Viral Videos That Derailed Political Careers

George Allen

Former Republican Sen. George Allen lost reelection in 2006 after his campaign in Virginia was derailed by one word: "Macaca."

The viral video features Allen introducing S. R. Sidharth, then a 20-year-old field tracker for Democratic nominiee Jim Webb, pointing at him and saying,

"Macaca or whatever his name is…Let's give a welcome to Macaca, welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."

Sidharth, who is of Indian ancestry, was born and raised in Fairfax, Va.

Allen was heavily criticized for the term, identified as a racial slur. The campaign got caught in a slew of excuses, with Allen first claiming he had heard his staff use it in reference to Sidharth, the staff claiming the word was used in reference to Sidhath's Mohawk haircut, and Allen later saying he had never heard the term before and had made it up on the spot.

Allen, a former congressman and governor, lost to Webb by less than 10,000 votes.

Allen West

Another Allen got into hot water when the Republican congressman from Florida got caught on video, during a Florida town hall meeting, saying he believed "there's 78-81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party."

When West was asked to name them, he said, "It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus."

West's comments angered many on the left, including Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who said "not even Joe McCarthy would have said anything so stupid."

Six months later West, who said he did not regret the comment "whatsoever," lost the seat to Democrat Patrick Murphy by 2,146 votes.

Rick Perry

Rick Perry, and his jacket, became the butt of late-night mockery thanks to a campaign ad he released in December 2011 while campaigning for the Republican presidential candidacy.

In the clip Perry says "there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas in school."

The ad, viewed almost 9 million times on YouTube, was heavily parodied including with videos made by major comedy content creators National Lampoon and Funny or Die, and helped derail Perry's primary campaign.

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