Links - Official Sites: Senate Office, Friends of George Allen (2006 Re-election Campaign), Good Government for America Committee
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Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire: Stories on George Allen
In Brief -  Elected to the U.S. Senate in Nov. 2000; defeated in bid for re-election in Nov. 2006.  Chairman of the NRSC in the 108th Congress.  Partner, McGuire Woods starting in 1998.  Elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in Nov. 1993, served one term,1994-98, term limited.  U.S. Representative, 1991-93, elected in a special election.  Served in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1983-91.  Republican nominee for the Virginia House of Delegates, 1979.  Worked in private law practice, 1978-91.  B.A. in History (1974) and J.D. (1977) from the University of Virginia.  Born March 8, 1952 in Whittier, CA. [Timeline].

Early Strength Proves Illusory
In National Journal's "Insiders Poll" published in the April 30, 2005 issue, Sen. George Allen finished first when 85 Republican insiders "were asked to predict who will win their own party's 2008 presidential nomination."  He received 22 first-place votes; Sen. John McCain was second, also with 22 first-place votes.  In a second "Insiders Poll" of 100 Republican insiders published in the Dec. 17, 2005 issue of the magazine, Allen again finished first, obtaining 39 first-place votes.  However any presidential ambitions Allen may have harbored fell apart over the course of the next year.  In their June 13 primary Virginia Democrats nominated Jim Webb, a Vietnam veteran, former Secretary of the Navy, and a former Republican who in fact supported Allen in 2000, as the challenger to Allen.  On Friday, August 11, 2006, Allen was on a listening tour speaking to an audience at Breaks Interstate Park in the western part of Virginia.  S.R. Siddharth, a tracker with the Webb campaign, was taping him.  Allen pointed to Siddharth calling him "Macaca or whatever his name is."  "Let's give a welcome to Macaca here.  Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," Allen continued.  The damage was done.  Over the next several months the race tightened; following a roller coaster election night there was talk of a recount, but on Nov. 9 Allen conceded.

It doesn't take too long to figure out that Allen is the son of Hall of Fame football coach George Allen.  In a June 2005 speech in New Hampshire Allen noted, "In our family, in a coach's family, there were four Fs, postulates of living, that mattered in the Allen household--family, faith, freedom, and football.  [laughter].  And y'all laugh at football, but there's a lot of good lessons one learns from football.  Teamwork.  Preparation.  You get knocked down, you get back up.  You adapt, you innovate, you keep moving forward."  Magazine profiles like to work in the football angle too.  In National Review Allen was "Buckling His Chin Strap."  National Journal's profile, "A Sporting Chance," featured a full page photo of Allen about to throw a football.

"Common Sense Jeffersonian Conservative"
Another thing that quickly becomes apparent is Allen's conservatism.  In the June 2005 speech Allen stated simply, "I don't like meddling government, I don't like nanny government, I don't like a government pestering people; if they are not harming someone else, leave 'em alone."  Further Allen is a Reagan Republican.  He was a teenager growing up in Southern California during Ronald Reagan's first term as governor of California, and in 1976 he headed up Young Virginians for Reagan.  Allen also projects a kind of sunny optimism like Reagan did and is very personable and very good with small groups.

Executive Experience
Unlike some Senators who may be aiming for the Oval Office, Allen can also point to specific accomplishments from his term as Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1994-98.  In his June New Hampshire speech, Allen stated, "When I took over as governor, violent crime was skyrocketing, with a revolving door of justice.  The educational system lacked any accountability for academic proficiency--all they had was social promotion.  The welfare roles in Virginia were expanding.  A way of life of dependency was the course of conduct for generations."  Then, Allen said,  "When I left office we kept our promises to the people of Virginia and not withstanding the fact that we had a Democrat-controlled legislature, we were able to keep those promises in these areas."

Stump speech: NH Federation of Republican Women's Lilac Luncheon in Manchester, June 25, 2005.  [transcript]

Matthew Continetti.  "George Allen Monkeys Around."  The Weekly Standard.  October 2, 2006 (cover story).
David Holman.  "The Jeffersonian."  The American Spectator.  June 2006 (cover story).
Ryan Lizza.  "Pin Prick." The New Republic.  May 8, 2006 (cover story).
Richard Lowry.  "Buckling His Chin Strap."  National Review.  November 7, 2005 (cover story).
David Nather.  "A Sporting Chance."  CQ Weekly.  October 24, 2005 (cover story).

Sept. 22, 2006-Speaking at the Washington Briefing: 2006 Values Voter Summit.
May 25, 2006-Participating in the Alliance for Marriage's press conference on the Marriage Protection Amendment.
April 16, 2006-After appearing on CBS News' "Face the Nation."
April 2, 2006-After appearing on ABC News' "This Week."
Feb. 9, 2006-Keynote address at CPAC 2006 Presidential Banquet.
May 22, 2005-Speaking to reporters after an appearance on ABC's "This Week."
May 4, 2005-At the Latino Coalition's 2005 Latino Small Business Economic Conference where he received received the Hector Barreto Sr. Award.

On the Web
(Friends of George Allen)
(Nov. 16, 2005 grab) (May 13, 2006 grab)

Copyright © 2005, 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action