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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Once again, George Allen brings shame to Virginians

It is easy to lampoon George Allen because his behavior is so over the top. From his days of playing at being a cowboy (unfortunately, Allen has continued playing make believe up until this very day) to taunting college students with racial epithets like "Macaca," his actions draw a lot of press.

How much? Let's just look at the latest Google news aggregator: over 340 articles about his staff attacking a constituent at a campaign stop. The top links are all Virginian TV stations, but in addition to the metropolian DC area (including Maryland), the story has run in papers and on TV in California, New York, North Dakota, North Carolina, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Ohio, etc. Basically, outlets across the nation have carried the story because they know that their audience is fascinated by the political bloopers of George Allen. (Like me. His self-combustion is riveting!)

Tomorrow and in upcoming days, the story will spread out even more across the nation. And then the international press will pick up on the story, and that's how you have a one week story, which takes us to Election Day.

Virginians cringe when they hear this, because they know that the image that George "Felix" Allen is exporting across the country is that of an incompetent bully who likes to stand by as his staff tackles defenseless constituents, when really voters crave real leadership, which Jim Webb, former Navy Secretary, is happy to provide. They're done with the maurading buffoon who doesn't deserve the title of Senator. Webb picked up 10 newspaper endorsements from across the state, including the Washington Post, whereas I can't even find the newspaper endorsement section of Allen's website (yes I went there and I do feel dirty.) Scanning through his press releases, only 2 Richmond papers endorsed Allen, which must be a blow to someone who has served in two statewide positions as Governor and Senator.

Now look at those states where the story picked up steam -- a lot of those states are swing states, or Republican base states, or places where presidential candidates go to pick up fat donations. They're the type of places Allen used to go gallivanting about when he thought his reelection to the Senate was so secure that he could afford to play at being a presidential candidate. Now his dreams of beinig the next idiot King George are over. Just for reference, back in March he was the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire GOP convention (a good way of getting face time with the first in the nation primary). Look how far Allen has dropped, and look how far Webb has come since the primaries:

Miller said Allen's national ambition is a concern.

"I'm a businessman," he said in a telephone interview last week. "If I'm interviewing a guy for a job and he wants to go off and have lunch with another prospective employer, I'm not going to hire him."

Miller and Webb have never held elective office and are not well- known to voters. Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., said they may lack the stature to make Allen's dual campaigning an issue.

"In theory, what Allen is doing is dangerous if you're running against a top-tier candidate," Coker said. "But there isn't a Democrat running against him right now who I would put in that category."

Part of it is that Webb is a great candidate with stellar credentials who Virginians have increasingly embraced the more that they know about him. The other half is that Virginia voters are too frequently embrassed by Allen, who really did take his eye off of serving the people of Virginia, going so far as to disparage his service in the Senate as "boring" via the New York Times:

CULPEPER, Va., March 21 — George Allen makes little secret that he is bored with life in the Senate.

"I made more decisions in half a day as governor than you can make in a whole week in the Senate," Senator Allen said earlier this month as he dashed into a recent Republican fund-raiser in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Over eggs and hash browns with a Republican crowd in Davenport, he lamented about being in the Senate, "It's too slow for me."

Well, Felix, you don't have to be worried about being "bored" for much longer. Jim Webb is eager to throw your faux cowboy boots out of office and to step up as a real and honorable leader for Virginia.


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