Allen: The Hollywood candidate.

In the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican George Allen and Democratic challenger Jim Webb, the Allen campaign has worked hard to pigeonhole Webb as the “Hollywood” candidate. Millions have now seen the video of Sen. Allen speaking in Breaks a few weeks ago, in which he tells the crowd that Webb is in Los Angeles at the moment, raising money from “a bunch of Hollywood movie moguls.”

The Allen family portrait, by Alexandria’s Cochran Studios.

These attacks are ironic, given that Allen was actually raised to adulthood in Los Angeles, whereas Webb is simply a successful novelist who is producing a movie based on one of those books. Wonkette yesterday featured the Allens’ bizarre family portrait, which portrays them lounging on a beach that sure looks like Malibu; it sure ain’t Virginia beach. Allen’s attacks along these lines seem almost defensive.

Whenever a candidate preemptively attacks a personality trait or background characteristic of his opponent, that often indicates that the candidate himself is vulnerable in the same area. The Washington Post today reported on a new study that seems to bear this out.

Sen. Allen has raised 452% more than Webb from the entertainment industry. Let’s visualize that.

Sen. Allen held a fundraiser in Los Angeles just last month, right around the time he was going after Webb for doing the same thing.

I hope that political reporters will keep this in mind in the two months ahead. When quoting Allen campaign manager Dick Wadhams referring to Webb as a “wealthy Hollywood movie producer,” it is necessary to provide the balance of pointing out that Allen has raised far, far more money than Webb from Hollywood.

10:30pm Update: The Ditzy Democrats demand satisfaction for having broken this story two weeks ago. You be the judge.

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

27 replies on “Allen: The Hollywood candidate.”

1. Janis Jaquith says:

I’d like Cochran Studios to do our family portrait! They made George Allen look like Tom Cruise. Maybe they could make me look like Michelle Pfeiffer.

And notice the TV suspended from the ceiling of the grass hut: It’s tuned to FOX.

What with the pitcher of sangria and those empty martini glasses, I’m thinking that life in Malibu with the Beautiful People must be a little slice o’ heaven.

I’m beginning to think that the ubiquitous football has been surgically attached to Allen’s fingers. (Have you ever seen him without it?) I bet he sleeps with it.

2. TrvlnMn says:

I wonder why they still even bother dragging out this tired old issue. As you’ve pointed out with your numbers Hollywood has more than it’s fair share of Republican political donors.

Hollywood money, regardless of the political party it supports, is far less insidious than the donations that might come from various corporate or special interests. (And I can guarantee that Hollywood Republicans aren’t a socially conservative bunch).

As far as I’m concerned where the money comes from is less important then the fact that regardless of political party any given candidate is “at least” financially “comfortable” when they decide to run for office. Just once I’d like to see the average working person run and get elected (and yeah I know it’s a pipe dream).

3. You’re calling Ninety-some thousand dollars “Hollywood money”? Please, James Webb has gotten few contributions anywhere, and Allen’s contributions go to the millions, leaving this paltry sum at only a few percent of all contributions, negligible when considering how easily George Allen could still perform the vast majority (if not all) of the ads he has and will done with the money he has otherwise. Yes, he is making 4.5 times as much as Webb from Hollywood, but he is making 15 times more overall. Hmm, nice omission there Waldo, though I guess I can’t blame you since the Washington Post barely noted it themselves. The Washington Post also only notes one other politician, Hillary Clinton, making half a million dollars from the entertainment industry. Is anyone else making more than Senator Allen? Certainly would be nice to know that little tidbit.

It is obvious that Allen was talking about James Webb’s philosophies coming close to that of Hollywood’s, not neccessarily his physical location or finances, even though Hollywood has been as hesitant as many other liberal leaning groups to give to James Webb.

4. Ms. Jaquith: Cochran is going to be in Alexandria for the “festival of the arts” the weekend of the 9th and 10th. I’m planning on dropping by just to ask him what he was smoking when he painted that, I could always inquire about rates for you. ;)

5. You’re calling Ninety-some thousand dollars “Hollywood money”?

Of course. It’s entertainment industry money and therefore, in George Allen’s terms, it’s “Hollywood money.” His campaign established that frame. Don’t blame me.

It is obvious that Allen was talking about James Webb’s philosophies coming close to that of Hollywood’s, not neccessarily his physical location or finances.

That’s simply not true, CR. You know better. From an August 18 Allen press release:

Hollywood movie producer and fiction novelist James H. Webb, Jr. will visit Southwest Virginia this weekend where his campaign cynically distributed anti-Semitic fliers during the Democratic primary in June.

“The Hollywood novelist and fiction writer admitted to seeing and approving anti-Semitic fliers against his opponent, Harris Miller,” said Allen campaign manager Dick Wadhams. “When confronted by news reporters, he admitted the anti-Semitic fliers were only distributed in Southwest Virginia. Will the Webb campaign again distribute anti-Semitic fliers in the region?”

Tell me, CR, is anti-semitism a Hollywood value? Or might that be precisely the opposite of stereotypical Hollywood values?

The fact is that George Allen, born and raised in Los Angeles, has been criticizing Jim Webb (from Virginia) for raising money in Hollywood when, in fact, Allen has raised far, far more from Hollywood than Webb has. At a bare minimum it’s deeply hypocritical. His campaign has just provided a big blinking arrow pointing directly to a major vulnerability for Allen: that he is literally all hat and no cattle, a Los Angelean dressed up like a cowboy because he thinks it makes him look like a tough guy. On the contrary, he looks like a cowboy in the same sense that most crossdressing men look like women — it’s not an imitation, but a caricture.

I’m too sick for this. Back to bed after I get a few more Tylenol Cold down my gullet.

6. Sam Reilly says:

The fact is that George Allen, born and raised in Los Angeles, has been criticizing Jim Webb (from Virginia) for raising money in Hollywood

You know, repeating a lie often enough won’t make it true.

Webb was neither born nor raised in Virginia. Neither of his parents were born or raised in Virginia. Some of his ancestors lived in Virginia, and he has some relatives in the Commonwealth. Webb has lived in Northern Virginia for a few years (far fewer than Allen, by the way). This hardly qualifies him as being “from” Virginia.

Not to say that this should mean anything as far as Webb’s ability to represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate. But left-leaning bloggers aren’t doing him any favors when they lie about his background.

7. But left-leaning bloggers aren’t doing him any favors when they lie about his background.

Why do you assume that I’m lying? If Webb is not from Virginia — which would be news to me, but I’m no Jim Webb expert — wouldn’t it make more sense to assume that I’m simply misinformed, and to provide documentation to better inform me?

If I wanted to lie with impunity, I’d disable comments and trackbacks. The very existence of such corrective mechanisms makes clear that I have no intention of lying, especially about something so easily demonstrated true or false.

8. Ben C. says:

“The Washington Post also only notes one other politician, Hillary Clinton, making half a million dollars from the entertainment industry. Is anyone else making more than Senator Allen? Certainly would be nice to know that little tidbit.”

Actually, it’s entirely irrelivant in this discussion. It’s a strawman. Allen has been crying about how Jim Webb is so tied up in Hollywood, while in reality, Allen has taken more from Hollywood, and is himself from LA. How is Hillary Clinton relevant? The answer of course is that she’s not. The story is not that Allen takes more money from Hollywood than anyone else, and it’s not even that he’s beholden to Hollywood. It’s that he’s being a self-serving hypocrite.

Similarly, the point is not that Jim Webb was born and raised in Virginia — he certainly wasn’t — but rather that Allen is no more a real Virginian than Webb is. They both moved here, and unless I’m mistaken, neither has ever lived in anything resembling the coal mining communities of western Virginia. So it seems a bit odd to me for Allen to have been welcoming Webb to “the real world of Virginia” (if, as the Republican pundits say, it wasn’t a racist slander directed at a native Virginian). It’s all part of the his self-serving hypocracy, and the vaneer of authenticity which is easilly peeled away.

The point is not that Webb is more of a Virginian or less Hollywood. It’s that Allen is insulting the people of Virginia by suggesting lies about who Jim Webb is and what he represents. But then, this comes as no surprise to many of us, as Allen has shown time and again that he’s not interested in representing the people of Virginia. He’s only interested in forwarding his own career.

I live in Arlington, but I’m happy to say that George Felix Allen is more of a beltway insider than I’ll ever be.

9. Wow, You guys are really trying to “spin”, a poor showing by Webb, by pointing out Allen gets more \$ there. Quick Check Mel Gibson for Fed donations :-)

There is you guys connection for anti-semitism, Maybe the Harris Miller people might talk to Webb again…

Fat Chance, Allen is to Good a Friend of Israel, but maybe you can turn a couple, and “stir up some hate”, or is that a “cheap shot” on my part?

Have you guys found any pictures of Mel Gibson and Senator Allen? That is not a cheap shot, after the CCC photo that doesn’t seem to die….

10. Sam Reilly says:

wouldn’t it make more sense to assume that I’m simply misinformed

This, coming from a guy who so thoroughly researches things like demographic data for every jurisdiction in the state and indigent dental care statistics, and who cites to Wikipedia just about every day?

Nope, that doesn’t pass the laugh test. You can’t hold yourself out to be so in touch with Virginia politics and at the same time claim to not know something as simple as where Jim Webb is or isn’t from.

You flat-out lied, and you know it.

Ohh.. that hurts!

12. Bubby says:

Hey Sam Reilly:
I don’t need you deciphering the nature of authenticity and the candidates bud. Let’s just look at Saturday last: Governor Kaine and Governor Warner walking the streets of Buena Vista shaking hands, looking the citizens in the eye. Then here comes George Allen on an over-loaded pony, wearing a stetson, prairie attire, and waving to the onlookers like some goofy-weird Cowboy Pope…I mean give it a rest dude. Who is George Allen anyway?

13. You flat-out lied, and you know it.

Sam, you’re yet to answer my questions. If I lied, why wouldn’t I have erased your comment? And if it’s so easily verified, as you say (and I just checked Wikipedia, as you suggested), why wouldn’t I assume others would check that fact? It’s almost as if you’ve never read my blog before, and don’t know anything about me.

I should point out that I’ve been in bed with a cold/flu thing since Tuesday morning. When I’ve been out of bed — like now — I’m under the influence of significant quantities of Tylenol Cold. Fact-checking is not foremost on my mind. Finally, you’re objecting to a comment, not something in my blog entry. I spend a good bit of time researching and fact-checking blog entries. Comments? They’re just comments. I write ’em as they come out of my brain.

Oh, and I checked — I’ve cited Wikipedia 26 times in blog entries since October 2004, or about once a month.

In short, Sam, you’re being rude. Stop it.

It’s 9:30. I’m going to bed. The chills are moving up towards fever, and if I can catch it in the middle, I’ll be able to go to sleep.

14. Bubby:
You’d be a little more believable if you didn’t “spew” at Delegate/Congressman/Gov./Senator Allen as you do. He rides a horse, because he is comfortable on a horse… You may be surprised that every Virginian, even those who will not vote for him, are comfortable seeing him on a horse….

It’s his style… Alexander Lamar, was comfortable campaigning in a plaid.. folksy.. collared shirt… Bill Clinton, used similar kinds of dress, I never had a problem with it.. he was a “good ol’ boy” from Arkansas, and I was comfortable with that.

My problem with Lamar, and Bill Clinton, and John McCain for that matter was their positions on the issues… you might actually gain some kind of credibility if you commented on that, and not just disparage…. Our Delegate/Congressman/Gov./Senator Allen…. We are quite comfortable with that….

It makes me suspect, you are not a Virginian, and just a “paid hack”, out throwing invective… afraid that isn’t the Virginian way….

Now, go attack Lieberman in Conneticut, which is where, I think you would be more welcome, and comfortable yourself….

You have no place in the VA blogosphere… In my opinion. oh, and get a blog… take some postions, and prepare to defend them.

15. Ben C. says:

“…throwing invective… afraid that isn’t the Virginian way….”

Thank you for taking a position against partisan talking points and invective.

“Now, go attack Lieberman in Conneticut, which is where, I think you would be more welcome, and comfortable yourself….

“You have no place in the VA blogosphere…”

Oh, nevermind.

16. Harry Landers says:

Maybe Spanky thinks “throwing invective” is the Connecticut way?

17. Invective means “insult”. I am afraid Ben C. that you consider criticism “invective”, when that criticism is “dead on”. I in no way insulted “bubby”. I merely critiqed his comments, and told him politely where to go!

Who are all these people who “hide” behind the “psueds”? (and scream the loudest)

18. Ben C. says:

Spanky,

From dictionary.com:

“invective \in-VEK-tiv\, noun:
1. An abusive expression or speech; a vehement verbal attack.
2. Insulting or abusive language.”

You’re telling me that the phrase, “You have no place in the VA blogosphere,” is criticism and not a “verbal attack”? I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t see it that way.

As long as we’re discussing the nuances of the English language, you may want to look up such advanced topics as ellipses, quotation marks, and conjugating verbs, which you use liberally, though incorrectly.

The above paragraph is an example of criticism that IS invective.

19. I made a “statement”, and I think people who are not offended by every little “statement”, will see it for that! Are we searching for “Macaca”? (I’m being insulted, I’m being attacked, I’m a victim”)

A verbal attack is Lowell referring to Dick Wad(Hams), which I am sure you probably find humorous, or do you?

20. Harry Landers says:

Spanky,

You can attack and insult – that’s okay. I don’t even think your target is offended. It’s just that you look a bit silly when you do it in the same post where you refer to the “Virginia Way”.

21. Bubby says:

Spanky has adopted the Allen Attitude – looking down the nose, deeming himself the the decider at the gatehouse. Well “welcome to the real Virginia” yo’self dude.

But see, here’s the thing: I’ve already looked over your credentials and musings… and factoring in your birth certificate still didn’t convince me you can reach a valid conclusion about much of anything.

Now if you wouldn’t mind, I was addressing SamReilly/I.Publius or whatever his name is…

22. “I don’t even think your target is offended”

For all we know the two of you are one in the same… You hide behind pseuds… The “Chicken Hawks” of the blogosphere :D

Buck, Buck, Baakaawwwkkk!

23. “Harry Landers” isn’t a pseudonym, Chris. He’s my father.

24. Harry Landers says:

I’m flabbergasted. Somebody who calls himself (herself?) “spankthatdonkey”, makes chicken noises and accuses me of hiding behind pseudonyms? It’s a crazy world.

25. How much did Mel Gibson give Georgie-boy?

26. My goodness, you are fast. Can you please put me back into vapoliticalblogs? hrconservative.blogspot.com. I may only post sporatically now, but I think I may time for a once a week post. . .