secretary of State, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) took her opposition to President Bush’s nominee to a new front: She has used it in a fundraising pitch to Democratic donors.

In an e-mail sent out Tuesday on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Boxer referred to Rice’s “misleading statements leading up to the war in Iraq and beyond,” and implored donors to “put the brakes on four more years of misdirection in Iraq and reckless policies at home” by helping elect more Democrats next year.

“My Democratic colleagues and I will hold the Bush administration accountable for its decisions,” Boxer wrote in the e-mail. “But we will need your help to hold them accountable in the ultimate public hearing: the next midterm elections in 2006.”

Boxer has taken an increasingly vocal role in opposing Bush since the start of the 109th Congress. In addition to taking on Rice’s performance as national security adviser during Bush’s first term, Boxer joined with several House Members in officially challenging Ohio’s electoral votes at the ceremonial vote counting in early January. Her challenge forced the House and Senate to debate the validity of a state’s electoral votes for only the third time in history.

The Republican National Committee has taken note of Boxer’s higher profile, releasing an e-mail attack of its own Tuesday calling the Senator “the new face of the Democrat Party.”

The e-mail highlighted Boxer’s liberal voting record and her connection to Hollywood and controversial filmmaker Michael Moore.

Boxer took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to defend her criticisms of Rice.

On the floor, she said she was surprised that her pointed questions of Rice at the nominee’s confirmation hearings have received so much attention, positive and negative.

“I believe I’m doing my job,” Boxer told her colleagues. “It’s as simple as that.”

Boxer ended her fundraising pitch: “So while I raise my voice on the Senate floor, I hope you will join us on the campaign trail and send the loudest message of all — one that the Republicans will not be able to ignore — unseating them in the midterm elections and sending more Democrats to the Senate.”

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