Jon Henke at the George Allen blog denied the allegations, while providing quotes from other friends of Senator Allen who said they could not recall Allen usuing the racial slur.
Respected and often-quoted political analyst and UVA professor Larry Sabato has weighed in tonight and says that – as a classmate of Allen’s – Allen did indeed use the “n” word back in the day. I don’t know any of the other sources and took them with a grain of salt earlier, but I don’t think Sabato would have any reason to make this up. The guy has never come across on camera as a partisan gunslinger – which is why he’s so well-respected on both sides of the aisle. I don’t think this bodes well for the Allen campaign.
Which brings to mind the next question: why is something he supposedly said 20 or 30 years ago relevant now? Has it affected him on a policy-making level? I’ve seen no evidence of it, but I’ll leave it to the diggers on each side of this debate to hash out. Some people would say “well if what someone says 20 or 30 years ago isn’t important, why bring up what John Kerry said in the early 70s about US foreign policy as it related to the UN (“I’m an internationalist …I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.”)?” And the answer to that would be because what John Kerry said on that issue in the 70s is essentially his position today.
That said, the Allen campaign is going to have some serious explaining to do on this one, and if they do it by trying to discredit Sabato, I think that will only make things worse.