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  '08 Scrutiny Shines Unkind Light on [VA Sen] Allen
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Last EditedArmyDem  Oct 01, 2006 08:04pm
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MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateMonday, October 2, 2006 01:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy Robert Barnes and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, October 1, 2006; Page A01

It was always a tricky proposition for Sen. George Allen to balance his 2006 reelection campaign with his 2008 presidential ambitions, and now the increased scrutiny and criticism that came with his role on the national stage endanger both.

Allen's prominence in the Republican presidential contest is the main reason the controversies that have roiled his effort to win a second term to the Senate have emerged now, after a 23-year political career, according to campaign strategists.

"When people start mentioning you as a possible presidential candidate, everything is looked at," said Robert E. Denton Jr., a political communications professor at Virginia Tech and a close observer of Virginia politics. "This [scrutiny] is a whole different ballgame for Allen, and it's all about '08, not the Senate campaign."

It wasn't that many months ago that Allen was seen by political insiders as already in the top tier of prospective Republican presidential candidates. In April 2005, he finished first in a National Journal magazine survey of insiders asked to predict the 2008 GOP nominee. In May, Allen finished second behind Arizona Sen. John McCain.
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