I’m watching Meet the Press, right now, on which Tim Russert is grilling Senator George Allen and Jim Webb–Allen’s opponent in the senatorial race. Very fascinating. Actually, I haven’t been following George Allen. When given the chance to listen to him speak at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, I handed out Romney buttons in the lobby instead. So, the first real time I started to pay attention to him, was the infamous macaca incident, which Russert is bringing up now. (Allen is saying that “macacca” was a “made up word” he’d never heard.) This led to a conversation about the Confederate flag. He said the flag to him meant “rebellion,” and “cultural pride.” But now, he realizes that it means “segregation” and “violence” to some people, and ended it by saying, “I would not be utilizing that flag…again.”
I think one of the things that bothers me about him is that he always looks like he’s smiling. Whether he’s talking about football, the war, or port security, he has that same smirk. All in all, however, both men did well on the show, under all of Russert’s scrutiny.
QUESTION FROM RUSSERT: Would you pledge to serve a full term in the Senate if elected?
ALLEN: I pledge I’ll fight as hard as I can for the American people.
Of course, you know how we feel here at EFM about Allen’s presidential prospects–I was the one handing out Romney buttons, after all, during Allen’s speech. (Romney–from Massachusetts– handily beat Allen–from Virginia–at the Southern conference.) But after hearing Webb speak about the war on Meet the Press, I really hope Allen can at least pull it together enough to keep his Senate seat.
For those keeping score… Allen used 5 football references during the 45 minute interview.
About race: He believes in a “level-playing field” since he grew up in a “football family”
About the war: No “Monday morning quarterbacking”
About minorities: He wants them to be a part of “Team America”
About chewing tobacco: “I picked that up from the Chicago Bears training camps.”