Rep. Allen West’s Secret: He Speaks His Mind

Tuesday October 16, 2012 2:07 AM – by Matzav.Com

West Palm Beach, Fla. – If Democrats had to pick a vulnerable tea party Republican they’d love to take out in November, Rep. Allen West would no doubt rank very high.

The bombastic freshman has spent the past two years taunting Democrats – he called President Barack Obama “probably the dumbest person walking around in America right now,” dubbed 80 of his Democratic House colleagues “communists” and told Debbie Wasserman Schultz she is “not a lady” – to name just a few of his put-downs.

Yet three weeks out from Election Day, West, an Afghanistan War vet, has the look of a survivor. The freshman’s smashmouth brand of politics might seem like a poor fit for the moderate, Treasure Coast district. But West’s outsize TV presence gave him practically universal name ID out of the gate – and an enormous cash advantage – in his nasty reelection battle against 29-year-old construction firm executive Patrick Murphy.

Democrats concede that West could well win reelection; privately, some of them say they expect he will.

If there’s a secret sauce for West’s success, Republicans and Democrats alike say, it’s this: Unlike so many of the calculated, poll-tested pols in the Capitol, West actually speaks his mind. The fact that a lot of what he says is intentionally meant to provoke or beyond the pale hasn’t caught up to West, though Democrats intend to change that before Nov. 6.

“In the day and age of candidates of 30-second sound bites, Allen West provides people with something they don’t see very often, which is a politician who says what he believes and doesn’t really care,” said Chris LaCivita, the hard-hitting Republican operative who helped orchestrate the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign and is now working for West. “The fact that he tells the unvarnished truth as he sees it – people respect him for that.”

That no-holds-barred style was on full display Wednesday as West delivered a 30-minute stem-winder of a speech at a senior facility here on the importance of defending Israel. In an address full of absolutes, West declared that the Obama administration, which has had a sometimes chilly relationship with Israel, faced a clear choice: either stand by Israel or risk the country being annihilated.

“My mother would tell me, ‘Allen, a man must stand for something. Otherwise, he’s going to fall down,’” the congressman told listeners.

Sitting in the audience, Elaine Fandino, a 69-year-old retired nurse, said she admired the congressman’s approach.

“He’s strong. He doesn’t lie to the public,” Fandino said. “He doesn’t not say something because you won’t like it.”

Even Democrats grudgingly acknowledge that West’s style appeals to some.


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