Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

George Allen muzzled by campaign

Kos picks up the report from the Washington Post:
Weeks after George Allen 's mouth got him into serious trouble, the senator's advisers have apparently decided that he should shut up. . .

With less than a month before Election Day, Allen (R-Va.) has become virtually impossible to interview directly, giving his campaign handlers much more control over the message they send to voters. What voters see this month will be -- they hope -- only what they want voters to see.
If I were on his campaign staff, I would have told him to shut up and not do any on the record events a long time ago. Granted, that's a hard thing given that he's actually trying to keep his Senate seat, but when the media attention is ALL bad because you insulted a poor college student with an arcane racial slur, and then delayed your apology for so long, leading media and the general public to remain interested, resultinig in more articles about your history with Confederate-mania, and your aceptance of donations from pedophiles like Republican congressman Mark Foley, there are no other options.

The idea, apparently, is to avoid any further gaffes. In August, he called an Indian American worker for his challenger "macaca," a slur. Last month, in the middle of a story about his recently discovered Jewish roots, he told a reporter that his mother still "made great pork chops."

Now, though, he has turned to some of his longtime advisers, who have concluded that if Allen simply doesn't talk to the media, he can't make any more of those mistakes.

Going silent is a decidedly risky move this close to the elections, but having served as Governor and Senator, and as the son of a famous football coach, Allen has a very high name recognition across the state. Unfortunately, it's all tainted now - his name is mud. So it will also be hard to change that perception. Additionally, the last big story that captured the public's attention on Allen was him giving Mark Foley's campaign donation to charity. Damn hard to shape a postive public opinion that way. It's like having the last word in an angry, bitter breakup that you didn't want to happen. It's a pyhhric victory, because in the meantime, James Webb is holding press conferences galore, winning the favor of political reporters who need to fill their pages, and upping his name recognition to the general public.

Honestly, I'm not sure whether Virginians are going to want a senator whose mouth is such a liability that his own campaign has to put him on such a short leash. It sounds like another "elected" official who uses a tightly scripted Rose Garden strategy, and well, so far that guy's been successful in abandoning a drowning city, increasinig the ranks of the unemployed, starting up wars he can't finish, and turning our national surplus into an insurmountable deficit.

Virginians, there's a way to ensure that George Felix Allen's muzzle stays on for good - if you vote him out, you'll never have to hear him embarass your state again, whether by calling people monkeys, or by stealing legislation. Vote for a real leader not a quitting cheater - vote for James Webb.

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