Former Sen. George Allen apologized for calling a rival campaign staffer "macaca" during the 2006 campaign, the biggest in a series of racially problematic statements that cost the Republican his seat. Allen is running to get it back, and told the conservative crowd at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington that "I never should have singled out that young man working for my opponent, calling him a name," Politico's James Hohman reports. "I was wrong to do that to him, and it diverted our campaign away from the real issues that families care about." Allen says he became more committed to his "belief that when injustice--whether anti-Semitism, racism or repression--arises, leaders must deplore it" after learning that his grandfather was Jewish and jailed by Nazis. His mother had kept that family history hidden.
Allen said the 2006 race taught him important lessons. "I did not like losing. I’ve learned though that sometimes you can learn more from losing than you do from winning... My family had to endure a lot of taunts and insults because of my mistake, and I never want to have them have to go through something like that again... Ladies and gentleman, these last five years have given me the opportunity to reflect on all that's happening in our great country."
Allen is challenging former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine for the open seat now that Sen. Jim Webb is retiring. "Friends, it is time for an American comeback," Allen said. Clearly he hopes it's also time for his own. But Allen had better hope no long-lost relatives died because they couldn't afford a hospital bill--he might have to support Obamacare.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.