- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Independents are the apples of Allen’s eye in Virginia race
Former senator fights for comeback
Question of the Day
George Allen, the odds-on favorite to win Virginia’s GOP Senate primary Tuesday, is already working feverishly to win over the coveted independent vote for a high-stakes November matchup with Democrat Tim Kaine that will help determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate come January.
The former Virginia governor and U.S. senator wrapped up a two-week tour of the state Monday with an appearance at a Northern Virginia business with Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has stressed bipartisanship in his first 2 1/2 years in office and remains one of the nation’s most popular governors.
Capping off the tour by appearing with the Virginia governor, who despite a contentious General Assembly session has retained support across the political spectrum, underscores the notion that Mr. Allen has been steeling for a general election fight since he entered the race in January 2011.
“George Allen has kept his eye on the general election and has avoided saying anything or making decisions that could come back to haunt him,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington. “That’s smart politics. One of the bigger problems facing Mitt Romney now is having to deal with all the more extreme things he said to get the Republican nomination. George Allen doesn’t have that problem.”
Still, Mr. Allen is quick to deny looking past Tuesday.
“It is vitally important that we take nothing for granted,” he told a crowd of about 100 at the technology company Prototype Productions Inc. on Monday. “I don’t care what the weather is tomorrow - it could be storming, raining, hail, sunny, hot, whatever it may be, we need your vote. We need to send a message.”
When asked what percentage would be sufficient to send that message, Mr. Allen, who frequently peppers his speeches and appearances with sports metaphors, quoted the late Al Davis, the former owner of the Oakland Raiders.
“Just win, baby,” he said. “The bigger the turnout, the stronger the message.”
The effusive Mr. Allen is eyeing what would be one of the more remarkable political comebacks in recent history. Unlike his undisciplined, gaffe-strewn re-election campaign in 2006, in which he narrowly lost to Democrat Jim Webb, Mr. Allen has stayed on message this time around.
He has largely ignored charges from both the right and the left that he was a willing enabler of Washington’s profligate spending during the two terms of President George W. Bush. He has also declined Democrats’ calls for him to take definitive stands on lightning-rod issues for the GOP - a measure Congress is weighing that is intended to make it easier for women to achieve pay equity, for example.
Instead, he has toured the state touting his tax cuts for small businesses, reining in federal regulations on carbon emissions, and championing a balanced-budget amendment and the line-item veto, as he did as a U.S. senator.
Mr. Allen holds a big-time name recognition and fundraising advantage over his three opponents - tea party leader Jamie Radtke, Delegate Robert G. Marshall of Prince William County and Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson.
“When you have those two advantages, you have the luxury of worrying mainly about the general election,” Mr. Farnsworth said.
Mr. Allen’s recent appearances with Mr. McDonnell, a staunch social conservative who ran as a pragmatic, problem-solving job creator in 2009, speak to the importance of the approximately 10 percent of the electorate that’s undecided. Mr. Allen has been in a dead heat with Mr. Kaine, also a former Virginia governor, for virtually the entire race.
Mr. McDonnell on Monday noted that the political winds are much different now from what they were in 2006, when Mr. Allen and Republicans across the country suffered big losses amid a backlash against Mr. Bush and the Iraq War. After Virginia Democrats took control of the state Senate in 2007 and President Obama became the first Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson to carry Virginia in 2008, Republicans scored decisive gains in election cycles in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Williams: First lady didn't discuss her relationship with husband
- Williams: Maureen McDonnell's high-dollar requests seemed excessive
- Trips, loans for McDonnell family detailed at trial
- Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes 'crush' defense
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
Latest Blog Entries
- Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton 'clearly bears responsibility' on Benghazi
- Holder vows to press ahead on gun control fight
- Seven of 10 prefer that Obama work with Congress, not go around it: Poll
- Schumer: Tea party hasn't let Obama put his policies into effect
- GOP official: Black not running for Wolf's House seat
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- House backs faster deportations, cancels 'Dreamer' policy
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors