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June 18, 2006

Winners and Losers

Shaun Kenney posts his thoughts on the outcome of Tuesday's primary. Notable exerpts:
WINNERS: George Allen: I still contend that we got the weaker candidate on Tuesday, one who will not motivate the African-American base, one who alienated Jewish-Americans, and one who has a terrible campaign staff. Miller would have been much more difficult to beat. A Webb campaign holding hands with Senator John Kerry is gold for Republicans -- especially when you consider that Allen is the most popular Republican in the Commonwealth.
I certainly agree here. Allen can run on a very positive campaign, but if he wants to portray Webb in a negative light, showing images of him with John Kerry should get the job done.
DRAW: Democratic Blogs: Sure you helped Webb win, but at what cost to your own reputations (and do you care)?
I think Shaun is being a bit generous here, but I suspect he felt the same way as he followed up with the following.
LOSERS: Civility and Decorum in the Democratic Party: That entire primary was atrocious, and those who participated in the smear attacks should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. Negative campaigning is one thing, but nasty campaigning has no place in Virginia (or so I thought).
I've noticed this too. Raising Kaine is near unreadable, and Virginia Centrist, usually a favorite read of mine, is heading in the same direction. Still, Shaun has a little more to shell out:
Civility and Decorum in the GOP: Senator George Allen isn't going to let Jim Webb get away with the nonsense his poor campaign staff forced him to accept during the primary. And be forewarned: Republicans are at a tipping point. If you think the Howard Dean style candidacy is bad, angry Republicans on the ground are getting sick and tired of being pushed around -- and I don't like it one bit. Frankly, the behavior of radical Democrats is changing the behavior of conservatives in a big way. The reason why Ann Coulter is popular is because she fights back. How much longer before conservatives (the traditionally calm and reasoned types) decide to react? I worry...
Worry about what? Yes, it is getting rather old to deal with the Howard Dean's, Michael Moore's, and Alec Baldwin's. But that seems to be a larger problem in the Democratic party; in particular, that can characterize James Webb, but not George Allen. I am glad we have Ann Coulter, because she truly is one of a kind; she gives Republicans a bite without the entire party becoming the Coulter party. The same cannot be said about Democrats, who seem to have liberal versions of Ann Coulter at a dime a dozen.

George Allen, regardless of the primary, is the biggest winner right now. He has a far larger level of name recognition, holds the incumbency, has a top-level campaign staff, and can run a postive campaign in what still exists as a red state. Outside of NoVa, Virginia voters were unable to get excited about this primary, and these areas have in the past been very supportive of George Allen. Even Northern Virginia may not be enough to push James Webb over if voters come out strong in the rest of the Commonwealth. I have said it before; this is George Allen's race to win or lose, and only he can beat himself. Let some Republicans get angry; if (or should I say when?) George Allen wins, those feelings will settle down.