Home Virginia Politics Jeff Schapiro: George Allen for Governor 2013?

Jeff Schapiro: George Allen for Governor 2013?


Recently, there’s been speculation that our old friend George “Felix Macacawitz” Allen might take on Jim Webb once again for U.S. Senate in 2012.

“Many people have encouraged me to run [for Senate in 2012],” Allen said in a telephone interview. “Susan and I have heard that from many people. And the answer is: perhaps.”

Another “cowboy boots vs. combat boots” showdown? If Webb vs. Allen Part I was any indication, “Part Deux” would be wild and crazy and nasty, given that there’s absolutely no love lost between those two guys. It could also be close, given that Allen only lost the last time around by 9,000 votes.  

But, will George Allen actually run for U.S. Senate again? Maybe, but in this morning’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jeff Schapiro lays out a different scenario, George Allen for Governor 2013.

Could the GOP be heading toward another crackup, another shootout between the movement wing [led by Ken Cuccinelli] and the Main Streeters [led by Bill Bolling]?

Gov. Bob McDonnell is a bridge between these camps, though that has more to do with anger over the recession, bailouts and Obamacare, than his purported talent for blurring lines. Because McDonnell can’t seek a second consecutive term, R’s have no reason to behave themselves. What to do?

Call George Allen.

The former governor has everything the GOP wants in a future governor. He remains popular with the grass roots — a favorite of conservative activists and the corporate class, having delivered for both. Allen, too, wants to avenge his squeaker loss in 2006 to Jim Webb for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

That actually makes some sense to me, given Allen’s obvious disdain for the Senate, which he once called a “wounded sea slug.” It’s hard to imagine Allen really wanting to back there, but who knows, maybe he’s already forgotten how much he hated that job, just like he “forgot” where he learned the word “macaca” and just like he “forgot” all about his Jewish ancestry.

On the other hand, Allen could decide to run for governor in 2013. That could be great political theater, especially if Schapiro’s speculation about Mark Warner ditching the Senate – which he doesn’t seem to be enjoying very much – to run for governor – an office Warner the executive most definitely seemed to like – comes to pass.  That would open the door for Ken Cuccinelli to take on Jim Webb in 2012, with Bill Bolling possibly sliding into Warner’s Senate seat if Warner vacates to run for governor. Then, all we need to complete this political journalist’s wet-dram fantasy is for Tim Kaine to run for Senate against Bolling in 2014, unless of course Kaine has taken a top cabinet post by then?  

Anyway, it’s fun to speculate, and we could do so all day. But for now, it’s still early 2010, and first we have to get through mid-term election later this year, followed by elections for the entire Virginia General Assembly next year.  Also, if Warner opts to stay in the Senate, which is my guess at the moment, that would leave the 2013 Schapiro scenario in turmoil, with possible Democratic gubernatorial contenders ranging from Terry McAuliffe to Ward Armstrong to Chap Peterson to Gerry Connolly to…heck, Tim Kaine could even run again. Anyway, we’ll see, but if George Allen can make a comeback after his “macaca meltdown” of 2006, then I guess anything’s possible in politics.


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