The Blog Squad

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Whither Felix?

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.


At Tue Jul 11, 11:15:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Felix is not necessarily a french name. It has its roots in Latin. It means lucky, fortunate or happy. Lucius Cornellius Sulla, the first Roman general to march on the eternal city, adopted this "cognomen" (think, roughly, nickname). Lucius Cornellius Sulla Felix became dictator, and was the first to outlaw citizens, have them killed, and take their property to sell for the state. His stated reason was to save the perogatives of the Senate over the perceived increase of the power of the plebs.
Try hanging that type of action on Allen instead of "hey, people hate the french".

At Tue Jul 11, 01:45:00 PM EDT, Blogger Kate Andrews said...

Here's Wikipedia's take on Felix. Latin roots, plus French and Spanish men with the name. George Allen's mother, by the way, was from French-speaking Africa.

At Tue Jul 11, 01:47:00 PM EDT, Blogger Kate Andrews said...

Excuse me. She was of Tunisian/French background; I'm not sure about her being born in Africa.

At Tue Jul 11, 04:57:00 PM EDT, Blogger Stomp Allen said...

I recall reading something from the Allen camp calling Webb by his full name. Maybe the Webb camp just followed suit.
Either way - I like it!

At Wed Jul 12, 11:44:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. After reading my first post I realize that it came across as know-it-all and snarky.I did not mean for it to be so. I frequently read and enjoy your posts. Please accept my apology and keep up the good work.


Post a Comment

<< Home