The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Susan Allen comes to the valley to campaign on husband’s behalf; B1

By Garren Shipley
(Daily Staff Writer)

WINCHESTER — Election Day is still more than nine months away, but two of Virginia’s candidates for U.S. Senate are off and running.

Incumbent Sen. George Allen, a Republican and former governor who is seeking a second six-year term, sent some firepower to the Northern Shenandoah Valley on Wednesday.

His wife, former Virginia first lady Susan Allen, was at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley on Wednesday, rallying the Republican faithful for the contest.

“Susan Allen has made the priorities in her life so clear,” said state party Chairwoman Kate Obenshain Griffin, introducing Mrs. Allen to members of the Winchester Frederick Clarke Republican Women.

That priority has been “providing a warm loving home for her husband so he can have peace when he gets there after being in this crazy world of politics that we’re in that knows no bounds, and creating that same kind of life for her three precious children,” Griffin said.

The GOP leaders also hinted at a possible future role for Mrs. Allen, alluding to her husband’s possible presidential run in 2008.

She is “not only the finest first lady that Virginia has ever had, but [also] the finest first lady our country will ever have,” Griffin said.

Mrs. Allen exhorted the crowd to tell friends and family about her husband, because the 2006 race could be a tough one.

“We need that same momentum we had in ’91, ’93 and 2000,” she said. “We have one opponent already. Who knows how many more will come down the pike?”

Harris Miller, a Northern Virginia businessman, has an-nounced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

A Jan. 18 Rasmussen Reports poll found the incumbent leading Miller 57 percent to 37 percent.

Allen has been working hard for some time to make a number of the initiatives in President Bush’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night a reality, Mrs. Allen said.

A big part of that is keeping the national economy running well, she said.

“One way to do that … is to make sure that we remember as a party that we hold financial responsibility as one of the number one issues that Republicans unite behind and agree on,” she said.

Her husband also has a good track record on fiscal issues, Mrs. Allen said.

“He’s a frugal man at heart, and he takes your tax dollars seriously and treats them as his own,” she said.

Virginia would be well-served, she said, to keep Allen in office to be sure that Washington keeps an eye to the East, as well.

“India and China are two very large countries that we need to keep an eye on,” Mrs. Allen said. Allen strongly supports initiatives to keep the U.S. competitive on the world stage.

“We have got to make sure that we have the brain power to remain the strongest force in the world,” she said. “We are getting passed by by these countries that are producing engineers by the gazillions.”

Leadership in science and technology are key to continued U.S. dominance, Mrs. Allen said. Should China and India become the innovation leaders of the world, the results for the nation could be serious.

“[India and China’s] government policies are not the one we want leading our world,” she said.