The words of Rich Lowry are almost always worth noting. In this case, they’re doubly so, as he wrote a rather positive National Review cover story on George Allen and has often been quick to defend the Senator. His comments today:
I disagree with Mona and Kathryn. It seemed to me that the audience shared Allen’s outrage at the question (which was bizarre), and if Allen seemed disproportionately mad about it, it probably had to do with a sensitivity about his mother, rather than anything sinister. But yesterday aside, Allen has obviously had a tough couple of months that have come at the worst possible time—just when insiders have focused their attention on him as a potential 2008 candidate. His difficulties of late will probably leave a lasting impression and mean a significant downgrading of his 2008 chances. Meanwhile, the interrogation controversy hits John McCain on what have been his two strengths with the Republican base of late—his support for President Bush and his strength on the War on Terror. All of this helps Mitt Romney, who is aided by any stumbling by other non-McCain conservatives and anything that makes McCain less palatable to conservatives. It’s a long, long way to go, of course. A compromise could be worked out on interrogation quickly that lessens the damage to McCain. Allen could re-gain his footing and soundly defeat Webb. But the Romney Team has had to enjoy the last few months.