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George Allen: Building a Team for '08

Virginia Sen. George Allen (R) is nearing a decision with major implications for the 2008 presidential primaries.

Allen is expected to decide by the end of the month on a media consulting firm that will be charged with helping him win reelection in 2006 and -- presumably -- with introducing the Virginia Senator to a national audience in 2007 and 2008 as he pursues the Republican presidential nomination.

The leading candidate, according to a two Washington-based strategists familiar with the deliberations, is Scott Howell & Company -- the hottest media consulting firm in the last few cycles on the Republican side.  Led by principal Scott Howell, the firm handled the media strategy for Sen. John Thune's (R-S.D.) high-profile upset of Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D) as well as Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) open-seat victory in 2004. In the 2002 cycle, Howell was the lead TV strategist for wins by now Sens. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Jim Talent (Mo.) and Norm Coleman (Minn.).

Allen and Howell got to know each other during the 2004 cycle when Allen served as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. On the staff level, too, there are a number of ties between Howell and Allen. The two most prominent are Dick Wadhams, who is Allen's chief of staff and was Thune's campaign manager in 2004, and Chris LaCivita, who was political director at the NRSC during the 2002 cycle and is a senior adviser to Allen.

The other firm in the mix is Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm, which has been Allen's media consultant of choice in both his 1993 gubernatorial race and the 2000 Senate race.  Greg Stevens, the partner in the firm who has handled Allen's account -- along with an assist from partner Rick Reed in 2000-- seems to already be spoken for when it comes to 2008.  Stevens produced the ads for Arizona Sen. John McCain's (R) near-upset of George W. Bush in the 2000 primaries.  It's no secret that McCain is gearing up for a 2008 bid. (For a full look at the competing interests of consulting firms when it comes to 2008, read a story I wrote for Roll Call.)

Allen allies insist that no final decision on a media consultant has been made. In November, Allen will likely battle Harris Miller (D), former head of a national technology industry trade association. Miller has personal financial resources to spare but remains a major underdog against Allen.

One other tidbit on Allen: In a hypothetical presidential face-off against former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D), Allen trails the popular ex-executive 49 percent to 32 percent among a random sample of 1,181 Virginia voters. The poll was conducted by the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 19, 2006; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Senate  
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George Allen is way overrated by the Beltway crowd. He's the closest thing they could find to running W, who is not very popular at the moment. Allen is also a lot less popular in Virginia than he'd have us all believe. Warner could destroy him in Virginia and his protege lost the governor's race. Also, Allen could barely beat a scandal-ridden senator who didn't even want or really try to get re-elected. He'll also have a fun time explaining why he once displayed a noose on a tree. Maybe he can run with Trent Lott and they can lament over the good ol' days, before the activist judges overruled elected state legistlatures on segregation and lynching. If you're wondering why he sponsored the apology for Senate's failure to enact anti-lynching legislation, that's why. Allen cannot win in any states that Kerry won, so if he's up against Warner or Edwards, it'll be all defense. If he's running against Warner, Warner will have a lock on Kerry's states, Iowa, New Mexico, and Virginia. 277 electoral votes, and that's without Ohio, which he'd probably win. Checkmate.

Posted by: Q | January 25, 2006 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you forgot another campaign Scott Howell worked on: Jerry Kilgore's unsuccessful campaign for Virginia governor. Howell is a seazeball who relies on weak opponents not responding to hardball tactics. He tried that stuff with his death penalty ads for Kilgore and Kaine smacked him down.

Posted by: Q | January 25, 2006 6:32 PM | Report abuse

How will the canidates some down on the spying w/in the US?

Here's a quote from an article in the Colorado Daily. It is frmo G. Bush in 2004...


Quote from Bush in 2004 --

"A wiretap requires a court order," President Bush declared in a statement in 2004. He added, "When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order when we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand [that] constitutional guarantees are in place... because we value the Constitution."

Posted by: Frank | January 20, 2006 6:31 PM | Report abuse

----- Original Message -----
From: Hill, Candace
To: Warren Ogren ;

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 5:30 PM
Subject: FW: Suspicious Teacher Arrested.

This is especially applicable to all of you in the field of education. Do not join a cult such as this!

At New York's Kennedy airport today, an individual later discovered to be masquerading as a public school teacher was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a setsquare, a slide rule, and a calculator. At a morning press conference, Attorney General John Ashcroft said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. (The CIA was kept out of it because of how terribly they had misled our leader with false information which forced him into invading Iraq.)

Al-Gebra is a fearsome cult," Ashcroft said. "They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolutes. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medial with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'there are 3 sides to every triangle', and these Al-Gebra fanatics are proving it" !

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes".
(Candace is son Keith's fiancé) -

Well Candace! !

Did you mean to send this to me as a joke to ridicule our God fearing and compassionate leaders? Are you one of those lying, leftist, liberal Democrats?

Shame on you! What's so unusual about that news release? After all, Ashcroft; Bush and Cheney must do all they can to protect us from the terrorists. Pretty soon those false scientific idiots in the Al-Gebra cult will try to panic this nation into mass suicide by saying the sun will explode some day. Our leaders must protect the poor public from such terrorist propaganda, so don't try to make it look like a joke!

That article scares the hell out me so I'm glad we have some alert people out there to protect us. And another thing! ! I'm sure Ashcroft; and Cheney learned to count beyond ten without the help of their fingers and toes! (Bush has me a little worried though in that he made that remark about how he learned how to count, but then, he has plenty of help to get him over the rough spots.) Oh well, whatever. And besides, if that article were not true, no one would have printed it.

SO THERE !! Fye on you for being so unpatriotic! ! You had better straighten out your politics, or I might look on your marriage to my son with a jaundiced eye. Your attitude might corrupt his adherence to our great leader. If you think for one minute I would interpret that news release in any way but that it was meant for the good of this nation, FYE on you again, and a POX on your relations! ! (I am still a little puzzled though at our blessed born again leaders remark, but I'm sure he will explain it and show us how right he was eventually.)


Warren Ogren
10035 N Ogren Road
Hayward, WI 54843

Posted by: Warren Ogren | January 19, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Why does the media never report on the difficulty Allen will have winning the Republican primary as a pro-choice candidate? Sure he supports many restrictions but ultimately he has always said he supports legal abortion in runs for Virginia. I think it'd take a dumb voter to believe any election year conversion he has. If he's afraid to take an anti-abortion stance in Virginia then he's going to be more afraid nationally.

Posted by: va resident | January 19, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm a conservative-leaning voter and I would not vote for George Allen. I can't imagine that he's actually the front runner for the GOP nomination. If you look at the polls it's McCain, Giuliani and Rice leading the Republican pack.

Hopefully Allen and Tom Daschle (who is also considering a run) will both wake up soon. Daschle couldn't even win reelection in his own state while serving as the minority leader of the Senate.

Posted by: Chris | January 19, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If Sen. Allen is the Republican nominee the Democrats are in good shape, no matter who runs lol!

Posted by: Jason | January 19, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The Republican insiders consider Allen as their nominee. Warner placed in the number two slot behind Hillary, but Hillary's number are rapidly dwindling with her recent comment. So I could see a Warner/Bayh, Warner/Clark ticket and they would trounce an Allen/McCain ticket in Virginia. To think that Allen is the Republican insiders first choice when he would be slaughtered by Mark Warner is quite franly sad.

Posted by: Josh | January 19, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't vote for the guy even if he paid me

Posted by: Dim | January 19, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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