If Virginians get the sense Allen is running for reelection to the US Senate, only to pick up and start running for president immediately after the 2006 election, it might not sit all that well. Remember when then-Governor Doug Wilder flirted with a presidential run in 1992? He was roundly criticized from every direction. Virginians generally want their elected officials to do the job they were elected to do, and not look beyond the state line in the middle of a term in office.
Which is exactly why Gov. Mark Warner is being smart not to run against Allen, if Warner really means to run for president in 2008. Obviously, it would be a killer to lose. Even more important, should Warner defeat Allen, he would look like just another cynical politician to begin running for president the very next day. Sincerity is Warner’s strong suit, image-wise. He’d be crazy to do anything to undermine that perception of him.
Allen won't be easy to beat, but as long as he's tied to Bush policies he's carrying a load that will slow him down. If Allen turns his back on Bush, he then has to fear Karl Rove. Uh, oh. Speaking of fear, Allen's handlers already know that they have much to fear from a sharp Democrat with the backing of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. I wonder if Congressman Bobby Scott is considering such a run.