- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I’d like to throw out the perhaps counterintuitive theory that Sen. George Allen might emerge an even stronger candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination if, as I believe he will, he beats back Democratic opponent Jim Webb.

The conventional wisdom now is that the bloom is off Allen; he’ll be lucky to eke out a win in a red state race that was supposed to be easy. Moreover, he had to wage a nasty campaign, having been badly bruised by the “macaca” contretemps (the “macontremps”?), the N-word business and revelations of youthful neo-Confederate proclivities.

But look at it another way: Let’s say he wins on Nov. 7. Isn’t at least possible that, after the dust settles, Allen will be seen to have bested a highly formidable challenge in a year that was terrible for Republicans? Come primary season, the party establishment may grow even more comfortable with Allen, as the skeletons in his closet have not only been exposed, but overexposed and reduced to a finely crushed powder. Allen has taken the Democrats’ worst and lived another day.

We’ll see. A Sen-elect Webb scenario may render all this moot.

P.S.: Libertarian blogger Julian Sanchez coined a new term for recycling, if not stealing note for note, old guitar riffs — “riffting,” that is, “a portmanteau of ‘riff’ and ‘lifting,’ with a convenient evocation of ‘grifter’ to boot.” I like the term, and I heartily approve of the practice.

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