August 16, 2006
Senator George Allen apologized for an off-the-cuff remark aimed at a University of Virginia student who just happens to be a volunteer for his opponent Jim Webb.
"Welcome! Let's give a welcome to 'Macaca' here," said Allen during a speech. He was pointing to someone in the audience at the time.
The "fellow" Senator Allen was referring to is 20-year old Shekar Sidarth, a student at UVA's School of Engineering.
Sidarth is an American of Indian decent. He had been assigned by Webb to track Senator Allen all last week which is common along the campaign trail. Political experts say this "bump in the road" will be cleared soon just in time for heavy campaigning.
"In terms of actually impacting the race, it's probably going to be minimal. The average voter either isn't going to hear a lot about it, or isn't going to pay a whole lot of attention to it. It just happens that right now there's just not lot going on in the campaigns," said Matt Smythe of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
The Charlottesville Newsplex spoke with the student to whom the attacks were made, and he said the senator has not apologized to him personally. He hopes that he will get a formal apology soon.