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Allen weighs another shot at Webb
Others also eye GOP nod
Question of the Day
For Mr. Allen, the path to a rematch could be complex.
“Right now, he is the front-runner, and if he can consolidate the party, he will be the nominee,” said former Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, a Republican.
But Mr. Davis and others warn that consolidating the party will be easier said than done after a campaign season in which the “tea party” movement swept lawmakers into office who repudiated many of the policies enacted during Mr. Allen’s tenure, when Republicans ran both chambers of Congress.
Mr. Allen, though, said tea partiers should feel comfortable with him since he’s been talking about limited-government principles and the Constitution for years. His catchphrase during his various runs for office has been that he’s a “common-sense Jeffersonian conservative.”
“I can talk about the 10th Amendment and people will actually know what I’m talking about,” he said. “I think it’s wonderful.”
Mr. Allen would likely take a lead into the primary, thanks to statewide name recognition. But he still could fall prey to a conservative challenger, such as state Delegate Robert G. Marshall, who nearly won a state-convention bid to be the party’s 2008 Senate nominee over another former governor, James S. Gilmore III.
Mr. Marshall, a conservative favorite who represents part of Prince William County, touts some high-profile victories, including sponsoring the bill that challenged the federal government’s authority to mandate that every legal resident purchase health insurance.
“We’ve got to bring in some new blood and new leadership and quit reaching back into the past,” he said. “Republicans did a terrible job between 2000 and 2006, just as foolishly as the Democrats did. They were part of the problem, and they remain part of the problem.”
Indeed, observers have long painted Mr. Allen as a more successful executive than legislator, and he chafed against the slow pace of the Senate. He still says the Senate has “too much worshipping of process and personalities.” But he said with all the problems that have built up, people are finally expecting action out of Congress, and that’s something he can be part of.
He said his longtime support for a balanced-budget amendment and a line-item veto for the president could help pare the federal deficit. And though he submitted earmark requests in the past, he came out earlier this year against the practice.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By Michael P. Orsi
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