Gibson reveals early I’m-no-Jew Allen denial

Bob Gibson, the dean of political reporting at the Daily Progress, reveals today in his Sunday column another bizzare Jewish roots denial from Senator George Allen– this one from way back in 2003.

As Americans have been learning over the past week, unlike some public figures such as Madeleine Albright, who revel in revelations about their ancestry, Allen initially took a stance conveying unease with discussion of his family's Jewish heritage, including his now-famous September 18 bristling at a television reporter who had the temerity to raise the issue.

After Gibson alluded to Allen's Jewish roots in a warm-and-fuzzy October 2003 column, the Senator's then-press secretary demanded and won this correction in the Progress: "Etty Allen, the mother of Sen. George Allen, was raised a Christian, according to the senator's staff. Her religious background was mischaracterized in a Sunday column."

Does Allen have his own special timetable for releasing information or misinformation? The Washington Post revealed recently that Allen's mom kept her secret until late August of this year. (Gibson also points out today that Allen had once asked the Progress to avoid using Allen's middle initial "F," which stands for Felix, in its reports. Felix was the first name of Allen's Jewish grandfather.)

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4 comments

Sure, this makes for an interesting observation. I'd sure like to see more on the issues, though. This being America and Virginia, with equality of all men and religious freedom and all that, I'm left wondering why Allen's grandfather's heritage is something I should care about. Anyway, I'll just focus on what little I can find on where both candidates stand on the issues.

It wasn't an issue until Allen straight-up freaked out when a questioner asked him a question about his heritage. He then accused her of casting "aspersions" on his character. I think a freak-out like that says more about someone than the latest tired retread about why we need to stay the course in Iraq, or whatever meaningless political-speak Allen's programmers have him spouting these days.

"I'm left wondering why Allen's grandfather's heritage is something I should care about."

His grandfather's heritage isn't something you should care about, but it's starting to look like your grandfather's heritage is something he cares about. If your grandfather fought for the Confederacy, then you're okay in his book (as long as you haven't disowned those values your grandfather fought for). If not...

My take on this is that he is somehow embarassed about his background...especially with the bigots he hangs out with making macaca, african and jew jokes. I mean lets face it--the guy has always depended on the good old boy network to elect him (and panders to their racist beliefs with comments like the macaca remark) and is worried that once the screen is pulled back he will be outed as a hypocrite.