George, say it ain’t so. Step away from the campaign trail.
I voted for George Allen in 2006. I thought then and think now that he got beaten up by a verbal slip that was magnified far out of proportion by the WaPo. I have nothing against him.
However, he should keep his cowboy hat on his head and not throw it in the ring.
Let’s remember a few things…First, Allen did not crush Chuck Robb in 2000, actually running behind George Bush in Virginia. While it took a mighty concentration of effects (beginning of the Bush backlash, his inability and unwillingness to cauterize the Macaca incident), he still lost to a political unknown…who will in 2012 be the incumbent US Senator.
The poll notes George’s positive numbers. Those are positive numbers are formed in part by his gracious decline of a recount in 2006, his staying out of the limelight, and the fact that his governorship looks better and better in comparison with the horrendous job being done by TheGov.
Put him back in the arena, and folks are being asked these same popularity questions about an active politico, not someone on the sidelines. Put him back in the arena, and he will have to expend resources and potentially fight the press as they prepare to resurrect Macaca. Look at the way the WaPo is trying to hang McDonnell with the word “thesis”…imagine what would happen if Allen came back in against Webb in 2012.
On top of that is the hamhanded way he handled Macaca. Had he gone to Webb HQ where Siddarth worked and apologized on camera he would have cauterized…instead he let it sit and fester, and every day something new came bopping along that added to the fire…noose in his office, confederate flag, mailbox, “I’m not Jewish, I like ham sandwiches”. For the first time George was on the defensive in a campaign, and he folded-not unlike how he came on gangbusters in the first two years of his term and lost ground in the second two years.
I will add something else to the list-George Allen by temperament is an executive. He was far more involved and effective as governor than as US Senator…does he want to place his political comeback in an arena he doesn’t love and on a set of issues that will likely cut against him?
Nope, it is not the time for an Allen restoration.
Just a slightly different set of events, and perhaps George Allen is in the White House right now. But he is not, and I suggest that no matter how rosy those poll numbers look that they are not adequate to suggest a political renewal.