For California Senate Seat, It's All About The Hair

Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer have much to debate as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard seeks to wrest the U.S. Senate seat away from the veteran Democratic incumbent.

Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer
Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer

It could be the feistiest, nastiest campaign of the year. Already, Fiorina has set up an attack web site calledFailed Senator. (Here's Boxer's official sitein the interest of fairness)

Two strong women. Two fighters. Two different hairstyles.

Fiorina was caught on tape with an open microphone Wednesday night at Sacramento TV station KXTV. (see video below)

About four minutes into the video, as Fiorina chats with someone off camera while waiting to be interviewed, the would-be Senator says a friend saw Barbara Boxer on television that morning, "and said what everybody says, 'God, what is that hair?'" After a hearty laugh, Fiorina adds, "So yesterday..."

The claws are out.

But, at the risk of drawing the ire of feminists ... 99.99999% of all women TALK ABOUT EACH OTHER'S HAIR. I have been on camera for 27 years, and if I have a bad hair day (which is a lot), it's all I hear about. As one smart, successful female news anchor once told me, "It's all about the hair."

One could safely assume that hair is especially important to Fiorina, since she knows what it's like to lose it all, after having been treated for breast cancer. You don't think Barbara Boxer has ever said something to a friend about Fiorina's earlier buzz cut look? Puh-leeez. I have!

What may be more interesting about Fiorina's open mic night is that she also commented on fellow Republican Meg Whitman (no, not on her hair ... which, well...). "I find it really surprising that on the first day of the general (campaign), Meg Whitman's going on Sean Hannity," Fiorina says. "I think it's bizarre ... you know how he is."

The lesson here, which this blunt-talking former chief executive should know by now, is that you should always consider a microphone "hot", and always assume someone is rolling tape. That way, you'll never be unpleasantly surprised. Of course, plenty of news anchors still haven't learned this lesson, given the occasional on-air f-bomb.

However, I don't think the Fiorina video was the biggest political story out of California Wednesday. No, to me, the biggest story is that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has not endorsed the Republican seeking to replace him.

The Governor could not be found anywhere near Meg Whitman's victory celebration Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he was asked if he'd spoken to Whitman or Democratic nominee Jerry Brown and if he planned to make an endorsement. "No, I'm not going to make an endorsement at this point," he replied, "and I don't know if I will make one later on."


My question, is the former action star irked that the GOP nominee doesn't want him in the same zip code as she is between now and November? Or did Meg Whitman's people tell Gov. Schwarzenegger that, considering the way he's handled the state's finances, she'd prefer not to have an endorsement? Either way, a former California Governor named Ronald Reagan would not be pleased.

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