Macaca’s replacement blocked at CHO

Since Senator George Allen's "Macaca" scandal broke in late August, it has become common knowledge that political campaigns in high-profile races send "trackers" to follow the opposition with video cameras, so any gaffe can be captured for the whole wide world to see. Now, it appears, when it comes to trackers, Allen volunteers have not only learned the opposition's playbook, but are also starting to play defense.

At today's Allen campaign stop at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, an event that included former Delegate Paul Harris, Albemarle GOP chair Keith Drake was observed intentionally blocking the Webb tracker's camera lens. During a question-and-answer period following a stump speech, Drake held his digital camera a fraction about an inch from the tracker's lens. He also made a point of using his significant height advantage to stand directly in front of the tracker (see picture at left).

Asked why he felt the need to impede, an unrepentant Drake said, "She wasn't being respectful. People were excited about George Allen and excited to talk about him; but she began shushing them, and that was disrespectful."

The tracker declined comment on her tendency to "shush" at least one conversation and would identify herself to the Hook only as Joan. "I'm not supposed to talk to the press," said Joan. "But do feel free to write about what you've observed."

UPDATE, October 6: "Joan" has posted an edited account of her experience at CHO on


I am not sure if you, the writer of this blog, are aware of this, but this is not at all unusual, and happens at just about every political event, both Republican and Democrat. It is part of the campaign; if a campaign worker cannot deal with some obstruction, than they are not cut out for politics.

So George Allen, who lived here and launched his (unfortunate) political career from here, can only make a visit to the freaking airport? What a stand-up guy. Of course, he's probably scared shitless to enter the City of Charlottesville - the last thing he wants to encounter are people who might have the courage to question his judgement and actions.

If George is afraid for the opposition to hear what he's saying, the question used to be "why?" Now we know why. If nobody is watching, he's free to say anything he wants without repurcussions.

This guy needs to go. At least his presidential aspirations are history. Thank God for that.

Nice. A visit to the AIRPORT counts as visiting his constituency? So, the people he theoretically represents are supposed to brave 29N, just before rush hour, to go kiss his damn ring? Everything about this visit reeks of a guy who is either too damn lazy or scared to haul his ass into town to meet the unwashed public in a heavily Democratic voting area, or someone who was only here to play to the cameras. Probably both. Scheduling a 4 p.m. meet and greet at the airport? Yeah. He really wasn't here to meet anyone at all, save his own rah rah section and the cameras. Way to meet the issues, and your constituency, head on.

Of course Allen was "scared shitless" to go beyond the confines of the CHO airport. He was frightened away from Staunton by a guy dressed in a gorilla suit. Allen's a true Bushie, who has made an art of appearing only among his mindless devotees.

Allen has done that for the last several election cycles. He traveled the state to get free media like this article here. More people will see the visit on the news then could have come any way.

And for those of you who think that he could never run for president I got one name for you- Dick Nixon. After he lost to Kennedy and then the Governor of California, he gave a speech "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more. "
A few years later he became the last private citizen to become president.

If Allen wins this race in the double digits don't count him out

Nah - his presidental hopes are over. Especially with the Foley scandal and scandals yet to come from the Bushies. Even the GOP isn't stupid enough to nominate somebody who is just a more sarcastic version of Bush.

And Nixon didn't walk away in disgrace, he just lost. And his "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more" was specifically addressed to the California media, in particular the Hearst newspapers.

Um what really disgraceful thing has Allen done and I never said Nixon was disgraced? Macaca, you kidding right - the fact that he may or may not have used the n word while at UVa. No financial, sex, or normal scandal of any kind.

I do agree tht the George HW Bush frat boy image isn't going help Allen at all and there are other reasons but winning this race by double digits would say that all those other issues meant little to nothing.

Joan Van Tassel is her name. her website