Allen v. Warner
Sunday, October 02, 2005 :::
"Good Copy" is all over the "proxy battle" between George Allen and Mark Warner. Tim Kaine? Rarely has one man so subordinated his own personality into that of another (more popular, more well-known) man. Jerry Kilgore...well, like Jeff says, aside from a couple of early instances, he and Allen have not exactly shared a lot of quality time on the stump.
I don't know what to make of the distance, except that Kaine needs Warner more than Kilgore needs Allen. Actually, Kilgore does need Allen. He needs as many hands on deck as he can get.
Cue Dean Martin..."Everybody needs somebody, sometime..."
This last bit regarding Allen is conventional wisdom at its best:
If Virginia's supposedly underwhelming gubernatorial campaign yields a low turnout, Allen could be an invaluable cheerleader for Kilgore, flushing out gun-rights voters, anti-taxers, and religious conservatives -- all huge fans of the junior senator.
Then, the soft teeth knocked down another whiny Democratic throat might be Mark Warner's.
That may be so. But as I have written this week, Allen hasn't exactly been out in front on efforts to offset or otherwise reduce federal spending of late. He's gotten behind a line-item veto amendment, which is good to see. And he has said some vague things about reducing spending.
But he's been outflanked in the senate by McCain on stopping the post-Katrina spending spree. He's said nothing (to my knowledge) about Eric Cantor's bill to cut discretionary spending across the board. But he has made his New Hampshire travel plans. He's even delivered a (well-received) speeech to the Club for Growth.
But so far, I don't see Allen's boots on the ground in the spending debate. That is baffling. Maybe he's pacing himself.
Yes, Allen has the star power to energize Virginia's right. He may turn it on in these last days. But the wattage has dimmed lately. Still, Kilgore would still benefit from Allen's visible presence. And that of other Virginia pols as well.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/02/2005