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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Allen hopes “macaca” will not be his legacy

with 4 comments

George Allen took full responsibility for the “macaca” controversy which led to his political demise. In an interview Tuesday on NBC12 First at 4,  Allen called the incident where he called out a member of the Jim Webb campaign staff who was videotaping him, a “mistake”.

“If I had any idea that word would be construed as a slur,” Allen explained,  “I would never have said it.”

That is consistent with how he discusses the incident in his new book “What Washington Can Learn From The World of Sports“.

In the book, Allen writes:

“I thought of it as a nonsense word. If I had known the nickname could be considered a racial slur, I would not have said it….

…I apologized to him and take full responsibility for the remark and its aftermath, which should have been handled much better.”

-George Allen,
from the book What Washington Can Learn From The World Of Sports 
pg163

Detractors of Allen have had trouble believing that he did not know exactly what macaca meant. They point to his mother’s North African roots as an example of his exposure to the derogatory term.  Allen thinks that connection is a bit far fetched.

“Don’t drag my mother into it,” said Allen.  He claimed that his mother Henrietta, who was born in Tunisia, also had no idea what the word meant. Instead, the former Senator and Governor made the case that all the incident did was detract from the important issues in the campaign.

“It was a made up word, a nonsense word and the campaign opposition was able to get into word origins and gotcha politics,” he said.

The Republican said he hopes the incident won’t define his political legacy. He said that people should judge him by his record, not just one incident. He also left the door open to the idea that his career in the public sector isn’t done quite yet.

“My answer as far as what I may do in the future and running is ‘perhaps’.”

Perhaps we have not seen the last of George Allen.

Our full interview can be seen below.

Written by Ryan Nobles

June 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm

4 Responses

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  1. […] large and small across Virginia.  In addition to his traditional stumping, Allen often appears on local TV and radio stations, while Webb rarely grants interviews to local reporters.   (Contrasted by his […]

  2. […] It is widely believed that Allen will make a run for his old seat in the U.S. Senate. A scenario he admitted he was something he was considering during an interview on NBC12 First at […]

  3. […] moment where he called a democratic campaign staffer a “macaca”.  Allen has worked hard to atone for the faux paux, but Kaine refused to take it off the table as a potential campaign […]

  4. […] Allen & Macaca Try as he might, Allen cannot escape that ill-fated moment on the campaign trail from 2006. He has repeatedly apologized, but democrats do not seem willing to let it go. Here is how he explained it to me on First at 4:00: […]


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