A lot has been going on in Virginia. Turn out that my line (borrowed from an old T-shirt about Ed Meese) that Sen. George Allen is a pig just pre-dated the discovery that he’s an ethnically half-Jewish pig whose own mother was afraid to tell him about his ancestry for fear of his reaction. But Sen. Allen says don’t worry, he eats ham sandwiches.
For that, and many other things, the George Allen campaign is hurting. Here’s a good round-up of the latest. It begins like this:
“Some of this I’ve brought on myself.”
That’s it. That is the entirety of what Sen. George Allen had to say to Virginia voters last night about the several controversies that have dominated the campaign in the past few weeks. This, the senator’s campaign had announced, was going to be “an unprecedented two-minute statewide television address reaching out directly to Virginians.” Finally, it seemed, Allen was going to explain “macaca,” and his angry, defensive reaction to the public revelation of his Jewish heritage, and the various ugly accounts of his use of racist symbols and words over the years.
Jim Webb raised $3.5 million in the last reporting cycle, which is a lot less than Allen has, but much more than Webb has seen until now, and enough to get some serious media. (Allen has a cash mountain, but his staff didn’t release recent fundraising numbers, suggesting it’s maybe not going so great recently.)
The most interesting thing in the Post blog linked above is that the Allen campaign is working on shoring up its base, not contending for the swing voters. That’s a very defensive move and heartening, given that the two most recent polls show a tie and an Allen lead. I wonder if Allen’s polls tell a different story?
Watching the Allen campaign is like looking at a vulture slowly feasting on a man’s intestines while he continously tries to get up.
I think decades later, people are going to remember the “macaca” video in the same way they remember Willie Horton and the “Daisy” ad.
Allen’s remark about the ham sandwich cost him the vote of anyone with any Jewish heritage. There has been no comment about this in the press, but I will bet it was the subject of any number of conversations last week at High Holy Day ceremonies. It is not that Allen did not know about his Jewish heritage, but that he rejected it completely in the least approprieate way. It was one thing to say that he was raised as a Christian and that is his belief. It is another to denigrate his mother’s heritage, which is what he did.