Sunday, October 15, 2006

Allen's troubles remain the story

Sen. George Allen
With its Sunday edition the Richmond Times Dispatch’s coverage of the Allen vs. Webb senatorial race has gotten thicker, if not more informative. Political writer Tyler Whitley profiles the Republican incumbent, Sen. George Allen:

“...‘The national liberal Democrats didn’t have any great love for me,’ Allen said in a recent interview.

“The 54-year-old Allen, a darling of the conservative movement, also has considered seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and has made forays to Iowa and New Hampshire. Most observers believe the controversies surrounding his Senate re-election bid have doomed that effort. Still, Allen is fighting on, exuding confidence that he will win re-election.”

And, the RT-D’s Jeff E. Schapiro writes about the debating games the two candidates have played with obscure islands.

“...Few Americans knew of the islands or their supposed strategic significance. But with the Cold War approaching its zenith, Quemoy and Matsu -- and whether this country would defend them against a Chinese attack -- suddenly became a measure of a White House aspirant's anticommunist bona fides.

“Forty-six years later -- in a little ol' Virginia campaign that just might determine which party controls the Senate -- voters are scratching their heads over other obscure dots on the map: Craney Island near Norfolk and the Senkaku Islands, northeast of Taiwan.”

Both pieces make generous use of how Allen’s strange self-destructive behavior during the campaign's last two months has blown what was considered to have been an insurmountable lead over Jim Webb, his Democratic opponent. Any article about this race has to mention how Allen’s gaffes and inept damage control efforts have played a huge role in closing the gap.

Meanwhile, Webb has significantly improved his fundraising numbers and is finally showing an effective presence on television with commercials.

No doubt, Allen’s camp hopes his second two-minute commercial of the season, set to play tomorrow (Monday) evening in prime time on selected Virginia television stations, will reverse his negative momentum. But bragging about how much liberals from far away states don’t love him probably won’t be enough at this point.
Art by F.T. Rea

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