Up until recently, the name "Felix" summoned black cats and fastidious bachelors. But now it's become an instrument for mudslinging in Va. political circles. You know what I'm talking about: "George Felix Allen Jr." The Senate race between Allen and Democrat Jim Webb is already getting ugly, and it's only July. But it's fighting words when a man drags out his opponent's, well, eccentric middle name. And the thing is, the "Jr." part isn't even right. But let's explore some possible reasons why Webb's camp decided to play the Felix card.
* It's a French name. Yeah, there is still some animosity against the French in certain circles.
* George Allen doesn't like it. (When I was in newspapers, our style in referring to Allen used to be "George F. Allen." One day we got a memo: No more "F." Not sure where the decision came from, but there it is.)
* The Jr. part, however incorrect, reminds people that his dad was the Redskins football coach, and therefore a son of privilege.
Webb's aide sure did manage to make a splash with this remark, to the extent that Dems from all over are now calling Allen by his full name. From the blogosphere: Felix, Felix and more Felix.
But no Felix here. Of course, my question is, what's Webb's middle name? The best I could find online was "James H. Webb." Herbert? Hector? Harold? Knowing Virginia politics, we'll find out before the election's over.