OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Thursday, September 28, 2006 :::

Barnes on Allen

Fred Barnes takes a look at the Allen campaign post-macaca and wonders if there can be life after gaffe:

Given Mr. Allen's status as a presidential possibility, the media's concentration on his personal life was not surprising. Reporters are famous for scrutinizing the past of presidential candidates and ferreting out old embarrassments and long-held secrets. When Gary Hart ran for president, it was discovered he'd changed his name and fudged on his age. In 1992, an old letter written by Bill Clinton surfaced in which he condemned the military.

Mr. Allen's campaign has seemed unprepared for the way that presidential races, with their high visibility, draw out personal information. His two previous statewide races (for governor in 1993 and the Senate in 2000) were largely uneventful and revealed little besides that he's a likeable conservative with a libertarian streak and without the slightest hint of racism. The perils, I suppose, of a possibly premature coronation.

That sounds about right. The Allen camp was desperately under-prepared for the storm that arose in August and they are paying the price for it. But then we come to the finish:

Many conservatives are souring on Virginia's junior senator as a presidential candidate. Still: Should Mr. Allen overcome the media onslaught, effectively counter Mr. Webb's call for a withdrawal from Iraq, finish the campaign without breaking ranks with President Bush, and win a slugfest by a modest margin, he may emerge as a tough-minded survivor. The press won't like him any better, but he might earn the respect of Republican voters around the country. Candidates have been "misunderestimated" before, and stranger things have happened in politics.

The future conditional tense. Hardly the sort of firm foundation upon which to build a national candidacy. And while it is true that "stranger things have happened in politics" -- Barnes' shorthand for the Bush victories -- I'm not so sure that will occur this time.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 9/28/2006 1 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

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