In a Sunday profile piece on Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), who's running both for reelection to the Senate this year and for the conservative Republican nomination for president in 2008, a number of truths emerge:
Allen is BORED with life in the Senate: "I made more decisions in half a day as governor than you can make in a whole week in the Senate .... It's too slow for me."
Well, good. Sounds like the man is begging for forced retirement, which we're hoping little feisty ex-Marine James Webb, the Democratic candidate for that Senate seat, can hand him.
Then this, from a town-hall meeting Sen. Allen held in Culpeper, Va.: "A friendly audience listened politely as he called for tough new border laws and fiscal responsibility."
And there you have it, folks, as my political guru Irmaly told me recently: Republicans are going to run against THEMSELVES this year. They have to. No choice. Run against themselves -- i.e., run against out of control, dangerously incompetent WASHINGTON -- and hope the people don't notice the sleight-of-hand.
But people are noticing. Even in that friendly Culpeper audience: "The words kind of ring hollow with me," said one of Mr. Allen's brighter Republican constituents.