George Allen – Love Him or Leave Him?

By Loudoun Insider

The WaPo had a big article about George Allen’s potential (likely) run for US Senate today, with plenty of quotes from NOVA GOPers.  Personally I think he was  a much better Governor than Senator, apparently he hated the Senate, and he made one of the stupidest political mistakes ever with the whole macaca incident.  I think he should look elsewhere to keep himself busy, but I’m not overly thrilled with the other potential candidates either.


  • Asuka says:

    I see Paul Unger is still part of Team Allen. Its unfortunate that Allen continues to surround himself with terrible staff. Its why he lost the last time, and its probably why he’ll lose again. In every other regard, Allen is a good man, but he’s a terrible judge of talent. Virginia can do better.

  • The Bulletproof Monk says:

    Asuka, VERY WELL PUT. I agree.
    It wasn’t WHAT he saidin the Macaca moment…it’s how his staff HANDLED it.
    EVERY time they were chided with it, they made a RE-statement…..and it got done to death.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Yes the staff handled it pooorly, but he should never have been so out of his mind to say it WHEN THE GUY HELD A VIDEOCAM! That will get played over and over and over again, and it will make him look stupid.

  • Ashburn Watcher says:

    From our own Joann Chase in Todays WaPo:

    “I voted for him every time, but this time, no way,” said Jo-Ann Chase, a conservative Republican from Loudoun County who is a member of the state party’s governing board and is active with the Northern Virginia Tea Party. “He’s moderate. Maybe at the time he was the most conservative we had.”

    I guess she got her marching orders already.

  • Just in from Richmond says:

    yep, George is a racist, cats been out of the bag now for years. The stories abound… moderate, conservative, democrat, republican… its 2011 folks, the country is past that shit. He’s done.

  • Asuka says:

    His core staff (many of whom are apparently still with him) was full of very toxic personalities, and they did him a great disservice. The macaca moment was his doing, but it was the result of years (decades?) of bad advice and poor practices. It was a well-known secret that his office was one of the poorest-run in the Senate. Unfortunately, it looks as if he hasn’t evolved (or learned anything) since then.

  • Amusing says:

    The most amusing part of that quote from JoAnn Chase is that voting for him “every time” consists of a grand total of once. She didn’t move to Virginia until after Allen was Governor AND after Allen ran for the Senate in 2000. The only election she could have voted for Allen in was his 2006 re-elect.

    I share some of these sentiments. Its a big state with a lot of talented and smart people–can’t we do better than this crop of candidates?

  • Chris says:

    *yep, George is a racist, cats been out of the bag now for years. The stories abound… moderate, conservative, democrat, republican… its 2011 folks, the country is past that shit. He’s done.*

    I hate the race game but I have to say my biggest is the Macaca incident. I just don’t understand what he was thinking. His explanations don’t really make sense. The whole thing was majorly bizarre.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Somehow I am not surprised, Amusing! Wacky pronouncements from JoAnn Chase are nothing new.

    Allen will never live macaca down. One of the greatest political self immolations ever.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    LI, How was Macaca such a stupid thing to say when no one on the planet knew that it meant anything, much less anything racial? The press, the Washington Post gave it definition, one they made up!

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Amusing, what you said about Jo-Ann Chase is simply not true. She’s lived in VA since at least the early 90’s when her son was enrolled at TJ. If I remember correctly he was in the class of ’94, something like that. But I seem to recall that she lived in NOVA during the 80’s, prior to the death of her first husband. Over the last 25 years, she’s had more than one opportunity to vote for George Allen.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Whether or not Allen knew what it meant, it came off very bad. The WaPo really stretched to define it for Allen, and he never responded effectively, like it or not. I think it’s too late to try to redefine it now.

  • Not Joanne Chase says:

    I guess Joanne is looking for someone more kookier and crazier than she to run for Senate. Maybe Jeff Frederick.

  • The Bulletproof Monk says:

    “I guess she got her marching orders already.”

    “I guess Joanne is looking for someone more kookier and crazier than she to run for Senate. Maybe Jeff Frederick.”

    You’d be surprised at the ….wait a minute. It is JoAnne , so maybe you wouldn’y be surprized. Never mind, carry on.

  • The Bulletproof Monk says:

    Allen’s “team” let the press define it then, and if the fact that Allen’s original team is still anywhere in sight ought to be troublesome to many faithful Allen supporters.
    I like the guy, he has Statewide name recognition and will do a fine job.

  • Ashburn Watcher says:

    Macaca is the tip-of-the-iceberg of Allen’s racial epithets, unfortunatley I have learned he has a long history of racism and displaying racist symbols. It was very sad for me to come to this realization.
    Here’s the thing, Im a die-hard Republican, a long time conservative and a huge past supporter of Allens, but we can NOT tolerate racism. Equal rights is above politics… check the bible, check the constitiution, check your own moral compass.
    Like many have expressed, there has to be a better choice here. I hope more candidates emerge.

  • Man, I feel kind of slighted not getting called for that piece. They called everybody else on the planet.

    Allen is still the best choice to beat Webb out of the list of folks considering running right now. Marshall is unelectable, no one knows who Radtke is and I’m not a fan of voting for people who have never held elected office before for something as senior as Senator, and Stewart – while I like him for statewide office – needs something other than illegal immigration to run on.

    I am as anti-racist as anybody in the party (probably more so) and I haven’t seen or heard anything from Allen directly that makes me think he’s a racist or that he hasn’t learned from the macaca mistake.

    Unless someone seriously credible like Cuccinelli runs, there’s no good reason to go with someone other than Allen.

  • Dan says:

    Parsing the etymology of the word is irrelevant. Parsing the staff response and spin control is irrelevant.

    Loudoun Insider’s description of it as a “self immolation” is deadly accurate. It was incredibly stupid and completely self inflicted.

    All candidate’s have weaknesses. Some guys have a short fuse and if you can get under their skin you can get them to react with hostility and look very unattractive on camera. But that was not the case here. There was no cause whatsoever for Allen’s massive blunder. He was at a friendly gathering. He was among strong supporters. The presence of a “tracker” with a video camera was nothing new in 2006. Allen’s own campaign employed trackers to follow Webb around. It’s easy. They are there. You ignore them.

    I don’t think you can lay off responsibility for Allen’s stupidity in this instance on staff. Even being aware that Allen has a nasty streak, how in the world could they have anticipated him doing something like this? And he kept saying stupid things after that. It wasn’t just “macacca”.

    When it was learned that his mother was Jewish (a complete irrelevancy) he said idiotic things like how he remembered her making great pork chops. Something that made it seem that he was uncomfortable or ashamed of her heritage. He was a nonstop gaffe machine. it wasn’t just macacca.

    You can think Allen is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but giving him a free pass by blaming it on staff is revisionist history of the highest order. One man is responsible for Allen’s loss. Allen himself. He is the dolt who looked straight into that camera and showed a hostile, nasty side that most folks don’t find to be a plus in their United States Senator.

  • Dan is right – Allen’s blunder was his own. And he’s owned it. He doesn’t blame it on staff. He blames himself, and he’s done a pretty good job of making up for it. I don’t expect anything like that to happen again, and the fact that he’s hiring the same old staff just tells me that he’s loyal and wants to run with people he’s comfortable with. I don’t see a problem with that.

  • Dan says:

    It is also a mistake to think that the incident at Breaks was the only reason that Allen is not still serving in the Senate. The 800 lb. gorilla in the room that year was the war in Iraq. The incomprehensible decision to invade Iraq which has cost us so much and done so much to strengthen the position of Iran animated a lot of voters that year. So President Bush’s strategic blunder played a large role.

    At the beginning of 2006 there was no major Democratic challenger to Allen on the scene. Without Iraq as an issue I don’t believe Webb would have been motivated to run. And I don’t think Harris Miller was going to beat Allen under any circumstances. So, arguably, without Iraq I think Allen does what most people expected. Cruises to an easy re-election.

    So you can portion some of the blame for Allen’s defeat to George W. Bush. Many of us for whom national security, foreign policy and military affairs are always important issues were highly motivated to put a brake on the blunders of the Bush administration and get a few more voices speaking common sense in Washington to weigh in on those vital matters. I can tell you that is what motivated my vote for Webb. It had nothing to do with macacca. But if that helped, so be it.

  • squiddy says:

    The ‘racism’ charges against Allen seem almost contrived and hearsay – I doubt he’s any more racist than is Webb.

    Allen seems pleasant enough, and I’m not particularly swayed by the puritans who say he’s not conservative enough – purity tests annoy me, I’ll vote for whoever I please, and I’m not going to vote for some (hypothetical) right-wing nut-job just because the “R’s” tell me to.

    Where I have do problems with Allen are in my sense that he may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer – I’ve seen him respond to too many questions with dull-sounding platitudes – he’s gonna have to demonstrate a far keener mind than what I’ve seen if he wants to win.

    And If he runs, he’s going to have to run as a challenger; Webb has the incumbent advantage, and Allen has some baggage to overcome. Then again, I’m still thinking Webb may not run – I never really thought he was very passionate about anything but the Iraq war and some veteran’s issues – other than that, I think he just mails it in, and even if he runs, I’m not sure he’ll run with any conviction.

    In any event, Webb doesn’t seem to be particularly qualified, either, and while I’m on the topic, Warner, while he seems smart enough and qualified on paper, seems to be nearly spineless, and cowed by the party leadership. Of the three, I can only conclude by wondering aloud “This is Virginia – can’t we do better?”

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Great comment, squid, especially the last line!

  • Asuka says:


    Allen’s Senate office and campaign staff were an absolute mess. Both were equally mismanaged and headed by unapologetically incompetent people. The fact that Allen would choose to run with the same people who served him so poorly the first time around suggests that he is either a very poor judge of character, or was simply unaware of just how awful his people were. That’s not loyalty, that’s a character flaw and relevant to the discussion.

    As for “making up” for his blunder, who has he made up with? The party? That’s irrelevant – he’s going to need more than the party vote to get elected. “Macaca” is still too fresh in the memory of the general public for him to win. Despite his accomplishments as Governor (his Senate career was thoroughly mediocre – see above), “macaca” is now the only thing many Virginians remember of him.

    Finally, there’s a certain desperation to all this. Allen hated being a Senator; he was much more comfortable as an executive and chaffed at Congressional politics. Now, he’s begging the party to let him run for an office he once viewed as nothing more than a stepping stone. Since his loss, he has tried his hand at a few things, with none proving particularly successful. Does he REALLY want to serve the Commonwealth, or has he simply run out of things to keep himself occupied with?

    Ultimately, Allen feels stale. His urbane cowboy persona may have been charming in the 90’s, but its an anachronism today. We need a fresh face who lacks baggage and can offer dynamic, current ideas. We should not run a candidate simply because he or she may be the least worst option. There’s time still – the party just needs to be more proactive in its recruitment.

    @ Squiddy

    Allen is far from “dull”. He’s a very bright man, and while some have scoffed at his self-assigned “scholar” label, it does fit – he’s far more erudite than the great majority of those currently holding office in Congress or anywhere else. What you see as dull is the result of the faux-farmer image he has chosen for himself. He continues to wear cowboy boots, chew tobacco, and speak with a slow, put-on Southside drawl (he’s from Whittier, CA, not Hogsett) because no one around him is willing to tell him how dull it makes him look, and that goes back to his staffing problems.

  • Loudoun Moderate says:

    Whittier, CA? Are you kidding me? So where did the slow-moving, Southern drawl-speakin’ ole boy come from? I liked the guy as Governor but that was way back then. Can his staffers polish his image, spruce up his wardrobe to make him look 2011-ish, and persuade him to give up the chewing tobacco? I don’t know that there’s much he can do to escape the Macaca moment, however. I think with a new look, he MAY be able to send Webb packing.

    BTW: What is Randy Minchew up to these days? Now there’s a winner, on so many levels.

  • JKM says:

    Brian is right. Allen owned his mistake and no one who matters, cares. Some of the folks on here obviously dont know much about Allen’s team. The reason they blundered so badly in 2006 was because he DID NOT have his original team with him. he brought in “big wigs” who thought they could take him to the white house. Everything I’m hearing says that he’s put his old team back in place and they are back on track. Lets not forget, that “original team” that Monk blasts was the most successful team in VA political history since the Byrd days. They got him elected Delegate, Congressman, Governor and Senator. It was only when they let others come in (Dick Wadhams & Co.) that stuff went bad. Get ready folks, this is going to be one hell of a comeback!

  • Asuka says:

    “No one who matters, cares” – that’s the sort of arrogance that ruined his Senate tenure and lost him the election (and a run at the White House). In the end, the electorate – all of it, not just our echo chamber – “matters.”

  • G.Stone says:

    If JKM is correct than Sen Allen may have a chance at revival, redemption and re-election. I hope he does bring back his old team and gives this a shot. It is certainly a more interesting race with him in than out.

  • […] If this conversation is any example, then George Allen had better get used to being a political pinata for the next year and a half. […]

  • JKM says:

    Asuka, Let’s be honest. I bet if you polled, 60 or 70 percent of voters would say that the Macacca incident represents a mistake that George Allen has taken responsibility for and learned from. 10 to 20 probably still think he’s a racist, but those folks are always gonna feel that way. (that 10 to 20 pct are who i’m talking about not mattering, cause you’re not going to change their “world is flat” mentality.

    On a different note, let me say something about this “George Allen isnt from our time…we need new leadership, etc.” nonsense. It seems that there is a tendency by some to put more than years between us. That is dangerous. Our national purpose is to unleash the full talent and genius of the individual; so why wouldnt we get a man (Allen) who is experienced at standing up for individuals to lead us. George Allen has fought “nanny government” as he calls it for most of his life, and he has a record of success to prove it. Whether it was moving welfare recipients to work or fighting burdensome regulations at the state and federal level, he knows how to be effective. His time as a freshman Senator was more successful than some would like to admit. He, along with 13 other senators worked to kill The bridge to nowhere. You can bet Ted Stevens punished him severely for it too. He sponsored the Senate version of the Balanced Budget Ammendment and also sponsored legislation to WITHHOLD SENATOR’s pay if they failed to pass a budget on time.

    One of mankind’s problems is that we keep repeating the same errors and as many Republicans as Democrats try to convince us that only new and untried ways offer us “hope.” While I dont think he’s afraid to try new things, George Allen knows the time tested methods that have worked and I have no doubt that if he choses to run, will employ those methods better than he did in 2006. That’s all.

  • Tom Seeman says:

    Dan said “The incomprehensible decision to invade Iraq…”


    Intellectual honesty demands that we acknowledge that were reasons to invade. If your analysis of those reasons finds the decision to invade faulty, fine. State your case, and lay out your reasoning. Reasonable people can disagree, and the truth is that there were good cases to be made both for invading and for not invading. But to say that the decision was “incomprehensible” shows a disurbing lack of intellectual honesty.

  • The Bulletproof Monk says:

    “His urbane cowboy persona may have been charming in the 90’s, but its an anachronism today”
    This is where you lost me, dude. And as for his actual birthplace?? Who give’s a damn. This Virginia boy is fully willing to embrace anyone who drops the pretentious ass display of everywhere else, and adopts the Dominion State as his/her own…
    You DO KNOW that there’s a TEXAS SOCIETY in DC….right? You don’t ACTUALLY have to be FROM Texas, you just have to have an above average appreciation FOR it…
    Get off of the tirade regarding boots and drawls, or start watching your uptight northern “six” while you visit us down here.
    And Dan — Get back on your
    Prozac and Abilify cocktail. Your ignorance is peeking out from under your dress.

  • The Bulletproof Monk says:

    JKM….enjoyed your last posting. You lay out the accomplishments that should matter in a very issues-related discussion. Hat’s off to you for that.

  • squiddy says:

    Asuka, yeah, I didn’t mean to imply that he’s “dull”, but that, too many times in his television appearances he’ll pull out some dull cliche to respond to a question, some nice-sounding but ultimately empty platitude.

    If he’s to take on incumbent Webb, he’s going to need to be able to respond to a cranky, mean-as-a-snake sitting Senator, against the tide of the Post, who’ll undoubtedly send a team of reporters to Whittier to find a Latino he offended 40 years ago on the playground, and the usual whisper campaign — witness the above, where posters say, peremptorily, that it’s been decided, he’s a racist. The DNC know when a lie is repeated often enough …

    So, he’s got a difficult road to overcome – and simply repeating a bunch of slogans and one-liners isn’t going to help him overcome that. He needs to demonstrate he understands the issues and priorities of a majority of Virginians, and that he has mastery of the details.

    As a counter-example of what I’m talking about – Christine O’Donnell said all the right anti-administration slogans, but demonstrated no depth beyond the slogans.

    I mean, clearly, he’s not a dummy – but he can’t nod and smile and gladhand his way back into his Senate seat – he needs to run circles around Webb on policy issues, and put *him* on the defensive. If he plays Webb’s game, he’s done.

  • BlackOut says:

    squiddy, far stretch to compare Allen to O’Donnell.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Bwana comes out of hibernation with a great analysis:

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Another excellent Allen post, one that makes me feel much better about him. Allen was Governor before I moved to Virginia, so it’s always good for me to hear about his past. I was never terribly impressed with him as a Senator, but by most accounts he was a great Governor. Maybe he should wait for 2013!

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    I’m with Squiddy.

    As Republicans we should be allowed to comment on George Allen as a prospective candidate, based on his record and previous campaigns, without being called names or coming into question.

    What I see in a lot of the commentary from Allen supporters amounts to “Uhh-Uhh, not you didn’t” when you question his record and loss to Webb. It is entirely appropriate to comb through and debate his bona fides – and, as many have put it – Allen better step up his game. He also better realize that labeling himself “Tea Party before the Tea Party” proves nothing. It’s 2011, not 2006 – the landscape has changed, the part has changed and if Allen wants to be a viable candidate he better do a little changing.

  • BlackOut says:

    LL, you are such a hypocrite. You should eat these words:

    “As Republicans we should be allowed to comment on George Allen as a prospective candidate, based on his record and previous campaigns, without being called names or coming into question.”

    I’ll remind you of it next time you bitch about folks bring up the record and previous campaigns of candidates and your incessant name calling.

    What an incredible quote! Haha, especially the “prospective” part.

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