Former Sen. George Allen (R-VA) has officially launched his campaign to run again for the Senate seat he held from 2001-2007, before he was defeated in a major upset by Democrat Jim Webb in 2006. Allen’s campaign is being pitched as part of an “American comeback.”
“The pivotal elections coming up in 2012 are gonna determine the trajectory of our country,” Allen said in his YouTube announcement video. “Whether the opportunity to achieve the American Dream will continue to decline, or begin to ascend again.
“Friends, it’s time for an American comeback. A comeback with leaders in Washington who listen to ‘We the People,’ adhere to foundational principles, rein in spending, and start creating opportunities for more jobs.”
Allen narrowly lost his 2006 re-election, after he had previously been expected to win easily and then launch a 2008 presidential campaign. The trouble came in August 2006, of course, after he was videotaped by a Webb campaign tracker, who was Indian-American, calling the person “macaca,” a type of monkey. This was widely interpreted as being a somewhat obscure racial slur, often used by French colonists in Africa — which was the background of Allen’s mother.
Allen later claimed that he had never heard of the word or this particular meaning before, and that he had made it up. In the end, Webb won the election by a margin of 0.39%, in a very Democratic year, and helping to deliver Democrats their 51-seat majority.
A Public Policy Polling (D) survey from this past November showed Allen leading a large list of potential candidates for the GOP nomination, and Webb leading Allen by 49%-45%. Webb has not made any final decision on whether he will run again.