Former Governor George Allen has all but assumed that republicans want him to be our nominee in 2012 for the open U.S. Senate Seat here in Virginia. To be sure, many establishment types do want more Allen. He is Mitch McConnell 2.0, he is a Charlie Crist-consensus-candidate, and unfortunately, he is what the tea party grew in opposition to.
Allen has proven to be a loser in the past.
To be fair to Allen, he had his shot in 2006 and he lost an election to a non-politician that should have never been within 10 points of him. Allen made the infamous “macaca” comment that only a novice would make and was never able to do damage control.
But what George Allen doesn’t realize is that there was a lot more at stake than his future political. Because of his asinine stupidity, Virginians lost a Senate seat that we never should have lost. And we have had to endure 5 years of Jim Webb who, like Mark Warner, pretends to be a moderate but votes with the liberal wing of his party every time it matters. George Allen failed us and I won’t let him do it again.
In 2006, voters told Allen they didn’t want him anymore. What has changed since then? Nothing. The Virginia tea party alliance doesn’t want him. Democrats and independents don’t want him (polls show him losing in a race against Tim Kaine). Allen’s campaign is a campaign run from the top down. He has no one excited about how he can change the senate. His money isn’t being raised off of a million small donors. No, his campaign is a top-down campaign. He told us he was running. He refuses to debate conservatives or answer to them.
We Can do Better.
But Virginia can do better. Former head of the tea party movement in Richmond and political consultant, Jaime Radtke has risen to the top of the polls as the clear conservative alterative to Allen.
Many Virginians have weighed our options and decided that we would rather send back-up to Jim DeMint in the Senate than send back-up to Mitch McConnell. Those are stark choices that Allen and Radtke represent.
The grassroots is tired of republicans who don't get it. George Allen is a blade of grass in the wind. While he was in the Governor’s mansion, it never occurred to him to cut spending in the Virginia budget, he increased spending! Later on while Allen was in the Senate, he voted repeatedly to raise the debt ceiling WITHOUT cuts! It is not that he inherently did anything wrong on fiscal issues that republicans care about, it is simply that he didn’t take action on his own to do anything right.
George Allen just isn't that type of conservative. He will never lead on unpopular issues. It just isn’t in his blood to lead when it is difficult and if we send him to the Senate he will fight against Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio for conservative reforms.
When people tell you that Allen is a true grassroots conservative, ask them why Mitch McConnell has already endorsed his campaign while Jim DeMint has not (and never will). Take it from people that had to live with Allen in the Senate before. He isn’t one of us. It isn't in his blood to lead when it is difficult. That is why there are five other candidates looking to take Allen on. On spending, on abortion, on minimum wage laws, on liberal-feel-good-“hate-crime”-laws, Allen isn't conservative.
Allen has refused to join in any republican primary debates but is willing to attend a debate against Tim Kaine before Christmas. I don’t blame him. If I had Allen’s record I wouldn’t go up against Radtke either. A republican primary debate would leave Allen's record bruised and broken on that stage, if he even had the guts to show up for one.
Allen needs to be the de facto nominee for Virginia because he quite simply couldn't hold up in a primary debate.
If Allen is the nominee, he will be a loser for the GOP.
Virginians are largely independent. And independents don't vote for the most moderate candidate, they vote for the candidate that most excites their base. People want something they can believe in. Voters want to believe that a candidate can do great things with a bold vision, not do mediocre things with a moderate one.
Obama slaughtered moderate McCain with a bold vision; Bush defeated Gore and Kerry because the base was behind him, while the left had nothing to be excited about; Clinton over Dole and the tax raising Bush; McDonnell over Deeds. This is pattern. The "safe" candidate never wins, the one that excites their respective base wins.
Jaime Radtke can pull this off with the backing of evangelical Churches, southerners, the large homeshool culture in Virginia, the tea party and establishment Republicans.
Conversely, Allen’s coalition will be the usual suspects. Republicans. People that vote for anyone with an R next to their name. Maybe a large faction of the military families on the coast bases. But it won’t be enough to defeat Tim Kaine who has a higher favorability rating and is polling higher than Allen.
Allen lost once and in voter’s minds he will be a loser again.
On the ground in Virginia.
I am a Virginian involved in Virginia politics and I can tell you that no one is talking about George Allen at tea parties down here. The grassroots isn't satisfied with this guy and they are steadily coalescing around Jaime Radtke.
She doesn't have the name recognition, the (horrible) record, or (so far) the millions pouring in. But she has the Ron Johnson/Pat Toomey/Marco Rubio/Mike Lee grassroots support that Allen will never have.
Next year will be a republican year with the wind at their backs, but George Allen is losing to Tim Kaine in the polls. Allen is Charlie Crist 2.0 and I smell blood in the water – and so do democrats.
I have written on Radtke before on redstate and unfortunately, this site is crawling with Allen-establishment guys. But do not be confused! I have never seen such grassroots opposition from redstate/grassroots people against a true conservative. But there a lot of mistruths out there but who Allen is.
The George Allen record.
Allen’s voting record is well above average, we aren’t talking about Mike Castle. He is a good republican. He has better than average voting record. But a voting record only tells half the story. What did Allen sponsor? What did he fight for in Committee? What did he bring to the floor? What did he campaign for?
Allen’s record shows that when someone else leads on conservative issues, he will follow. It also shows that when a republican leads on the wrong issue, Allen will still follow. Finally, Allen’s record shows that he is a nice guy, but not a leader. And most importantly, he isn’t one of us.
The closer this election comes, the more we realize that we don't need another Allen term. All Allen ever did was run for president. If he wins again he will merely keep a seat warm, he won’t push forward conservative values.
To explain to non-Virginian conservatives the battle we are facing right now, they should know what kind of politician George Allen is.
His nuanced abortion stance sums it up:
Time and time again, George Allen travels through south and central Virginia touting his pro-life credentials, bragging how he voted against the no-brainer ban on partial-birth abortion and other moderate reforms while never fighting our cause himself. AT THE SAME TIME, Allen has been caught campaigning in Northern Virginia that he is PRO-CHOICE, and his record shows that he is pro-choice. Don't get me wrong, George Allen isn't Tim Kaine pro-choice. He isn’t looking to broaden abortions, but he won’t fight to restrict them either. Allen carves out exceptions where abortions are ok. He thinks some embryonic stem cell research is ok, while other research is not ok. In 2006, Allen refused to sell his stock in the company that makes the Plan B abortion pill, to be honest I am glad that we don’t have a guy that profits financially off of abortions. Allen’s own wife and family have donated money to Planned Parenthood in the past. In 2000, Allen responded to a questionnaire, saying that abortion should be legal prior to viability. The Republican National Coalition for Life said Allen’s view, “…can only be described as pro-choice, not pro-life.” Again, it's not that Allen is crazy for abortion, but he is not one of us on life.
And at the end of the day, Allen doesn't agree with 100% pro-lifers and that is one thing, but the fact that no one truly knows where Allen stands is sad. You shouldn't have a senator that says one thing in Fairfax and another thing in Bristol.
And that is just one issue.
George Allen could be re-named "Mr. Earmark" with literally TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EARMARKS while in the Senate. In 2006, when questioned on his almost $90 BILLION IN EARMARKS he provided through the Senate, Allen responded, “Every single earmark I’ve gotten, I’m proud of.” (Richmond Times Dispatch, March 21, 2006).
George Allen on a quest to stop “hate crimes.”
In 2004, George Allen, Voted to add “Sexual Orientation” to Federal Hate Crimes Legislation.
Think about that, George Allen believes that if you are gay, you should be elevated and protected to a greater degree than other Americans and that it is worst to kill someone because they are gay than it is if they are a Christian. He believes that homosexuals should be protected in the same way women, children and minorities should be protected classes of citizens.
It isn't that Allen is the worst guy of all time, it is simply that we can do better.
Jaime Radtke is better.
Jaime Radtke is one of us. She is a Liberty University graduate, a Christian, a tea party leader, someone that is 100% pro-life. She is a mother and a home schooler. She has the amazing conservatism of some of the tea party Senate candidates of 2010 without the craziness. She is ready to take on Kaine.
Jaime Ratke is preaching the same message in Richmond that she preaches in Bristol and Abingdon, It is the same message in Lynchburg and Roanoke and Danville that it is in Fairfax and Chesapeake and Hampton Roads.
Jaime Radtke will be a soldier in Jim DeMint's army. She won't vote to increase the minimum wage which raises unemployment among younger people; she will fight for life with no exceptions, carve-outs, caveats, or distinctions; she will cut spending; she will spend what we have wisely; she will fight for home schools and charter schools which can help minorities more than any other program.
We need women leaders helping to carry the pro-life banner. We need conservative women that are good wives and mothers but also have leadership abilities and the requisite knowledge to be serious candidates all at the same time.
Virginian’s conservatives should ask themselves if they want a Mitch McConnell Senate Majority or a Jim DeMint one. Never have the choices been clearer in Virginia statewide office, of grassroots vs. establishment. I am with Jim DeMint and Jaime Radtke.