August 15, 2006


Allen Quip Provokes Outrage, Apology: Name Insults Webb Volunteer (Tim Craig and Michael D. Shear, 8/15/06, Washington Post)

Virginia Sen. George Allen (R) apologized Monday for what his opponent's campaign said were demeaning and insensitive comments the senator made to a 20-year-old volunteer of Indian descent.

At a campaign rally in southwest Virginia on Friday, Allen repeatedly called a volunteer for Democrat James Webb "macaca." During the speech in Breaks, near the Kentucky border, Allen began by saying that he was "going to run this campaign on positive, constructive ideas" and then pointed at S.R. Sidarth in the crowd.

"This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great," Allen said, as his supporters began to laugh. After saying that Webb was raising money in California with a "bunch of Hollywood movie moguls," Allen said, "Let's give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." Allen then began talking about the "war on terror."

Depending on how it is spelled, the word macaca could mean either a monkey that inhabits the Eastern Hemisphere or a town in South Africa. In some European cultures, macaca is also considered a racial slur against African immigrants, according to several Web sites that track ethnic slurs.

There are few sillier notions on the Right than that the Senator is a viable national candidate.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2006 7:31 AM

The boomlets for Newt Gingrich and Sam Brownback are also silly.

Posted by: Bob at August 15, 2006 9:21 AM

Indian-Americans have been entirely too quietly prosperous and law abiding. Time for a national anti-defamation campaign.

Sen. Allen???? How do people as synapse challenged as Biden and Allen and Kerry and . . . ever get elected to the senate, nevermind making a run for the presidency?

Posted by: erp at August 15, 2006 9:27 AM

You think he's a bad candidate, you should have watched him play quarterback. We were the same year at UVa and I had to suffer through a couple years of it. He was a real triple-threat man, no arm, no mobility and fumble-prone. G-dawful.

Posted by: jeff at August 15, 2006 9:45 AM

The name recognition/career connection thing works both ways -- while being George Sr.'s son helped his viability in Virginia tremendously in starting his career (and to be fair, if he had been an awful governor he wouldn't be in the senate), talking at a campaign rally like a football coach doing film breakdowns of individual players on Monday morning is not the way to broaden your base either statewide or nationally.

Posted by: John at August 15, 2006 9:59 AM

Where was the media's ourage at Sen. Byrd (KKK-West Virginia) when he used the term "white niggers" in a TV interview?

Oh - I forgot. DemoRats get no scrutiny, like Sen. Dodd's praise of the same Byrd last year.

Posted by: obc at August 15, 2006 10:39 AM

What is Senator Allen doing acknowledging an opponent's staffer in the first place? Either ignore the guy or have a flak call him out--then fire the flak.

Posted by: AC at August 15, 2006 11:05 AM

I met Sen. Allen some years ago when he was Governor of VA. Personally affable...credible Presidential timber--no.

Posted by: cornetofhorse at August 15, 2006 11:08 AM

I suppose it could be a calculated ploy to try to pull the nativist vote from Webb?...

Ah, who am I kidding. Always bet the over on stupidity.

Posted by: Mike Earl at August 15, 2006 12:02 PM

"There are few sillier notions on the Right than that the Senator is a viable national candidate."

Hey wait a second--I thought John McCain had this one in the bag! What state is he governor of..? ;)

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at August 15, 2006 4:13 PM

Whoops--didn't see the "the".


/Litella mode off

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at August 15, 2006 4:14 PM

Dumber than Biden? U.S. Congress? Now that's a horserace.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at August 15, 2006 4:41 PM

As pointed out by OJ, general cluelessness is an advantage in Presidential races. I'm sure that Senator Allen is shrewdly staking his claim to that honor.

Posted by: h-man at August 16, 2006 5:23 AM

No, the appearance is helpful, the reality is deadly. And personal racism is never helpful.

Posted by: oj at August 16, 2006 8:41 AM

I'm sure that Allen had innocently overhear the word used as descriptive of this particular individual and that he didn't know the meaning.

For what it's worth I doubt the viability of Allen's campaign, and instead support Guiliani who would use the word properly as in "Look at the Macacas on that babe"

Posted by: h-man at August 17, 2006 4:46 AM