George Allen Campaign Manager Retracts Apology
by Matt Stoller, Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 10:21:34 AM EDT
Allen campaign manager Dick Wadhams just put this memo out. He blames the media, pundits, Democrats, liberal groups, and Moveon.org for Allen's racist gaffe. He says that it's the Democrats that are playing the race card.
The only person who isn't to blame, in fact, is saintly George Allen, who made a simple mistake for which he should be forgiven.
Reading this memo, it's become clear that George Allen isn't sorry for his racist comment. Allen put out some soft words to appease those who are uncomfortable with racism, but is also allowing his campaign manager to embrace the full-throated repudiation of that fake apology.
As long as Wadhams is George Allen's campaign manager, we'll know that Allen stands behind his racist quip. No longer is this simply a single weeklong story; with this memo, Wadhams has retroactively justified the racist attitude of his candidate, who of course has done nothing wrong. Since this guy is managing Allen's campaign, Allen clearly agrees. On the off-chance Allen is genuinely sorry for his comment, Allen would need to fire Wadhams. It's that simple.
The memo is on the flip.
Memo from Dick Wadhams
To: GOP leaders/Allen campaign leadership
From: Dick Wadhams, Campaign Manager
Re: Notes on a tough week
August 19, 2006
I think it is obvious that this past week was difficult one for Senator and Mrs. Allen and the campaign. It is very clear that the news media created what they call a "feeding frenzy", with the Washington Post alone doing major stories on the same issue for 5 consecutive days.
Literally putting words into Senator Allen's mouth that he did not say (by speculating, defining and attributing meanings and motives that simply are not true), the Webb campaign and the news media seeming worked hand-in-hand to create national news over something that did not warrant coverage in the first place.
Even after Senator Allen apologized to the Webb campaign staffer in specific, and to anyone who may have been offended in general, the news media continued to print and re-print the same speculations and inaccurate portrayals of Senator Allen's comments. Never in modern times has a statewide officeholder and candidate been so vilified in a desperate attempt to revive a campaign that was fast-sinking - the Webb campaign.
Senator Allen has said that his comments were a mistake. Who among us has not made mistakes? In fact, how many of us could put in the hours of work, travel, meetings, campaigning, etc. that Senator Allen has over the years and make as few mistakes as he has?
Apparently the media's standard for candidates is now that they must be perfect, not human, and that no mistake or verbal gaffe is to be forgiven, no matter how much the candidate apologize. Will the Washington Post hold it's candidate for the U.S. Senate to the same standard? We will see, but I'm not holding my breath.
The bottom line for us, friends, is that same as it has always been. We cannot rely on the news media to get our positive, constructive message out to the voters. In fact, we cannot expect them to be objective, let along fair. As always, we have to do it together, getting our message directly to the voters.
Senator Allen has a long, positive, successful track record as a member of the House of Delegates and House of Representatives, as our Governor and now as our United States Senator.
There is hardly a place you can go in the Commonwealth that Senator Allen has not visited at least once or touched in some way. Senator Allen and Susan Allen have impacted the lives of tens of thousands of Virginians through their public service and volunteer activities. This is evident to anyone who has participated in a Listening Tour stop this year.
He was there long before his opponent discovered there were such places in Virginia. And, he will be there long after his opponent has faded from the scene.
There is no question that this is a tough year to run for the Senate as a Republican. The Democrats and their liberal constituency groups, such as MoveOn.org, are pouring millions of dollars into television attack ads, seeking to take control of the Senate and House. Rep. Thelma Drake has already been a target of their vicious attacks. We expect to see Senator Allen attacked in the same way.
The reason the Democrats run such negative campaigns and always play the race card, is that they have no positive ideas to run on. That is as true this year as in any other. The fact that they have attempted to make race an issue so early in the campaign is evidence of just how desperate they are.
Senator Allen summarizes his public service as making Virginia a better place to live, learn, work and raise a family. And, that's what this campaign is all about.
Senator Allen will win because he is right on the issues. He will win because he has done a great job as Senator and Governor. He will win because he has stayed in touch with Virginians and been responsive to their needs. He will win because he and Susan will work harded than anyone to get the job done.
And, Senator Allen will win because of your help and support. Now is the time to rally for Senator Allen and our Congressional candidates. Now is the time to get our positive message out door-to- door, by telephone and at fairs, festivals and meetings of all sizes.
You are the secret weapon that Senator Allen has always confounded the pundtis with.
Let's show the liberal interest groups that by coming to Virginia, they have gotten more than they bargained for and that they need not bother us ever again!
Dick Wadhams, Campaign Manager