George Allen Comeback?
Former Sen. George Allen, who made “macaca” a household word and upset his once-promising political career, already shows signs of preparing for a possible comeback. His new Web site, www.georgeallen.com, touts his travels around Virginia, mostly in Republican-friendly territory. A press account posted on his site of a Republican fundraiser in Harrisonburg quotes supporters urging him to run for governor in 2009. And last week, Allen took to the airwaves after winning what amounted to four hours of free publicity. The ex-governor, who lost his Senate seat to Virginia Democrat Jim Webb last fall, served as guest host one morning on WRVA radio’s “Richmond Morning News” show.
The front page of his website is a blog which consists mostly of friendly news clippings, including a report in the Harrisonburg Daily News and Record that Allen visited that city to stump for local Republican candidates and that a few enthusiasts were hoping he’d make a run for governor.
More interestingly, he’s using to site to solicit donations for something called the Good Government Action Fund, which “allows me to support candidates who share in my ideals and support causes to improve freedom, opportunity, justice and common sense Jeffersonian conservative principles with a focus on making Virginia a better place to live, learn and raise our families.”
Whether any of that signals an intention to run for political office soon is anyone’s guess. Virginia does not permit governors to serve consecutive terms, so every cycle features an open race. There’s also widespread speculation that John Warner, the Commonwealth’s senior senator, will retire, creating a vacancy next November.
My hunch is that Allen will indeed mount a bid for one or both of those positions. He went from being a highly touted presidential hopeful to something of a national laughingstock with the Macaca mess and some ensuing gaffes. It’s hard to see how he recovers from that anytime soon, especially in a state that’s getting Bluer by the day, as the D.C. suburbs and exurbs of Northern Virginia continue to experience record growth. Then again, Trent Lott managed to find his way back into the Senate leadership.