In a blockbuster front-pages story, the Washington Post's Michael Shear reports that Henrietta "Etty" Allen concealed her upbringing as a Jew in North Africa from her children, including Sen. George Allen (R-VA), until a conversation across the dining room table in late August. LINK
"She said Allen asked her directly about his Jewish heritage when he was in Los Angeles for a fundraiser. 'We sat across the table and he said, 'Mom, there's a rumor that Pop-pop and Mom-mom were Jewish and so were you,' ' she recalled, a day after Allen issued a statement acknowledging and embracing his Jewish roots as he campaigns for a second term in the U.S. Senate."
"At the table in Palos Verdes, Calif., Allen's mother, who is 83, said she told her son the truth: That she had been raised as a Jew in Tunisia before moving to the United States. She said that she and the senator's father, famed former Redskins coach George Allen, had wanted to protect their children from living with the fear that she had experienced during World War II. Her father, Felix Lumbroso, was imprisoned by the Nazis during the German occupation of Tunis."
"'What they put my father through. I always was fearful,' Etty Allen said in a telephone interview. 'I didn't want my children to have to go through that fear all the time. When I told Georgie, I said, 'Now you don't love me anymore.' He said, 'Mom, I respect you more than ever.' '"
When Allen was asked about his heritage on Monday, he rpeated "what he has said in the past: 'My mother's French-Italian with a little Spanish blood in her. And I was raised as she was, as far as I know, raised as a Christian.'"
"In fact, Allen had just recently learned about their Jewish roots when he made those comments. Allen declined to comment, but his mother said she had sworn him to secrecy."
We'll see if the Virginia press tries to square the circle today with the incumbent, while the challenger feigns indifference.
Text of the exchange between Sen. Allen and WUSA reporter Peggy Fox: LINK
Clinton Global Initiative:
Patrick Healy of the New York Times revels in the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton(?) phenomenon -- much of which was on display in New York this week. LINK
The New York Post: LINK
The New York Daily News: LINK
Per the Arizona Daily Star, "the Democratic party is upset that former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana State Rep. David Duke put a link on his Web site to District 8 GOP congressional candidate Randy Graf's site." LINK
"Graf's campaign swiftly denounced Duke after the Arizona Democratic Party sent out a press release Wednesday afternoon suggesting Graf is associated with the controversial figure. The link on Duke's Web site is the only evidence offered to support the allegation."
A Democratic source on the Hill tells The Note that, in an effort to get a second-day story, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-DCCC) plans to write a letter to Rep. Reynolds (R-NRCC) about this today, demanding that he withdraw support from Randy Graf. "It is also likely to become an issue in the Hayworth-Mitchell race," predicts the source.
In the first installment of their nine-day trek through nine congressional districts that sit on the dividing line between the upper South and the industrial Midwest, the Washington Post's Cillizza and VandeHei report that both parties in Kentucky are trying to take the right flank. LINK