More on Middle Names

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 27, 2008 10:05 AM

Actually, the repeated reference to George Allen's quirky middle name by the Webb campaign and lefty blogs was just as pernicious as the reference to Obama's middle name by Kerrey and Cunningham.

It was first used to undercut his good ol' boy image, as Webb referred to him repeatedly as George Felix Allen, Jr. (inaccurately, as Allen's father was George Herbert Allen). Later, there was another reason for it:
Of course, all this might generate a little more sympathy had not some Democrats in recent months become so fond of the name "George Felix Allen, Jr." During the campaign, winning Senate candidate James Webb routinely referred to his opponent as George Felix Allen, Jr. (just search for the name at webbforsenate.com.) Although it wasn't even correct — Allen, whose father's middle name was Herbert, wasn't a junior — the use of Allen's full name was clearly a campaign strategy, first, to diminish Allen, and then, after news of Allen's Jewish ancestry emerged, to make an oblique reference to that.
Yup, the Webb folks had no compunction about attempting to exploit possible anti-Semitic strains in the Virginia electorate.

And, although Kerrey did make the most recent overt reference to Obama's middle name, I think Republican strategist Ed Rogers gets credit for the first reference and dust-up, back in November 2006.