Comments: It's a Beautiful Morning

I've been considering about a half-dozen posts about the good Senator Allen. I've hit a couple different angles, mostly about his bullying as a kid and his Confederate poseurism. I've also raised the question about why the Dems didn't go after this guy like they did Leiberman and you know.. pick up a seat, maybe?

The problem I have is this: All posts about Senator George Allan only need to be 4 words long.

This guy's a yutz.

Posted by frinklin at August 21, 2006 09:25 PM

The Democrats couldn't recruit a better candidate because, at the time, they thought Webb was that candidate. Believe it or not, they were actually grateful when Webb entered the race, since he's a better candidate than they figured they'd get. (He was in the military! Ooooooh!) The primary alternative to Webb was Harris Miller, a man who knew how to run a sophisticated campaign, but a pro-outsourcing businessman and lobbyist, not to mention a proud liberal, rarely a winning combination in Virginia.

Suffice to say, the Democratic bench is not very deep here.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at August 22, 2006 05:26 AM

I actually think Webb is a pretty good candidate. And somebody I can support since he's an old Reganite. I just wonder -and continue to wonder- why he hasn't seen the explosion of energy that Ned Lamont has.

Posted by frinklin at August 22, 2006 05:32 PM

I like Webb, but he's a considerably better candidate on paper than he is in practice. As for your question about why Webb hasn't generated the "explosion of energy" that Lamont has... if you define "energy" as netroots chatter, then yes, Lamont has generated a lot more of it.

I think the answer is twofold:

1. The netroots seem more jazzed about purifying the party than about getting more Democrats elected, period. Hence, they'd rather back a Lamont over a fellow Democrat than get excited about a moderate like Webb, or Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, even though (in my opinion) upgrading from Allen to Webb or Santorum to Casey is a lot better from a Democratic perspective than a Lieberman/Lamont switch.

2. Until the "macaca" flap, no one thought Webb had much of a chance to win. Even now, it would be hard to rate Democratic chances for a pick-up here as better than in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, Ohio, or even Tennessee.

If you have a more compelling explanation, I'd love to hear it.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at August 24, 2006 07:07 AM

No, I think you've nailed it pretty well, especially regarding the purification of the party. It is sad, since I think a Lamont/Leiberman switch is really negligable in the long run, and Webb-for-Allen or Casey-for-Santorum is obviously a huge difference.

I've seen that Casey's lead has shrunken recently. I'm not sure why, but it makes for a more interesting race.

Posted by frinklin at August 24, 2006 09:56 PM

I think Casey's lead had nowhere to go but down, since we wasn't really going to win by 20 points. Also, Santorum is an energetic, likeable campaigner, and that plays well. I think this race will tighten a little further yet before Election Day, but in the end, I think Casey holds on. Santorum is just too far to the right of his state. There aren't enough votes in "Pennsyltucky" (the fairly rural and conservative part of the state) to offset Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. (Also, Casey's moderate-to-conservative social stances will play well in Pennsyltucky.)

Posted by Mediocre Fred at August 25, 2006 05:05 AM
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