From Campaigns 101: When you're ahead in the polls, do not engage in any talk that might conceivably trip you up.
Barbara Boxer certainly has studied campaigns during her 28 years in Congress, and long ago learned how to duck a question.
Today, Boxer made a quick stop at and an even quicker exit from a start-up, Clean Energy Systems, in Rancho Cordova. There, she touted clean energy and made-in-America jobs, and took swipes at her opponent, Republican Carly Fiorina.
Boxer had opened her comments by saying how busy she was, and had to dash to the airport, but assured the gathering that she would answer a few questions from reporters about politics.
Sure enough, she completed her remarks, and said if reporters have any political questions, "I'm happy to take them at this time."
Funny thing, though, she didn't pause or look out into the audience. If she had, she might have seen a hand raised, mine. Instead, she seamlessly introduced the next speaker, Obama Administration Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and skittered off to a waiting vehicle so she could zip to the next stop.
If she had deigned to take a question, some wag might have asked: "Given your stated stand in favor of jobs and economy, why is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spending millions to defeat you."
But Boxer long ago learned how to campaign when polls suggest she might eek out a victory.