George Allen at Oklahoma Republican Convention

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As I wrote earlier, Virginia Sen. George Allen delivered this morning's keynote speech at the Oklahoma Republican Convention at the Reed Center in Midwest City. During the speech, he praised Oklahoma's Republican leaders, looked back at what was achieved during his term as Governor of Virginia, reviewed the 2004 successes of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which he headed, looked at what's been accomplished since the election, and looked ahead to some of the legislative challenges yet to be addressed. Except for the skillful way he worked in his gubernatorial accomplishments, it was the sort of speech you'd expect from a U. S. Senator, and didn't strike me as an effort to position himself as a presidential contender. (It's a bit early for that, anyway. He is likely to face a tough re-election challenge from Gov. Mark Warner in 2006.)

Allen was introduced by Oklahoma's senior U. S. Senator, Jim Inhofe. Allen began his speech by saluting many of Oklahoma's elected officials by name, a daring move -- he bobbled only a few (Congressman "Lewis" instead of Lucas). He spoke about Oklahoma's athletic accomplishments. He said that Oklahoma has produced more astronauts than any other state. (Per capita or raw numbers?) He dropped the names of famous Oklahomans in entertainment, past and present, praised our congressional delegation, spoke of Inhofe as "an unflinching leader," celebrated Tom Coburn's successful defense of Don Nickles' senate seat, and congratulated us on gaining the majority in the State House of Representatives. Remembering Tuesday's 10th anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing, he praised Frank and Cathy Keating for their "poised leadership" at that time.

Allen called the armed forces our "most valuable players." He said called the current death gratuity of $12,000 a "paltry, miserly, insulting amount" and said he introduced legislation to increase that amount to $100,000 retroactive to October 2001.

Looking back to his term as Virginia's governor, Allen said that his administration addressed skyrocketing crime by abolishing a lenient parole system and replacing it with truth in sentencing. He said he responded to social promotion in the schools by requiring testing. In response to the rapid growth of the welfare rolls, Virginia stopped automatically paying extra benefits to single mother who have another child while receiving assistance. A mother with another child would have to identify the child's father in order to receive the additional benefit. "It's amazing how many recollections are refreshed." He said Virginia was now number one in the nation for identifying paternity.

Allen went on to survey the gains made by Republicans in the Senate -- 5-0 in the South, with a Republican winning for the first time ever in Louisiana (and without a runoff), the first Cuban-American senator elected in Florida, and the defeat of the "chief obstructionist," Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. (The mention of Daschle's defeat got a standing ovation.)

On domestic issues, Allen praised passage of class action reform, bankruptcy reform, and opening Alaska's North Slope to energy exploration. He called for a more comprehensive energy policy, to include more domestic exploration, development of clean coal technology, and advances in hybrid vehicles.

Allen called for making the repeal of the inheritance tax permanent, saying, "Death should not be a taxable event.... No taxation without respiration."

The judiciary was his next topic, and Allen received another standing ovation for saying that judges ought to apply the law, not invent the law. He said that there are four pillars of freedom: freedom of religion, freedom of expression, private ownership of property, and the rule of law. The minority, he said, is obstructing the majority from providing the advice and consent called for in the Constitution.
He pointed out that the American people reelected George W. Bush, and dumped Tom Daschle, and it's time for the senators to do their job and have the backbone to vote yes or no. He called the reform of the cloture rules not the nuclear option, but the constitutional option. He said that the issue of judicial filibusters needs to be dealt with before a Supreme Court vacancy is at hand. To those who wring their hands and worry that if the Republican majority takes bold action, the Democrats won't cooperate, Allen answers, "What's the difference?"

Allen said that Republicans shouldn't be placid, timid, or appeasing. "We're put in these positions to do something, not to warm a seat."

After the speech, Allen took his time shaking hands as he made his way out to the lobby, lingering there to shake hands and pose for pictures with delegates.

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» Sen. Allen in Oklahoma from Commonwealth Conservative

Sen. George Allen spoke yesterday at the Oklahoma Republican Convention. SST has been corresponding with an Oklahoma blogger, Michael Bates, who has his reaction to Allen's speech. Read More


Addison said:

Thanks so much! I've copied your post here, and put a few of my own thoughts.

The consensus among conservative Virginia bloggers is that Mark Warner won't run in 2006. If he wins, he's a hero, but if he loses, then HIS presidential aspirations are shot.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 17, 2005 12:06 AM.

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