Thursday, December 08, 2011

George Allen lost the debate yesterday, and probably the election



I was unable to watch yesterday's debate live--some of us have day jobs. I was surprised that anyone thought it was a good idea to have a debate this early in the campaign season, and having a debate in the middle of the day when ordinary citizens can't watch is a bad idea. Now, instead of being able to watch the debate in its entirety, those of us with day jobs are forced to settle for the scraps and excerpts the media chooses to feed us.

Fortunately, the media deigned to provide us with the most relevant 4 minutes and 43 seconds: an exchange between Kaine and Allen over the continuing relevance of the "Macaca" incident.

The exchange was triggered by a question from NBC 12's Ryan Nobles, who went after Kaine over an offhand remark from a Kaine campaign spokesman who said yesterday that Allen's "Macaca" gaffe was "fair game." Nobles sounds angry and snippy and seems to be trying to bully Kaine into agreeing not to talk about the "Macaca" incident. If Nobles was trying to do George F. Allen a favor, he failed miserably. Nobles' question swung the door wide open for Kaine to discuss in excruciating detail not just "Macaca," but Allen's entire, long career of boorish behavior.

Allen's response was revealing: a bizarre string of anecdotes designed to change the subject. Allen is severely damaged goods. He still hasn't found a way to address the "Macaca" incident--or the rest of his obnoxious past career-- and that's going to haunt him in this campaign. If Allen can't find a way to put "Macaca" behind him, he'll never win this race.

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