- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Allen’s Virginia primary victory sets up showdown with Kaine
Question of the Day
Republican George Allen clinched his party’s Senate nomination in Virginia on Tuesday, setting up an all-out slugfest with Democrat Tim Kaine in what will undoubtedly be one of the nation’s most consequential, closely-watched, and expensive races this year.
The race between Mr. Kaine and Mr. Allen features two candidates who are popular within their parties, well known to Virginians and have access to prodigious amounts of cash. The men have been locked in a dead heat in virtually every major poll conducted since the race began in the spring of 2011.
While insisting he was not looking past the GOP primary contest to the general election in the fall, Mr. Allen nevertheless campaigned against Mr. Kaine and President Obama throughout the primary season. Mr. Allen laid the blame for the current state of the economy at the feet of Mr. Obama’s economic and regulatory policies and Washington gridlock.
“The reason I got off the sidelines and into the fight is I look at 2012 as a pivotal time in our country’s history,” he said Tuesday in between greeting voters at the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield. “People look at, ‘How would common sense conservatives take over from Harry Reid’s obstructionist approach in the U.S. Senate?’ Well, Virginia’s key to it — same in the presidential race. No one can see getting elected president without carrying Virginia.”
He said the race is a question of whether voters want to embrace the policies that led to the current financial crisis — as he argues Mr. Allen does — or strike a new path.
“I think the sharpest distinction right now is we’ve got to put people in the Senate who’ve shown they have a backbone to make some of these hard spending decisions,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve had to do, and he hasn’t.”
Mr. Allen, who is seeking to recapture the seat he lost to retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb in 2006, appeared at ease Tuesday moving among the voters at polling places in Northern Virginia. He decisively defeated tea party candidate Jamie Radtke, Delegate Robert G. Marshall and Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson in a low-turnout contest to earn the November showdown with Mr. Kaine.
In three debates across the state, Mr. Allen shrugged off attacks from his opponents, relying on his financial advantage and name recognition to stay above the fray and secure the nomination. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Allen had received 65 percent of the vote, compared to 23 percent for Ms. Radtke, 7 percent for Mr. Marshall, and 5 percent for Mr. Jackson, according to unofficial results.
Democrats hold an effective 53-47 advantage in the Senate, and have to defend many more seats in November than do Republicans, so the stakes for both parties in the Old Dominion couldn’t be higher.
Mr. Allen has remarkably rehabilitated his own image and style after a stunning 2006 loss and worked to tie Mr. Kaine to Mr. Obama and his policies. Mr. Allen said he’s heard complaints on the campaign trail from all sorts of people in the medical community who oppose Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul — which, he is quick to point out, Mr. Kaine lauded as a “great achievement.”
While Mr. Kaine has not shied away from his tenure as Mr. Obama’s hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee — and his frequent and spirited defense of the president — he has spent more time discussing his record as governor. Mr. Kaine on the campaign trail has emphasized his investments in pre-K programs or the billions of dollars he cut from the budget as he shepherded the state through the tough fiscal times.
“What Kaine is trying to do is make people view him as a Virginia Democrat, not a national Democrat,” said Paul Goldman, a longtime Democratic strategist. “Kaine’s still his own man, but I think he realizes the challenges that he faces, so I think they’ve been smart in trying to re-establish Kaine as a Virginia governor and Virginia lieutenant governor.”
© 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.
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- Wilder, Cuccinelli may be called as witnesses in McDonnell trial
- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's trial to test definitions of political corruption
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Mich. congressman returns Commerce award after group endorses opponent
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
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- PHILLIPS: Once-in-a-century stupidity
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world