A riled-up Jamie Radtke provided most of the fireworks at Friday night's second Republican U.S. Senate debate in Virginia Beach, relentlessly attacking former Gov. George Allen's record as a U.S. senator.
Sounds like a grisly debate; or is Radtke, a mother of three, the latest in a growing list of "Mama Grizzlies" to emerge? She gave a roaring debate performance, according to multiple media reports. See here for video of debate highlights.
Radtke savaged Allen out of the gate while addressing the nation's $15 trillion debt.
"George Allen, he was part of the problem,"
the tea-party activist from Chesterfield County said in opening remarks. "He voted for every single spending bill, added $3 trillion to the national debt, and voted for his own salary increase when we were deficit spending."
She later indicted Allen for failing to support a 2005 measure to strengthen oversight of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for backing Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, which has added to the deficit.
In terms of being beaten now and beaten later, observers of Virginia politics may recall a seemingly punch drunk Allen staggering away from a debate with current Senator Webb (D). How bad a debater is Allen? A 2006 Hugh Hewitt.com post by the late Dean Barnett and Radtke's weekend savaging of Allen tells us all we need to know.
If It Was a Prize Fight, It Would Have Been Stopped at the First Commercial Break
Radtke's stand out debate performance, versus Allen's now usual debate stupor, should also put an end to any previous foolish and unfounded blog speculation that the former conservative activist and Liberty University grad, with a Master's from William and Mary and previous work experience in the Senate, somehow isn't up to the task.
It's a wonder Democrat Tim Kaine hasn't begun calling for more debates with Allen, even as the GOP primary plays out. One can almost see Democrats salivating at the thought of Allen vs. Kaine in November, meaning they could be claiming the title for champion Virginia political grizzly for 2012. Unfortunately, with some suggesting Allen wasn't even the first preference for some Republicans, now the GOP fix is in for him.
So far, DeMint, Palin and other prominent conservatives have yet to weigh in. If the grassroots doesn't do this one itself, it may not happen this year in Virginia for either conservatives or Republicans. While some hope Romney can drag Allen through to a win, if he proves to be a drag on Mitt and with Virginia critical to winning the Presidency in 2012, Team Obama may like the way this one is shaping up for now.
That's a steep price for conservatives and Republicans to pay for a GOP determined to try to give back a Senate seat to a business as usual politician like Allen who lost it singlehandedly in 2006.
Also, as one analyst pointed out, if Allen's now infamous "macaca moment" airs in Northern VA in Southeast Asian populated areas -- Romney needs them to cross over to beat Obama, as they did for McDonnell in 2010 -- the GOP's good ol' boy brand of politics could come home to roost, giving Obama back the White House in 2012, while putting another Democrat in the Senate.
Radtke's campaign site can be found here, with video highlights of the recent debate here.
Headline image: Roanoke Free Press