The Virginia senator tracked down the university student whom he maligned with the racist remark and apologized, but the damage is already done. In stepping into this steaming pile of macaca, Allen may have just kissed any 2008 presidential hopes goodbye.
An obscure word played for laughs from a mostly white crowd at the expense of a man of Indian descent clouds what has been a bright political career for Sen. George Allen, including any White House plans.
The Republican, seeking a second term as he explores a 2008 presidential run, apologized directly Wednesday to the Democratic aide he targeted, then joined President Bush for a private fundraiser in the Virginia suburbs of Washington.
But the damage has been done and it will haunt Allen for a while, said Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta and a specialist in presidential and congressional races.