Virginia Senate candidate George Allen (R) apologized Wednesday to an African-American reporter for asking him, “What position did you play?” in an incident that evoked his infamous “macaca” gaffe.
“Since the last time George has run a campaign, things have changed so much, and he is not adapting,” said Ford O’Connell, a Virginia Republican strategist. “Whether it’s social media or online, news travels faster.
“He has to remember that the lights are always on and the knives are always out.”
O’Connell, who is chairman of the CivicForumPAC, said that Allen could benefit from adding outsiders to his close-knit staff.
“In a lot of ways, George has surrounded himself with people he has known over the years,” he said. “He needs to bring in people outside of his original circle … somebody who is looking at it from a different point.
“I think his staff needs to take hold of him.”
O’Connell agreed that Allen needs to keep up his guard.
“George is really presumed guilty before he enters the room, and that’s the burden he is going to have to carry throughout this campaign,” he said. “He not only has to be good, he is going to have to be better than expectations.”