Political Blunders of the Year

Various reports described McKinney as striking the officer with everything from her cell phone to her fist.

A week later, after a tense meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, McKinney apologized on the House floor and expressed support for Captiol Hill police.

"There should not have been any physical contact in this incident," she said. "I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all, and I regret its escalation and I apologize."

The incident was ultimately referred to a grand jury, which decided not to indict the Georgia Democrat, though McKinney lost her re-election bid in November.

Driving Under the Influence

After an early-morning Washington car crash, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) was written up by Capitol Hill police in May for driving with his lights off after barely missing a police cruiser and crashing his convertible into a security barricade. Kennedy was observed staggering when he got out of his car and claimed he was late for a vote though the House had adjourned three hours prior.

In a statement, Kennedy denied alcohol consumption, but in the days following announced he was entering treatment for addiction to prescription pain medication.

The Summer of YouTube

In a summer forever linked with user-generated content, two powerful senators made what might have once been unmemorable political gaffes that took the Internet by storm.

First, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) on a June edition of C-SPAN's "Road to the White House" said, "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

Biden's office defended the remarks, describing them as a testament to the recent growth of middle-class Indian families in the state. Biden was not up for re-election this year.

Virginia Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) found himself in deep "macaca" this August. While on the campaign trail, he spotted an Indian-American volunteer of his Democratic opponent's campaign. The volunteer, S.R. Sidarth, had been following Allen with a DV camera, hoping to catch him in a gaffe.

"So, welcome. Let's give a welcome to Macaca here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," Allen said to the audience at his campaign event, staring into Sidarth's camera. Debated endlessly on the Internet and eventually gaining entries in various online dictionaries, "macaca," in some cultures, is considered a racial slur against African immigrants.

Allen said the comments weren't a xenophobic slam against the South Asian volunteer, rather aimed at his Democrat opponent.

But days later, after Allen's caught-on-tape moment reverberated across the political world, the Virginia senator -- once considered presidential material -- found himself with his tail between his legs, apologizing to Indian-American business leaders in Hindi.

Allen lost his Senate seat to Democratic opponent Jim Webb in November.

Conrad Burns Defines the Enemy

Three-term Republican Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana, was also guilty of caught-on-tape-foot-in-mouth disease during the summer months. Only unlike Biden and Allen, Burns did it while sharing a stage with the first lady.

During an August fundraiser in Montana, Burns described terrorists as a "faceless enemy" who "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night."

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