Sunday, September 17, 2006
Conservative Townhall Blog Slams Allen after Debate
Words from Dean Barnett of Hugh Hewitt, a blog of Townhall.com after watching today's debate between Sen. George Allen and war hero, best selling author and former secretary of state, Jim Webb on "Meet the Press."
Let's read what Mr. Barnett had to say on the subject:
The National Review editorial page expressed identical sentiments; but it gets worst for the junior senator.
[G]iven the vital partisan stakes involved this election season that Hugh and I have frequently discussed here, I squarely and unequivocally support Allen’s re-election.
Or at least I did until this morning’s debate. Now I’m not so sure.
[F]or reasons that I don’t fully understand, Allen has decided to attack Webb from the left on this issue. When Russert pressed Webb on the matter, Webb was subtle and effective. While he apologized for his intemperate tone and wished that he had been more mature when he wrote the currently controversial article 27 years ago, he refused to throw his argument under the bus. He acknowledged room for women in the military, but he did not surrender the common sense ground that the infantry and similar areas should remain a male preserve.
There were also the notable stylistic differences between the two candidates. Allen seemed like a politician through-and through. Webb seemed like he was intellectually and spiritually slumming while exchanging barbs with Allen and dealing with the sometimes insipid questions from Russert (e.g. “Both of you chew tobacco. Is that a good example to set for the young?”).Barnett goes on to chastise Allen for not being better prepared for the obvious '"Macaca" question. That Allen claimed he'd only used a word he'd made up in the Zeitgeist of the moment last August was "shockingly" unconvincing, Barnett notes.
Indeed, in any debate, the elephant in the room is "ethos," credibility. And let's face it, Allen's cockamamie response overshadowed any goodwill that may have been left from his affable smiling mien; subtract a majority of Allen's debate points.
Barnett concludes: "AS EVERYONE HERE KNOWS, I THINK IT’S A MATTER of considerable import that Republicans maintain control of Congress. But, I have to admit, I can imagine far worse things than having a man like James Webb in the Senate."
Folks, Jim Webb is going to capture almost every Democratic vote, a majority of Independents and a sizeable chunk of Republicans; and for those conflicted GOPers, resume versus party brand, they'll simply stay home.
If I had been either's handler, I would have said "Say 'I made a comment that circumstances and experience have convinced me in the intervening years was wrong.' "
Period. Russert couldn't do jack with that and neither could Allen's campaign (or Webb's, for that matter).