Print Columns   |   Web Chats   |   Blog Archives   |  

George Allen's Seven Measly Words

"Some of this I've brought on myself."

That's it. That is the entirety of what Sen. George Allen had to say to Virginia voters last night about the several controversies that have dominated the campaign in the past few weeks. This, the senator's campaign had announced, was going to be "an unprecedented two-minute statewide television address reaching out directly to Virginians." Finally, it seemed, Allen was going to explain "macaca," and his angry, defensive reaction to the public revelation of his Jewish heritage, and the various ugly accounts of his use of racist symbols and words over the years.

But no. Here's what Allen said instead:

Virginians expect to hear us address the real issues you care about. Over the past several weeks that hasn't been the case. Some of this I've brought on myself. But the negative personal attacks and baseless allegations have also pulled us away from what you expect and deserve. I'm confident that if this Senate race is decided on issues, ideas and my proven record of performance, you'll allow me to continue serving you.

And then not another word about any of it. Allen spent the rest of his ad recounting the signal achievements of his term as governor, listing some proposals he's made in the Senate, and defending the war in Iraq in terms that almost made it sound as if he were opposed to the military operations there: "... Like many of you, I'm concerned by the war in Iraq. I want our troops to come home as soon as possible. And I want them to come home in victory - not defeat." (Video of Allen's address is here. And the full text of the speech is on the jump.)

Allen chose the very hour that ended the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, to say not a word about his newfound Jewish heritage or his tacky comments about the discovery of his Jewish background ("I still had a ham sandwich for lunch. And my mother made great pork chops.") He bought time on TV in markets all across Virginia and then said not a single word about accusations that he routinely used the word "nigger" not only in college, but on various occasions in later years.

Instead, Allen, posed in front of a Redskins helmet and a portrait of his father the football coach, stood next to his silent but ever-smiling wife Susan, and pretended that none of this had ever happened.

Allen appears to believe he can just unilaterally move on. Of course, the senator is right that many voters want to get these issues of character off the table and move back to the debate about Iraq and other matters of war and survival. But that can't happen until and unless Allen addresses voters' doubts about who he really is--the jovial Jeffersonian democrat whose political philosophy is founded on a passion for liberties, the senator whose voting record and rhetoric rarely if ever diverge from the Bush administration line, or the bigot portrayed by the various classmates and acquaintances who have come forward with allegations about Allen's behavior and language.

Starting today, Allen will launch an "Issues, Ideas, Proven Record Tour" that he hopes to use to steer the campaign against Democrat Jim Webb back to the issues and away from the personal. But it appears from the tour's calendar of events that Allen is shrinking his vision of Virginia, focusing on parts of the state where the "macaca" slur may not be quite as important. Allen will make seven stops on his tour, yet won't set foot in northern Virginia. (His tour takes him to Fredericksburg, Weyers Cave, Abingdon, Roanoke, Danville, Charlottesville, and Norfolk.

Has he written off Loudoun, Fauquier, Prince WIlliam, Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington? Can he really believe that he can win reelection without the slightest nod toward explaining himself to the most populous part of the state?

I still hope George Allen comes back to Virginians with the kind of straight talk that propelled him to victory in so many previous campaigns. Last night's TV address played Virginia voters for morons, only adding to the growing disenchantment with the senator.

Here's the complete text of Sen. Allen's TV ad:

"Good evening I'm George Allen. For more than a decade with Susan by my side, I've had the honor of serving you; as Governor, and now in the United States Senate.

"Virginians expect to hear us address the real issues you care about. Over the past several weeks that hasn't been the case. Some of this I've brought on myself. But the negative personal attacks and baseless allegations have also pulled us away from what you expect and deserve.

"I'm confident that if this Senate race is decided on issues, ideas and my proven record of performance, you'll allow me to continue serving you.

"As Governor, we made Virginia safer by abolishing parole for violent criminals. Brought high academic standards and resources to our schools. Reformed welfare, cut taxes and recruited new, good paying jobs.

"In the Senate, I've offered clear plans to end our dependence on Mideast oil, secure our borders and strengthen our economy by controlling spending and reducing the tax burden on families, retirees and small business owners.

"My National Innovation Act will promote math, science and technology to provide our students with the tools they need to compete and succeed.

"Since 9/11 we've taken steps to protect our homeland. But like many of you, I'm concerned by the war in Iraq. I want our troops to come home as soon as possible. And I want them to come home in victory - not defeat. They - and their families - have made great sacrifices for our security. They understand the consequences of failure. Leaving Iraq as a safe haven for terrorists will leave America less secure. And that's a risk we cannot afford.

"In the weeks ahead, it's my hope to have an invigorating debate worthy of our rich history.

"I'm George Allen and I approve this message because I believe in Virginia... I believe in our people and most importantly... I believe in our future together."

By Marc Fisher |  October 3, 2006; 7:18 AM ET
Previous: End of the World, Part 6574: Killer Fire Ants | Next: Foley Case: Why Parents Keep Silent--But That's No Excuse for Hastert

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



What more can he say about it, he's denied it, you can't prove a negative so what can he do but deny the validity of other peoples claims? He's explained the Jewish heritage thing, the macaca thing, how much more 'splaining does he need to do? 'Til YOU understand it? Not going to happen. Start concentrating on Webbs flaws and flubs. Of course, George Allen has a record to run on.

Posted by: Stick | October 3, 2006 7:14 AM

Ah, so more effluent bubbles up from the Raw Fisher sewer this morning. How utterly predictable. How much is the DNC paying you to write these columns? I hope it's a lot, because you've obviously lost all self-respect as a former journalist by writing this stuff day after day.

Posted by: Virginia Voter | October 3, 2006 7:50 AM

Just playing devil's advocate here...but was the use of the word 'ni****' really necessary? I understand "the N-word" is way too cute for that foul term, but stars as above might have gotten the point across without spelling it out for the reader.

Posted by: J | October 3, 2006 7:59 AM

Another day, another column by you attacking George Allen. Doesn't this crusade get old, or are you simply incapable of developing another topic now that baseball season is over and you can't attack dippin' dots?

Posted by: Al | October 3, 2006 8:01 AM

Actions speak louder than words!! Look at Allen's record. No Virginian can deny what Allen has done for us. Webb is a one issue candidate. He has no business representing our great state. The only thing the liberal media press can do is find some liberal classmates who Allen may not have even associated with. But what more can you expect from a liberal rag like the Washington Post.

Posted by: Mike | October 3, 2006 8:06 AM

What was missing from the ad was Michael Steele's dog.

Allen may be a racist, but at least he's not trying to seduce 16 year old Congressional pages.

Posted by: Who cares? | October 3, 2006 8:06 AM

George Allen's an embarrasment. Please keep writing about him, Marc, despite the entreaties for the aliases above. Keeping a noose in his law office (!) and keeping a confederate flag in his living room were bad enough; it's not a big leap from that and macacca to the repeated stories of his racist exhortations.

Posted by: NoVa | October 3, 2006 8:26 AM

Yeah Mark stop being so mean to poor little Georgie. After all he is sooo nice to everyone else - you damn Macaca

Posted by: Falls Church | October 3, 2006 8:30 AM

While a long-time Republican, George Allen does not come close to representing my views or vision for Virginia and the United States. Accomplishments as governor...broad brush "SOLs" that gutted strong school systems like Fairfax County's? Inadequate funding of transportation? This poor excuse for a mea culpa should be seen for what it is, pandering. James Webb may not be a perfect candidate, but he seems to represent the type of rational, balanced individual who might be able to move the Senate from its ideological, right-leaning view of the world and blind faith support of GWB.

Posted by: Lester Burnham | October 3, 2006 8:35 AM

I can't believe Allen had the Confederate flag hanging in the back of the spot! What kind of a boneheaded move was that? Was it some kind of secret code for his yahoo supporters in Southwest Virginia? Sheesh!

Posted by: Amazed! | October 3, 2006 8:50 AM

If Senator Allen believes that the rural vote is still with him, good luck! He has shown his true colors in this campaign. I agree with him on this though..lets talk about the issues like his almost total support of George Bush. Obviously as we have seen lately, the republicans are not the party to tell the entire truth to the American people as we have seen in the last week. We deserve better in Virginia and have the opportunity for change! Lets take it.

Posted by: Norton, Va | October 3, 2006 8:54 AM

Hmm. Here in Richmond the only political TV ads running are two mud-slinging attack ads approved by Allen. I'm an undecided voter and I keep turning to my wife and saying "for a man who has Presidential aspirations he sure doesn't have any ideas - he just keeps attacking the other guy."

Here's hoping he means it and goes issues and positive, or he won't get our vote.

Posted by: Mac | October 3, 2006 9:04 AM

I note how quick Stick, Al, Mike and Virginia Voter come to Allen's defense. I wonder how much EIck Wadhams is paying these guys.

As for Allen's record in Virginia, Kester Burnham summarized Allen's record nicely. Wadhams and his paid sycophants apparently think that voters have a very short memory, if they have a memory at all.

I missed Allen's "announcement" last night, meaning I missed nothing.

A vote for Allen is a vote for the Bush Administration's Iraq policies. So, if you're a paid Allen sycophant, a paid Bush sycophant or a TFM (Total Freakin' Moron), Allen is your macaca.

Posted by: Mister Methane | October 3, 2006 9:11 AM

I can only hope that Allen is self-destructing and that the people of Virginia who have supported him in the past will see that he is all surface and no depth. I am astonished that so many Virginians support this arrogant, numbskull pretender.

Posted by: charlottesville | October 3, 2006 9:20 AM

People have the government they deserve. This is the old saying that better explains how George Allen has still the guts to go out and talk for honor, "issues", moral and service to people. The only strength he has is his impertinence, ruthlessness and courage to call the "black" as "white" without blinking eyes. People, think based on deeds and not words.

Posted by: Baci | October 3, 2006 9:28 AM

I think Allen made a mistake. If he was going to take out a 2-minute ad, and he was trying to re-direct voters to the issues, then his ad should have been a really GOOD ad about the issues. Something compelling. But trying to distinguish his character from his issues was dumb. Racism and anti-semitism ARE political issues. He only reinforced that he has backwards thinking with that ad. He didn't put focus on the issues.

Posted by: Kat | October 3, 2006 9:32 AM

Could someone explain what the purpose of Stepford-wife Susan was in that ad? She smiles (or grits her teeth, hard to tell), she turns lovingly towards Allen, she turns back to the camera. Repeat. Show teeth, don't show teeth.

Really, George, what was the point?

And "baseless" accusations? Are you serious? Everyone's lying but you, George?

Posted by: Jayne | October 3, 2006 9:47 AM

kind of sad to watch the ad, and poor susan. what was she thinking? and the redskins helmet? where was the white sheet. and he could at least had the macaca guy by his side, looking admiring at him. oops sorry, I was thinkin of foley.
hey did allen get any money from foley?

Posted by: lindab | October 3, 2006 9:49 AM

If you watch the spot closely, you will be surprised, as I was, to notice that the senator's wife is not wearing a bra.

Now, as attractive as I find Mrs. Allen's bodacious ta-ta's to be, I find it peculiar that in such a carefully orchestrated, two-minute spot (notice the football helmet, the framed photo of the father, the perpetually smiling, upbeat couple), that this went unnoticed.

Rather, I suspect, it was a not-so-subtle element in the "packaging" of the spot: Vote for me because my wife is hot.

The man will do anything to win.

Posted by: Richard Wadhams | October 3, 2006 10:01 AM

I'm recalling a "tried and true" quote that Ann Landers always used--"Are we better off with or without him?" With this in mind, I say Virginia is better off WITHOUT George Felix Allen. He's a closeted bigot and he rubber stamped Dubya's disastrous policies that have lead this country to the sewer! Enough is enough!

Posted by: Del Ray Alexandria | October 3, 2006 10:19 AM

Has anyone else noticed the regular appearances by Sen Allen on the John Riggins show on Triple X ESPN radio? Presumably he is talking about football, but during an election campaign that even he admits will go better if the Redskins are winning? He was on the same station again yesterday morning as well. Dan Snyder owns this station. Are these appearances legal and within the FEC and FCC regulations? Marc, perhaps you folks should check out the leagality or at least the propriety of these appearances.
It seems we have here another Republican son of a famous father riding in daddy's wake. How's that worked out at 1600 Pennsylavania Ave ?

Posted by: jmsbh | October 3, 2006 10:19 AM

George Allen is self-destructing. The Republicans are always claiming to be the people with "good character" and "family values." Now we see that they won't even condemn other Republicans who are embarrassments to their party. Allen deserves all of this scrutiny. What a stupid idea that we should suddenly ignore character! That long ad didn't tell us anything specific. I hope that he loses and that we never have to see him again.

Posted by: Virginian | October 3, 2006 10:24 AM

George Allen is self-destructing. The Republicans are always claiming to be the people with "good character" and "family values." Now we see that they won't even condemn other Republicans who are embarrassments to their party. Allen deserves all of this scrutiny. What a stupid idea that we should suddenly ignore character! That long ad didn't tell us anything specific. I hope that he loses and that we never have to see him again.

Posted by: Virginian | October 3, 2006 10:25 AM

George Allen is self-destructing. The Republicans are always claiming to be the people with "good character" and "family values." Now we see that they won't even condemn other Republicans who are embarrassments to their party. Allen deserves all of this scrutiny. What a stupid idea that we should suddenly ignore character! That long ad didn't tell us anything specific. I hope that he loses and that we never have to see him again.

Posted by: Virginian | October 3, 2006 10:31 AM

is this not an endorsement? "I still hope George Allen comes back to Virginians with the kind of straight talk that propelled him to victory in so many previous campaigns."
I hope the wingnuts (you know who you are) will continue to come to the defense of the indefensible. When your best argument is "at least he's not a pedophile" i think yours days are done. buh-bye.

Posted by: Cass Kunst | October 3, 2006 10:32 AM

One of the interesting things you pointed out was how carefully orchestrated the sceen we saw was....that's one of Allen's special talents, showing us what he thinks we want to see, a manufactured scene to remind us of everything we loved about his dad....his image is so carefully cultured it's sad anyone buys it at all

and that anyone is defending Allen's record, who is in virtual mental lockstep with Bush, voting with him 97% of the time...every poll I have seen for the last two years says the country is headed in the wrong direction, I certainly believe it is...if the country's headed in the wrong direction, then this is one of the guys directly responsible...he's done very little for VA, but was adamant we stick our noses in Terri Schiavo's life(or lack thereof), and is unable to admit to something that seems pretty obvious he's done....when so many come out of the woodwork to state you have used certain language, maybe it's best to actually admit to it...since virtually every one of us has used the word before, before we grew up and realized the pain it causes and the ignorance it reveals...just admit you used it, and then grew up, and haven't used it since......don't lie to me, and say you never said it...I DON'T believe that...


Oh, and Stick, yes he explained his Jewish heritage to us, and that's all well and good, but he still doesn't get it, when he talks bout how he still loves his ham sandwich, and his mom makes good pork chops, he's still trying to distance himself from his Jewish roots, and subtly poking fun at those who have religious dietary restrictions....please look a little more closely at this man, he is not who he pretends to be.....or, worse yet, he actually IS

Posted by: Fred Evil | October 3, 2006 10:33 AM

Time to send Allen packing.

Posted by: VaVoter | October 3, 2006 10:34 AM

Keep up the great work, Marc, exposing the racism and idiocy of George Allen and his foaming-at-the-mouth supporters.

Posted by: ExRepublican | October 3, 2006 10:34 AM

While a long-time Republican, George Allen does not come close to representing my views or vision for Virginia and the United States. Accomplishments as governor...broad brush "SOLs" that gutted strong school systems like Fairfax County's? Inadequate funding of transportation? This poor excuse for a mea culpa should be seen for what it is, pandering. James Webb may not be a perfect candidate, but he seems to represent the type of rational, balanced individual who might be able to move the Senate from its ideological, right-leaning view of the world and blind faith support of GWB.

Posted by: Lester Burnham | October 3, 2006 10:35 AM

I honestly think that the public has grown so used to the daily smut in the news that they are emotionally exhausted. The war, school shootings, corrupt politicians, child molesters-we have become de-sensitized to it all. Senator Allen's accomplishments pale in comparison to the simple fact that he is a liar and a racist. Everyone out there who is disgusted with the way things are needs to get involved politically and work toward a positive change for this state and this country.

Posted by: novamom | October 3, 2006 10:36 AM

For the record, the Post regularly endorses Frank Wolf, John Warner and other Republicans. George Allen has brought all this on himself and any media outlet would be foolish not to follow the story. If Allen was a competent politician we wouldn't even be talking about this now, but his fumbled explanations and apologies have kept it all alive. Given it was two whole minutes, I thought his ad was pretty empty.

Posted by: JB | October 3, 2006 10:41 AM

Can't help but point out the hypocrisy of this R when he says he wants to focus on the 'issues.' This from the party of the Swift Boat Veterans for 'Truth.' This from Senator Macaca who's election strategy appear to include resurrecting a speech his opponent gave 27-freakin' years ago for cryin' out loud. Oh, yes, surely THAT'S a laser-beam focus on CURRENT 'issues.' The only issue I see on display here is his overwhelming hypocrisy. How 'bout the issue of his now-even-more-obvious bigotry?

Hard to believe that any truly moral person would vote for this guy. Yuck.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 3, 2006 10:46 AM

Can't help but point out the hypocrisy of this R when he says he wants to focus on the 'issues.' This from the party of the Swift Boat Veterans for 'Truth.' This from Senator Macaca who's election strategy appear to include resurrecting a speech his opponent gave 27-freakin' years ago for cryin' out loud. Oh, yes, surely THAT'S a laser-beam focus on CURRENT 'issues.' The only issue I see on display here is his overwhelming hypocrisy. How 'bout the issue of his now-even-more-obvious bigotry?

Hard to believe that any truly moral person would vote for this guy. Yuck.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 3, 2006 10:46 AM

Both candidates have had legitimate questions raised about their character. Webb, to his credit, has not commented on the questions about Allen. Allen, to his discredit, has held press conferences and run commercials to draw attention to the questions about Webb. This commercial, coming a week after a poll showed the race tied, seems to be an acknowledgement by Allen that the mud-slinging is not working. However, Allen does not get credit for now trying to take the high road; he seems to have changed direction only because his attempts at character assasination backfired.

Posted by: CJVa | October 3, 2006 10:57 AM

With the campaign season in full swing, Virginia voters should take a hard look at George Allen, and then look elsewhere. In looking at just the "macaca" incident there are but two possible explanations for his behavior in western VA. One explanation could be that Allen knew the precise meaning of his words. So he purposely chose a racist tirade, in front of what he perceived to be a like-minded partisan crowd, as a calculated move to humiliate a young man (S.R.Sidarth). This paints the image of a man, a U.S. Senator no less, who is calculating, in a small-minded way, and mean spirited. Now, the other explanation, as offered by Allen's campaign, is that the Senator was unable to distinguish the difference between "macaca" and "mohawk", just as one might confuse, say, "ice cream" and "idiot". Fine. What then are we to make of Allen's comment, "...welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.", directed at the only individual of obvious Asian descent. (A young man who happens to be a native Virginian and a senior at U.VA.) We still have the image of a sitting Senator who is small-minded and mean, but with a very odd sense of vocabulary. I suppose if Sidarth happened to be Native American, Allen might have referred to him as "Redskin", as opposed to "Crewcut", and demand he go back to his country of origin. The sophomoric "ham sandwich" and "n-word" references aside, the fact is that George Allen is simply not a very good Senator. At a time when our country desperately needs new ideas and leadership, from both sides of the aisle, George Allen offers neither. There's no law against stupidity, but that doesn't mean we should send it to Congress.

Posted by: Neil Steinberg | October 3, 2006 11:28 AM

George Allen can't run away from the character issue. I am starting a Macaca squad that will begin following him around next week. If you want to get involved email kkeefe@newdemocraticaction.org.

Posted by: Kevin | October 3, 2006 11:34 AM

People have the government they deserve. This is the old saying that better explains how George Allen has still the guts to go out and talk for honor, "issues", moral and service to people. The only strength he has is his impertinence, ruthlessness and courage to call the "black" as "white" without blinking eyes. People, think based on deeds and not words.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2006 11:35 AM

People have the government they deserve. This is the old saying that better explains how George Allen has still the guts to go out and talk for honor, "issues", moral and service to people. The only strength he has is his impertinence, ruthlessness and courage to call the "black" as "white" without blinking eyes. People, think based on deeds and not words.

Posted by: Baci | October 3, 2006 11:37 AM

The thing I simply can't get past is the noose in Mr Allen's office. How has he ever justified that? Though I find the display of confederate flags offensive, I can see where reasonable people can dissagree about it. But the noose? Exactly what other meaning can there be to keeping a noose in your office?

Posted by: FC voter | October 3, 2006 11:39 AM

Thank you, George Allen, for showing your true colors:

Red neck
Blue nose
White sheet

Hope you enjoy your trip to the unemployment line!

Posted by: iceberg | October 3, 2006 11:40 AM

To confused: - or anyone who saw the Allen ad.

Was the confederate flag really in the background in the 2-minute commercal? I missed the commercial and just watched it on Allen's web site - I couldn't see the flag on my computer. Surely you were joking - I can't imagine anyone letting him be that dumb. . .

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2006 11:45 AM

Hey Southern Maryland: Send our regards to William Zantziger.

Sincerely,

The "government stiffs" in Loudoun County (highest household income in US) and
Fairfax County (second highest)

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | October 3, 2006 11:54 AM

George Allen epitomizes all that is wrong with today's leaders accepting personal responsibility and being honest with the voters. His recent derision of a fellow American, rejection of heritage and denial of racist feelings provide a clear and defining picture of the current breed of many a politician in America today. George, just go away!

Posted by: Clean House | October 3, 2006 11:58 AM

Mr. Webb's background has prepared him well to represent the people of Virginia especially with regard to national issues such as the "Global War on Terrorism" and/or the ongoing conflict in Iraq. His education, experience, and personal involvement give him a perspective not shared by anyone in the Bush adminisration and not by Mr. Allen.

The personal contrasts could not be sharper. Webb is intelligent, articulate, and honest. He has experienced war first hand and unlike Mr. Allen he is tied to the war in Iraq through his son's service there .

To me the bottom line in deciding to vote for Mr. Allen or Mr. Webb is simple: If you are happy with the course President Bush has the contry on vote for Allen. He will approve any action President Bush sends his way. If you are un-happy with the course President Bush has us on vote for Webb. He will closely examine every proposal that comes his way and will question any action that does not appear to be thought through. His military experience will be invaluable as we fight our way through the "long war" against terrorism.

Posted by: Arlington | October 3, 2006 12:13 PM

About the Confederate flag in the background, I believe FC voter is referring to older photos--not the infomercial shown last night.

Posted by: THS | October 3, 2006 12:26 PM

While this campaign is none of my business, I fully believe the Post's and Fisher's barbs are aimed at Allen because he is a Republican, not because of the verbal gaffs he has made. The Washington Compost has never said anything flattering about any Republican politician. Allen's opponent, Webb, is a combat veteran and former Pentagon official. Do you really believe combat veterans and Pentagon-types like alter boys all the time? Get over the mud-slinging. Virginia is made up of backwoods yokels (there are stills making moonshine in them thar hills) and Government stiffs. You can't please all the people all of the time.

Posted by: Southern Maryland | October 3, 2006 12:31 PM

Look, even though Allen displayed a Confederate flag and a noose in his office, 49% of polled voters are still with him. Therefore, Allen is right. He can switch the topic unilaterally.

I would love to know what is going on the mind of these voters. I suppose there is more racism around then we would like to believe.

Posted by: Yockel | October 3, 2006 12:38 PM

Um, love them though I may, while under the guidance of the senior Allen, the 'Skins were THE LAST TEAM in the NFL to integrate...I don't think paying homage to his father really helps Junior get rid of the "racist" image.

Posted by: Adams Morgan | October 3, 2006 12:38 PM

Hey Southern Maryland,

Who're you to talk about backwoods yokels?

Posted by: Reston, | October 3, 2006 12:40 PM

Keep up the great work, Marc, exposing the racism and idiocy of George Allen and his foaming-at-the-mouth supporters.

Posted by: ExRepublican | October 3, 2006 12:47 PM

Wow, so the Leftists have nothing else to run on other than the politics of personal destruction? Yeah, that's worked so well for them over the past 6 years. LOL!

Posted by: Rufus | October 3, 2006 12:48 PM

So George Allen wants to talk now only about issues and not discuss character? Funny. His negative campaign ads are all about character. So which is it? Are we to believe his infomercial saying character issues are off limits, or are we to believe his attack ads bashing Webb's character?

Posted by: Hillman | October 3, 2006 12:49 PM

Sorry I left out a word in the sentence about alter boys. It should read 'talk like alter boys all the time.' Don't want to add any more disparaging remarks and innuendos about poli-tee-shuns than are already flying.

Posted by: Southern Maryland | October 3, 2006 12:54 PM

George Allen did something very important, his speech gave focus to his campaign workers across the state. It was a pep talk.
However, his failure to reach out to the South Asia community to this point, is a disaserous mistake. I hope he does. It will slow leadership and the ability to recover from mistakes. Since we all make mistakes, a leader's ability to recover is very important. We are all waiting.......
As for the other baloney.......


Posted by: Peter Roach | October 3, 2006 12:55 PM

It occurs to me that the Webb campaign has made a major point of Jim Webb's service as Secretary of the Navy and practically never mentions his service as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (ASD-RA). Of his four years in the Reagan administration he spent three years as ASD-RA and his impact was very significant.

As a reserve sailor with 27 years of service (10 Active, 17 Reserve) I have seen the enormous improvement to the Reserve force that began under the Reagan administration. Mr. Webb took us from a force of limited capability and made us into a vital part of each Service's Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E). Simply said, the US can not go to war without us (as happened in Vietnam). This was a deliberate choice on the part of the DoD but one that required the DoD to make a big investment in our people, training, and equipment...all of which began during Jim Webb's tenure. He led the expansion of the Reserve force into a well equipped well trained organization whose personnel, in many cases, are indistinguishable from our active duty counterparts. In addition, many of our reserve units are now aligned to joint commands such as CENTCOM, PACOM and defense agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Defense Logistics Agency. Like our active duty counterparts, we train as we fight.

According to the current ASD-RA website over 500,000 reservists have been mobilized as part of the Global War on Terrorism and over 100,000 are still on active duty, and I recall estimates that indicate 30% or more of the force in the Persian Gulf is made up of mobilized reserve personnel. Jim Webb's leadership was critical to this improvement and it should be highlighted. According to ASD-RA, the military reserve and National Guard include over 1.1 million men and women and operate with a 32 billion dollar budget. That's 45% of the total force but only 7% of the budget, a most effective expenditure of money.

Posted by: Mike | October 3, 2006 1:06 PM

Great article, but I must say I am offended by the commentary that certain parts of Virginia are not as offended by the use of the word "maccacca." As a Reston-native, now living in Norfolk, I think it is fair to say people are as offended here as there. It is unfortunate that the Post's writer's maintain some of the same ignorances as Sen. Allen.

Posted by: Norfolk | October 3, 2006 1:07 PM

Personnaly I would love to hear some Ideas that Jim Webb has, but at last he is a one issue politician. I am curious how George Allen has represented Virginia for so long and still be considered a bad politician. Where have all of these 'classmates' been at over the years, why have they not spoken up until now? The truth is George Allen is a very good Senator that represents the commonwealth very well. So well in fact that he was being considered for President. I am a right leaning conservative Christian. This country is headed in the right direction under Republican leadership. There is a reason the Democrats lost their seats. But I guess sadly America has a short memory look at 9/11 we will have to relive the nightmares all over again. I guess we will be subject to the new speakers vision of America. New America will turn into the states of Califonia and the North East, boy isn't that something to look forward to. No morals, any thing goes, Hollywood rules and pervertness, wow the American dream. I guess every empire has to fall.

Posted by: Mike | October 3, 2006 1:32 PM

Great ad. But he continues to pound Webb on a 30 year old item about women in the military. That's a current issue to Senator Macacca I guess but his confederate flag, noose and "n" word are off the table and out of bounds.
So if hipocracy is the best qualification for senate I guess he's the one.
I hope he can't pull the wool over the eyes of Virginia citizens and buy this election.

Posted by: dad4nick | October 3, 2006 1:39 PM

With the campaign season in full swing, Virginia voters should take a hard look at George Allen, and then look elsewhere. In looking at just the "macaca" incident there are but two possible explanations for his behavior in western VA. One explanation could be that Allen knew the precise meaning of his words. So he purposely chose a racist tirade, in front of what he perceived to be a like-minded partisan crowd, as a calculated move to humiliate a young man (S.R.Sidarth). This paints the image of a man, a U.S. Senator no less, who is calculating, in a small-minded way, and mean spirited. Now, the other explanation, as offered by Allen's campaign, is that the Senator was unable to distinguish the difference between "macaca" and "mohawk", just as one might confuse, say, "ice cream" and "idiot". Fine. What then are we to make of Allen's comment, "...welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.", directed at the only individual of obvious Asian descent. (A young man who happens to be a native Virginian and a senior at U.VA.) We still have the image of a sitting Senator who is small-minded and mean, but with a very odd sense of vocabulary. I suppose if Sidarth happened to be Native American, Allen might have referred to him as "Redskin", as opposed to "Crewcut", and demand he go back to his country of origin. The sophomoric "ham sandwich" and "n-word" references aside, the fact is that George Allen is simply not a very good Senator. At a time when our country desperately needs new ideas and leadership, from both sides of the aisle, George Allen offers neither. There's no law against stupidity, but that doesn't mean we should send it to Congress.

Posted by: Neil Steinberg | October 3, 2006 1:47 PM

With the campaign season in full swing, Virginia voters should take a hard look at George Allen, and then look elsewhere. In looking at just the "macaca" incident there are but two possible explanations for his behavior in western VA. One explanation could be that Allen knew the precise meaning of his words. So he purposely chose a racist tirade, in front of what he perceived to be a like-minded partisan crowd, as a calculated move to humiliate a young man (S.R.Sidarth). This paints the image of a man, a U.S. Senator no less, who is calculating, in a small-minded way, and mean spirited. Now, the other explanation, as offered by Allen's campaign, is that the Senator was unable to distinguish the difference between "macaca" and "mohawk", just as one might confuse, say, "ice cream" and "idiot". Fine. What then are we to make of Allen's comment, "...welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.", directed at the only individual of obvious Asian descent. (A young man who happens to be a native Virginian and a senior at U.VA.) We still have the image of a sitting Senator who is small-minded and mean, but with a very odd sense of vocabulary. I suppose if Sidarth happened to be Native American, Allen might have referred to him as "Redskin", as opposed to "Crewcut", and demand he go back to his country of origin. The sophomoric "ham sandwich" and "n-word" references aside, the fact is that George Allen is simply not a very good Senator. At a time when our country desperately needs new ideas and leadership, from both sides of the aisle, George Allen offers neither. There's no law against stupidity, but that doesn't mean we should send it to Congress.

Posted by: Neil Steinberg | October 3, 2006 1:48 PM

With the campaign season in full swing, Virginia voters should take a hard look at George Allen, and then look elsewhere. In looking at just the "macaca" incident there are but two possible explanations for his behavior in western VA. One explanation could be that Allen knew the precise meaning of his words. So he purposely chose a racist tirade, in front of what he perceived to be a like-minded partisan crowd, as a calculated move to humiliate a young man (S.R.Sidarth). This paints the image of a man, a U.S. Senator no less, who is calculating, in a small-minded way, and mean spirited. Now, the other explanation, as offered by Allen's campaign, is that the Senator was unable to distinguish the difference between "macaca" and "mohawk", just as one might confuse, say, "ice cream" and "idiot". Fine. What then are we to make of Allen's comment, "...welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.", directed at the only individual of obvious Asian descent. (A young man who happens to be a native Virginian and a senior at U.VA.) We still have the image of a sitting Senator who is small-minded and mean, but with a very odd sense of vocabulary. I suppose if Sidarth happened to be Native American, Allen might have referred to him as "Redskin", as opposed to "Crewcut", and demand he go back to his country of origin. The sophomoric "ham sandwich" and "n-word" references aside, the fact is that George Allen is simply not a very good Senator. At a time when our country desperately needs new ideas and leadership, from both sides of the aisle, George Allen offers neither. There's no law against stupidity, but that doesn't mean we should send it to Congress.

Posted by: Neil Steinberg | October 3, 2006 1:50 PM

With the campaign season in full swing, Virginia voters should take a hard look at George Allen, and then look elsewhere. In examining just the "macaca" incident there are but two possible explanations for his behavior in western VA. One explanation could be that Allen knew the precise meaning of his words. So he purposely chose a racist tirade, in front of what he perceived to be a like-minded partisan crowd, as a calculated move to humiliate a young man (S.R.Sidarth). This paints the image of a man, a U.S. Senator no less, who is calculating, in a small-minded way, and mean spirited. Now, the other explanation, as offered by Allen's campaign, is that the Senator was unable to distinguish the difference between "macaca" and "mohawk", just as one might confuse, say, "ice cream" and "idiot". Fine. What then are we to make of Allen's comment, "...welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.", directed at the only individual of obvious Asian descent. (A young man who happens to be a native Virginian and a senior at U.VA.) We still have the image of a sitting Senator who is small-minded and mean, but with a very odd sense of vocabulary. I suppose if Sidarth happened to be Native American, Allen might have referred to him as "Redskin", as opposed to "Crewcut", and demand he go back to his country of origin. The sophomoric "ham sandwich" and "n-word" references aside, the fact is that George Allen is simply not a very good Senator. At a time when our country desperately needs new ideas and leadership, from both sides of the aisle, George Allen offers neither. There's no law against stupidity, but that doesn't mean we should send it to Congress.

Posted by: Neil Steinberg | October 3, 2006 1:52 PM

Marc, Thanks for paying attention and making the effort.

I've pitched some brickbats your way (brain dead was among them) for your earlier credulity on Allen.

I don't expect or want you to support my choices or positions. I do expect you to be witting and to write from an informed opinion. That is what lures me back to read more on another day.

Once a politician, any politician, complains about "negative personal attacks and baseless allegations" and uses that line in his defense it sets the standard to judge the muck he's been throwing. You can have either side of that issue, but not both. How does Allen stack up?

Posted by: Cliff | October 3, 2006 1:59 PM

I thought the GOP made Family Values an issue back in the 80s when they were railing on Hollywood about "morals". Now we can sweet personal values under the rug in the name of addressing "real" issues? You gotta love these hypocrites, they can turn on a dime and give you change.

Posted by: tom | October 3, 2006 2:13 PM

Its obvious that Fisher doesn't understand Virginia politics any better than Howard Dean, George Soros, Michael Moore and Jim Webb do.

Posted by: Colin | October 3, 2006 2:17 PM

I can't understand why George Allen would stage racist Redskins garb behind him in a 2 minute ad to refute charges of racism. This is as good as refuting n-word charges while standing at a gay bashing press conference. The guy just does not get it!!! No one says he should be PC. He should, however, stop inflaming existing tensions at least while he is trying to get people to stop calling him a bigot.

Posted by: confused | October 3, 2006 2:18 PM

frankly, i don't care anymore about the jewish thing. it's appalling that he's got some racist opinions in his past (and arguably in his present). my major problem with him is this: he's a rubber stamp for george w. bush, an ineffective senator, and an irrepressible jerk. i'm sick of him claiming to represent me. i want him gone. he's an embarassment, and he's just not that good at his job. if he wants to run on his record, well, in the words of his bosom buddy george w. bush, i say bring it on. we'll see you in the unemployment lines in november, george.

Posted by: bamagirlinVA | October 3, 2006 2:27 PM

To those of you who support Allen and think this whole debacle is a meaningless character issue: the whole point of this "crusade" (as a poster coined the phrase) is whether the Senator is LYING.

He is lying. His profile proves it. Someone who embraces the Stars and Bars never uttered the N-word? Who is he trying to kid?

He's a liar. At least tell Virginians he's moved on. But I guess that would get him less votes.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2006 2:51 PM

Senator Allen has been "Swift-Boated." Pure and simple. And his consultant Chris LaCivita should know what it's like. He's the one who came up with the first Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry. It's been a long time since Willie Horton, but the Democrats have finally learned how to play by the Republicans' rulse.

Posted by: Lesson Learned | October 3, 2006 2:59 PM

Seven words that matter...


The
junior
senator
from
Virginia
should
resign.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2006 3:10 PM

As the election gets closer, we will see who works for whom. Resign, resign they will say and ignore any hope that we will ever be free to say what we wish in a country that allows diverse views. More a promise than a reality today.

Posted by: Gary Masters | October 3, 2006 3:43 PM

Mrs. Allen was in the commercial watching her husband adoringly (gag) because that's what Nancy Reagan did. It would be amusing if it wasn't so pathetic to pick out the Reagan-type things that Republican politicians do because they think they will make voters think of Reagan.

The funniest one, I think, is Bush's Crawford Ranch, the one where he goes to clear brush -- you know, like manly men do. He bought that ranch when he decided to run for president -- you can look it up if you don't believe me. I mean, seriously. GW Bush clearing brush as a hobby? If you buy that one, I've got a great antique bridge in Brooklyn that can be yours for an extremely low price.

Anyway, back to Allen. Yes, Webb wrote a piece on women at the service academies of which he should be ashamed. And he is. And what he says about it is backed up by actions he's taken in the years since then. Allen, not so much. Take even just the famous Macaca Moment -- the guy was known to Allen and his staff on the campaign as the Democrat following the campaign around and videotaping his public appearances (Republicans have people doing the same thing at Democrat public appearances). There were MANY things Allen could have called him aside from Macaca. For instance, Democrat, Young Man (how many men of his age were around?), My Friend With The Camera, My Democratic Watcher, etc. And he came up with an insult, instead. There's a difference between being an idiot 30 years ago and being an idiot now, and for my money, Senator Allen has gone on doing the same things the same way he's always done them. The Confederate flag and the noose are always with him in spirit even if they're not visible.

Posted by: Disgusted | October 3, 2006 4:03 PM

What is it that people expect Allen to say about his Jewish heritage. He did not know he was Jewish until recently. What is he supposed to say? I don't see how this is relevant anyway. Who cares?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2006 4:33 PM

He may be a racist, but at least he's not a child molester.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2006 4:42 PM

"What is it that people expect Allen to say about his Jewish heritage. He did not know he was Jewish until recently. What is he supposed to say? I don't see how this is relevant anyway. Who cares?"

It's not his heritage that's really relevant, it's the way he reacted when asked about it, as though he were insulted. He tries so hard to play the role of Good Ol' Boy of WASPy heritage and it turns out he's not. (And of course he was never a Virginian--again, nothing wrong with moving to another state to run for office, but don't pretend to be something you're not. Own up to your out-of-state roots. That's what's really offensive about the "Macaca" encounter, that obnoxious "Welcome to Virginia" comment. YOU welcome to Virginia, carpetbagger! That young man was BORN here!)

Anyway, as I was saying it turns out he's not a true blue WASPy Good Ol' Boy and there's nothing wrong with it. So maybe he shouldn't react as though he'd been insulted and make potentially offensive jokes about eating ham and pork.

If it were the only questionable incident in his campaign, it would've gone mostly unnoticed. But this PLUS the Macaca flap PLUS the noose PLUS the N-word allegations--it all adds up.

Posted by: NYC | October 3, 2006 5:16 PM

"Um, love them though I may, while under the guidance of the senior Allen, the 'Skins were THE LAST TEAM in the NFL to integrate...I don't think paying homage to his father really helps Junior get rid of the 'racist' image."

I am no supporter of Sen. Allen by any means, and am tired of his poseur pseudo-"good ol' boy" politics. However, in the name of accuracy, the Redskins didn't integrate until the early sixties, due to a racist owner (George Preston Marshall), and only agreed to sign and draft black players because it was the only way they would be allowed to play at federally-owned D.C. (later RFK) Stadium when it opened in 1961. The senior Allen didn't come to the Redskins until 1971, about a decade later.

Posted by: Vincent | October 3, 2006 11:37 PM

Sometimes political cartoons get it right:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&%09s=1045855934997&c=MGArticle&cid=1149190958945&path=%21editorials%21cartoons

The Richmond Times Dispatch is just about our most conservative daily in Virginia.

Posted by: Vintage Lady | October 4, 2006 5:59 AM

Allen's bigoted dismissal of a polite, educated Indian-American campaign supporter of Jim Webb is in sharp contrast to the "class" which Jim Webb has exhibited in dealing with Allen campaign operatives shadowing him, recording his words and videotaping his public appearances. George Allen is a pathetic warped individual whose views on race are shameful. I am well aware of the meaning of his slurs and their historic origins in colonial North Africa. The fact that Allen is himself, in part, of Jewish ancestry would logically lead one to imagine that he might be somewhat sensitised to racial/religious bigotry -- so much of it having been directed at Jews in the past. It seems not. Is Allen's bigotry a sign of his own insecurities and a hidden self-loathing -- a desire to identify himself as some sort of ideal "white" person? I don't know but I don't believe that someone with such warped views on race and national identity should sit in the U.S. Senate when the alternative -- Jim Webb has proven himself not only an intelligent patriot but exhibits real qualities of statesmanship including a broad, reasonable understanding of race and national identity in modern America

Posted by: info_tech_guy | October 4, 2006 7:13 AM

George Allen really has an openly gay staffer? Obviously, there's nothing wrong with that, but else are we going to learn about him before Election Day. He seems to be a living contradiction.

Posted by: GeorgeAllenVA | October 4, 2006 10:20 PM

George Allen really has an openly gay staffer? Obviously, there's nothing wrong with that, but else are we going to learn about him before Election Day. He seems to be a living contradiction.

Posted by: GeorgeAllenVA | October 4, 2006 10:20 PM

You sillies.

Allen's wife is a babe.
Who cares about Macaca's?
Allen knows how to chose Ta Ta's.
Islamofacists don't even LIKE Ta Ta's.
I do.

He gets my vote.

Posted by: scott | October 13, 2006 5:34 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company