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

Friday, December 08, 2006 :::

"I wish I had done better"

George Allen talks with the RTD's Peter Hardin about the late campaign, his future and what might have been.

There's not a great deal of real depth in this piece, perhaps in part because Allen's minions:

But yesterday, a news photo was deemed off-limits; an Allen adviser wouldn't agree to let the Times-Dispatch photograph Allen in such a scene of rejection.

Defeat has taught them very little indeed.

But what of Allen?

He still showed his trademark competitiveness.

He recalled his private remarks to his campaign staff after his concession speech Nov. 9.

"Look, I don't like losing; show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser," he recounted saying.

Allen then spoke of his own and wife Susan's all-out efforts to serve Virginia, and the "very close loss."

"You learn from your losses, you learn from your mistakes," he said, "and you get back up and you do better in the future."

He will have sufficient time to learn from his loss. However, much the same was said here at this blog and elsewhere after the Kilgore defeat. Some Virginia politicians have learned a few very good lessons -- notably Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell. They join people like Chris Saxman and Ken Cuccinelli in reaching beyond the traditional campaign methods and engaging the new media early and often. Others have made occasional forays, to their credit.

I would suggest that the looking go far beyond mere mechanics. I and others have said that principles ought to stand higher and far more publicly than tactics. Jim Gilmore (of all people) probably said it best earlier this summer:

Gilmore says the problem with the Republican Party in Virginia is not only the RPV...but the legislature, and all Republicans as well. He believes it's vital for the Party to concentrate on suburbanites -- their concerns, their needs, their wishes. He believes they want low taxes, safe communities and an education system that is effective and accountable (and that education trumps all other concerns -- even taxes and transportation).

Gilmore believes the Republicans in the General Assembly have placed the needs of government ahead of the needs of the people. The GOP, he thinks, is now the party of "big taxation" which he calls "ridiculous."

He challenges the Senate in particular to explain where these "bills in the drawer" come from and why are they there.

He believes it is vital to fight on the suburban turf in Northern and Central Virginia. He took a not-so-subtle swipe at Kilgore, saying that niche issues like the death penalty aren't important, but public safety and law enforcement are. He also believes it's far more important to fight campaigns based upon ideas rather than personalities (perhaps yet another swipe at Kilgore -- hard to say). He wants to see candidates who are qualified, credible, strong, with a conservative message that addresses people's needs.

In many ways, Allen and Gilmore are saying the same thing. Yet no one, at least so far, seems capable of translating these concepts into action.

The one who does is the one who will win.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 12/08/2006 2 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

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

"Don't pretend that you know me...cause I don't even know myself" -- The Who

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