« The 'Hole' in Nagin's Head | The RCP Blog Home Page | Another '08 Straw Poll »

George Allen: Jewish?

According to New York's Jewish Forward, Sen. George Allen is: Jewish.

According to Forward columnist Eve Kessler:

This might complicate life for Allen, a practicing Episcopalian who besides running for re-election this year in Virginia is often mentioned as a possible Republican 2008 contender. Political analyst John Mercurio of National Journal's noted tip sheet, The Hotline, said that any complication "would depend largely on how this information was revealed."

"If it was discovered that Allen knew this family history, but attempted to keep it under wraps for whatever reason, it could do great harm to any political campaign," Mercurio wrote in an e-mail. "He'd face serious questions, in the wake of the Macaca incident and his history with the Confederate flag, of whether he's both racially prejudiced and anti-semitic. Given the intensely pro-Israel sentiment that exists in this country today, that could be a huge political liability -- but on the other hand, if this is something he discovers and promptly reveals about himself, and does so with a sense of pride in his family history, I don't think he'd face much backlash at all."

I think Allen's '08 campaign is pretty much over no matter what. But, as Kessler goes into, he wouldn't be the first politician to suddenly "discover" his Jewish heritage.