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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Will Smokeless Tobacco Snuff Out Allen's Aspirations?

Steve Minor points us to an item in The New Republic describing Senator Allen's unusual tobacco-chewing technique. This raises what I think is perhaps the greatest impediment to Allen's Presidential aspirations. I believe Allen is the GOP's best hope for retaining the White House in 2008 for many reasons, but primarily because he does not have many of the negatives possessed by his competitors.

However, one negative that may come into play is his habit for chewing tobacco. While the habit might be a positive or even neutral in many areas of the country, it is not likely to be viewed as such in other areas. I certainly have nothing against the habit and I could care less whether someone does it in private or not. Unfortunately for Allen, that is not likely to be the view in all parts of our nation. I seem to remember that during the 2000 election Allen was questioned about the image he was promoting to children (My God, think of the children!) via this habit. I have no doubt that similar questions will be raised once the '08 train gets rolling. Further, I know of at least one doctor who believes that Allen's affinity for smokeless tobacco will hurt him with health-related groups.

I have no answer to the question in the title of this post, but I'd be interested in hearing what other people think.


Anonymous DB said...

I'm afraid it definitely can't help. Anyone that would find it to be a positive will already be swayed by the cowboy boots and football/NASCAR persona, and it will be a negative for some.

Could you see the U.S. electing a President that smokes (cigarettes, regularly)? I don't think that could happen in this day and age.

If this could actually cost him the Presidency (arguably a big IF), I wonder if Allen would give it up? He's got at least another year before he starts getting serious attention.

2:27 PM

Blogger GOPHokie said...

My mom actually said something about this one time.
I don't think it will make much difference though.

2:38 PM

Anonymous Informed Patriot said...

Sign me up as the leader of Dippers for Allen!

4:51 PM

Blogger Walt Ball said...

Ok, FIRST OF ALL, he doesn't "chew" tobacco as you and so many others have claimed. I'm gonna vent here Zach, so bear with me.

He "DIPS SNUFF." Chewing tobacco, for those of you who hang out in liberal yankee invaded cities, is a full leaf product with much sweeter juices.

Dip is a noun and a verp, hence, once may "dip" or one may use dip. Dip comes in "snuff" or "longcut." George uses snuff...I prefer dip. Once I asked George for a dip. For one reason or another, I was expecting long cut. My mistake.
Snuff is a much more fine cut and if you aren't used to using it (which I wasn't) you can make quite a mess (which I did). Long cut is still more fine than chewing tobbaco but is much easier to manage. Also, chewing tobbaco is clearly, CHEWED, between the molars. Dip finds it's comfortable resting place between the lower lip and gums (although I have seen some wierd Europeans dip on the top side of their mouths). I'm sure some of you out there are wondering if he has a preference of "DIP." Yes, he does: Coppenhagen. He says Skoal gives you cavities. Anyway, that's the difference.

If it hurts his Presidential ambitions, whoopdee doo....but I don't think it will. I've been waiting a long time to get a "dipper" in the White House, after all, his hero is the "gipper". gipper...dipper..get it? riiiiight.

8:33 PM

Blogger Walt Ball said...

I prefer long cut is what I meant to say...just in case any of you were out buying me an early Xmas present.

8:36 PM

Blogger Old Zach said...

You are absolutely right and believe me I do know the difference. But frankly, I didn't like the way 'dip' looked in the post and I figured the distinction was immaterial to the question. Incidentally, one of my most prized possessions is a tin of Cope autographed by Sen. Allen.

8:40 PM


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