“You’re back, William!” Tim Pawlenty called out to the young man with the video camera. “I am,” William Schoell said as Pawlenty passed by, working his way through the crowd at Carey’s Café and Restaurant in Cherokee, Iowa. “We missed you,” Pawlenty said. “Where’ve you been?” “Going where my boss tells me.” Pawlenty laughed, a note of relief in his voice. Schoell, an Iowa-based video tracker for the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, had been following the former Minnesota governor around the state since May.
In the debut debate yesterday in his Senate race against George Allen, Tim Kaine offered a clear reminder of why Barack Obama came very close to picking him as his running mate in 2008 -- he is about as loyal a defender as Obama could ask for. This is not much of a surprise -- I remember meeting with Kaine at the Democratic convention in Denver and being struck by just how strong his identification with Obama was.
By his own account, George Allen didn’t have much fun in his first and only term in the U.S. Senate, which, he once complained, moves “at the pace of a wounded sea slug.” Even less fun, however, was the dramatic flameout that took place during his 2006 campaign for reelection. First, New Republic reporter Ryan Lizza discovered a high school yearbook photo featuring a teenage Allen with a Confederate flag pin attached to his collar. Then, a few months later, Allen was caught on tape calling a South Asian Democratic campaign worker “macaca.” Suddenly, Allen had a race problem.
No sooner have we begun recovering from Sarah Palin's fraught "full-court press" analogy than this news hits: Regnery announced today that they're publishing [a book] by the former Virginia senator [George Allen]... called, "The Triumph of Character: What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports." From the release, which cites his football and rugby (who knew?) prowess at UVA: In The Triumph of Character, Allen brings together two all-American passions—politics and sports—and reveals what Washington could learn from the enduring principles found in athletic competition and team sports.
I just caught George Allen doing some political analysis on Fox News. Given the way the primaries have gone, it doesn't seem an overstatement to say that this guy would be cruising to the GOP nomination were it not for the word "macaca"--with a big assist from TNR's coverage of his past pro-Confederate tendencies. Can't be fun for him to watch. --Michael Crowley