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October 08, 2006

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As in the Foley case, Allen's problem here seems to have been created mostly by his own idiotic response, rather than to what he did.

Suppose he had simply said he had used the word, many years ago, when it was more common, and when he did not appreciate how demeaning it was. He could express regret and say that he had learned a lot in the past 30 years.

Wouldn't that be smarter?

Why pretend never to have done stupid things?

Just like I've been saying for years: dumb as a bag of rocks.

He's got another thing to explain now too. According to one AP story:

For the past five years, Sen. George Allen has failed to tell Congress about stock options he got for his work as a director of a high-tech company. The Virginia Republican also asked the Army to help another business that gave him similar options.
His reason for this omission:
Allen's office said he did not report his Commonwealth options on his past five Senate disclosure reports because their purchase price was higher than the current market value. Allen viewed them as worthless and believed in "good faith" he did not have to report them, aides said.
The words doing all the weasel work in this one are "current market value." Those stock options aren't worth anything now, but what would they be worth after he manages to steer a few government contracts their way?

Good faith...right.

Wonder if Jon Henke is regretting his decision to wade hip-deep into (murky) electoral water?

matttbastard: I imagine so. -- But then, I've always thought the idea of signing up as someone's spokesperson is very odd unless you have a lot of trust in that person. Otherwise, the likelihood that you'll just end up either lying or resigning in a way that harms your ex-boss just seems to great to risk.

And even before all this, I'm at a loss as to why anyone would have felt that amount of trust in Allen.

Thanks for the pointer, nous. Quite a story.

Our local weekly paper irritated the hell out of me this week by doing a pious editorial about negative campaigning and lowered discourse -- with the distinct implications that both Senate candidates are doing it.

Well, this stuff is being generated by Allen's own gaffes, hypocrisy, and lies, and by the news media themselves. Webb hasn't started any of this, hasn't run any negative ads.

He's trying hard to talk about the issues he wants to do something about, and having a fairly hard time being heard. He had to snap at Wolf Blitzer on a recent Situation Room appearance in order to get the chance to talk about Iraq.

The paper with the irritating editorial has failed to cover anything Webb actually said in the candidate's two local appearances. (Which, given the size of our community, is two more than most statewide candidates usually make, apart from the now-traditional local Labor Day events.)

Not that I personally mind more stories out there unfavorable to Allen.

As long as the paychecks cash, I doubt that Jon Henke has any regrets whatsoever.

Hil:

And even before all this, I'm at a loss as to why anyone would have felt that amount of trust in Allen.

That's why I've been so baffled by Henke (particularly because of his previous non-partisan leanings) signing on with the Allen campaign, especially post-Macacagate. Prior to this, when I pictured a 'Reagan-esque libertarian Republican' the last pol who sprung to mind was Allen (hell, Webb fits the bill better, IMHO - even though he's no longer a Republican [obviously].)

"Wonder if Jon Henke is regretting his decision to wade hip-deep into (murky) electoral water?"

LJ asked, on his own blog, when Henke took the job, what we should think of him, and I replied counseling that we not judge him by his boss, but by his own acts and statements.

I've not particularly followed what else Henke has written, but I have to say that back when Allen was announcing that questions about Jewish ancestry was an "aspersion," and I posted about this and Henke wrote me, I wasn't at all impressed with Henke's and the Allen campaign's endlessly repeated charges that everyone criticizing Allen was anti-Semitic.

I tend to take false charges of that sort seriously.

"But then, I've always thought the idea of signing up as someone's spokesperson is very odd unless you have a lot of trust in that person."

On the one hand I feel the same way; on the other hand, lots of people are in a position where many attractive positions, as regards prestige, opportunity, and/or money (even potentially in the future), don't come along often, and temptation is never a rare motive.

And people can climb remarkably fast in politics (well, in many things, but politics among them). There are a bazillion examples of people going from press spokesperson to powerful/rich/famous, after all. Ambition should be thought of as a sibling of temptation, if it isn't.

On the other hand, not knowing Henke (although he did say in one of his e-mails to me that he "liked" me, which bemused me, since we'd never had any prior contact, but, then, we all only know each other from writing, even if in some cases its through exchanges and in others not), maybe he genuinely is convinced of the wonders of Allen, for some reason.

Or maybe Allen has pictures of Henke with Mark Foley and a goat. Beats me.

Yeah, that was a good point, Gary, though what I think I was getting at (hindsight being what it is) was that this seems to be yet another example of the 'I'm a libertarian, so I'm above the fray' suddenly landing on one side. If libertarians were landing on both sides 50/50 or even 60/40 say, I'd be a little less interested. Couple that with the Christian right, I am tempted to suggest that the Republican party is the home to those people who like to be duped...

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