The Return of George Allen.

Former Republican Sen. George Allen -- last seen, as in the above video, exercising his casual racism -- has returned as a voice for the Virginia GOP’s current crop of congressional candidates:

Allen said he believes it is a combination of massive federal spending and other issues such as health care reform and cap and trade that are riling voters. He said more Virginia Republican victories in November would offer a return to “common-sense Jeffersonian principles.”

While he won’t discuss it, Allen’s frequent appearances at Republican gatherings across Virginia have fueled speculation that he will seek a 2012 rematch against U.S. Sen. Jim Webb. Just this week, Allen has visited the Shenandoah Valley, far western Virginia and the Southside on behalf of congressional candidates.

I apologize for the inside baseball, but I think this is worth commenting on; remember, if not for a slip of the tongue, George Allen would probably be in the Senate right now, and almost certainly a contender for the Republican presidential nomination. He still has political support in the Commonwealth, and is worth paying attention to.

That said, assuming he plans to run for Senate (and from what I understand, all signs point to yes), Allen should think twice about running in 2012; presidential elections are exciting affairs, and if Barack Obama is running strong, this almost guarantees a huge surge of Democratic voters at the polls. Given that Virginia has grown more Democratic in presidential elections, if Allen runs, he’ll have to contend with a somewhat unfriendly electorate. Allen might be able to win in an off-year, but given the likely levels of Democratic enthusiasm, 2012 is a really bad choice.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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