George Allen to Test Whether It Is More Effective to Run for Senate Without Using Racial Slurs

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Photo: Steve Helber-Pool/Getty Images

Former Virginia senator George Allen "plans to tell supporters within a week" that he'll run for his old seat in 2012, according to Playbook. Allen, a Republican once believed to be a front-runner for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, lost the seat in 2006 to Democrat Jim Webb after calling an Indian-American Webb tracker "macaca." Allen claimed he had just made up a nonsense word, but in North Africa, macaca was a slur used by white colonialists to describe the native population, and Allen's mom, not coincidentally, was born in Tunisia. Barely anybody in the United States had heard of the term, but once people discovered what it meant (and also heard reports that Allen also used to throw around the N-word in college), his campaign tanked, and he lost to Webb by a mere 0.39 percent of the vote. For his part, Webb isn't entirely sure he's even going to run for reelection. Recent polls point to it being a close rematch, and Allen in all likelihood will not self-sabotage his campaign this time by showing off his impressive knowledge of obscure racial slurs.

George Allen launches early campaign - Loughner trial in San Diego -- JDA Frontline grows -- West Wing stars come out for Marissa Hopkins -- First lady b'day [Playbook/Politico]