…continued from [url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/2008-usa-republican-party-presidential-campaign/43727/585 USA Republican Party Presidential Campaign[/url].
An good bit of analysis on the failure of one aspect of the GOP’s campaign. The George Allen analogy is right on the mark… wish I’d remembered that.
[quote=“Frank Rich: NYT”]IT seems like a century ago now, but it was only in 2005 that a National Journal poll of Beltway insiders predicted that George Allen, then a popular Virginia senator, would be the next G.O.P. nominee for president. George who? Allen is now remembered, if at all, as a punch line. But any post-mortem of the Great Republican Collapse of 2008 must circle back to the not-so-funny thing that happened on his way to the White House.
That would be in 2006, when he capsized his own shoo-in re-election race by calling a 20-year-old Indian-American “macaca” before a white audience (and a video camera). “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia,” Allen told the young Democratic campaign worker for good measure, in a precise preview of the playbook that has led John McCain and Sarah Palin to their tawdry nadir two years later.
It wasn’t just Allen’s lame racial joke or his cluelessness about 21st-century media like YouTube that made him a harbinger of the current G.O.P. fiasco. It was most of all the national vision he set forth: There are Real Americans, and there are the Others.
The Real are the small-town white folks Allen was addressing in southwestern Virginia. The Others — and their subversive fellow travelers, the Elites — are Americans like the young man who Allen maligned: a high-achieving son of immigrant parents who was born and raised in Washington’s Northern Virginia suburbs during its technology boom. (Allen, the self-appointed keeper of real Virginia, grew up in California.)
Cut to 2008. You’d think that this incident would be a cautionary tale, but the McCain campaign instead embraced Allen as a role model, with Palin’s odes to “real” and “pro-America” America leading the charge. The farcical apotheosis of this strategy arrived last weekend, again on camera and again in Virginia, when a McCain adviser, Nancy Pfotenhauer, revived Allen’s original script, literally, during an interview on MSNBC.[/quote]