Excuse Me, Sen. Allen, Before You Can Run for President, You Have to Deal with This Pesky Little Thing--An Election
It's so much fun to dream about an all-Virginia presidential race in '08--toothy Mark Warner slaying Hillary in the primaries and going on to meet the avuncular, Reaganesque George Allen in the New Dominion Sweepstakes.
And the two gents are having a whale of a time in New Hampshire and Iowa, where Warner is trying out his appeal as the centrist who can break beyond the coastal, secular Democratic base and Allen is exploring ways to assure the conservative base of his fealty while also moderating his message for the larger national electorate. According to a New York Times piece on Sunday, Allen is having a bit of trouble keeping his national message from contradicting his Virginia line.
"I made more decisions in half a day as governor than you can make in a whole week in the Senate," Allen told an audience in Iowa the other day. Being in the Senate, he added, is, well, "It's too slow for me." Yesterday in Richmond, he compounded the rhetorical anguish with this spiffy remark about the Senate: "It moves at the pace of a wounded sea slug."
That may be the honest truth, but if he's to have any presidential hopes, Allen must first win reelection this year.
(Wily Democrats suggested yesterday that if Allen is so bored, maybe he should consider applying to succeed Paul Tagliabue as commissioner of the NFL.)
Reelection to the Senate was expected to be a walk in the park and may still end up being a relatively simple task, but it at least now has a chance to be more interesting than that. The bracingly low poll numbers for the Bush administration, the (are we allowed to use the word quagmire yet?) situation in Iraq, and the growing popular realization that all this homeland security stuff is no panacea for the economy are all getting lots of Republicans to fret more than they had expected to in '06.
In Virginia, there's an actual race for the Democratic nomination to go up against Allen, and with the primary coming up real soon--it's Harris Miller (who sells himself as Son of Mark Warner, Mr. High Tech Himself, yet hasn't yet figured out how to get his campaign site on the first page of Google results for his own name) vs. James Webb (ditto on the Google bit.)
The Democratic primary is June 13, and inevitably, there will be a debate or two. But the Virginia bloggers who played such an important role in last year's gubernatorial race have been having some trouble getting the Democratic challengers to agree to a blogger-run debate.
Naturally, given the rock 'n' roll 'tude of the politiblog scene, some candidates may get nervous about entrusting their debates to a bunch of guys who spend their leisure hours mouthing off in very rambunctious, partisan ways. But both campaigns in the governor's race found it worth their while to take the bloggers seriously, and the fellows in the Senate race will inevitably come around to the same conclusion. Yes, the politiblog world can be incestuous and is not yet a path to the bulk of the electorate. But as the gubernatorial campaigns figured out, the blogs have an influence beyond their own numbers, largely because the political professionals, the mainstream press and the politically involved voters do read the blogs, perhaps too religiously.
Miller and Webb will have to face each other in the coming weeks, and they're certainly under no obligation to let the bloggers control that event. But wouldn't it be fun if they did?
By Marc Fisher |
March 28, 2006; 7:01 AM ET
Previous: Thanks, John, and How Tiny Washington Feels from Afar | Next: Baseball? I Thought We'd Finished That Task
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Corey | March 28, 2006 9:56 AM
Posted by: Cliff | March 28, 2006 10:21 AM
Posted by: Beth | March 28, 2006 11:27 AM
Posted by: Al | March 28, 2006 1:26 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | March 28, 2006 1:34 PM
Posted by: Steve | March 28, 2006 1:36 PM
Posted by: THS | March 28, 2006 1:45 PM
Posted by: Dan the Man | March 28, 2006 2:18 PM
Posted by: THS | March 28, 2006 4:20 PM
Posted by: Discman | March 28, 2006 5:01 PM
Posted by: Judi | March 28, 2006 6:06 PM
Posted by: Mister CH4 | March 29, 2006 11:20 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.