WaPo Article on Northern Va. McCain Rally Mostly Focuses on Dems, Obama

Washington Post staffer Christopher Twaroski's 18-pargraph September 21 story on how John McCain was "Seeking Minority Groups' Support" in Northern Virginia quickly morphed from a rehash of former Sen. George Allen's "macaca" moment to a gauzy focus on Sen. Barack Obama's campaigning efforts in the Old Dominion.

Twaroski opened his article noting that the former Republican senator from Virginia was the featured guest speaker at a Saturday GOP "ethnic unity rally" held in Alexandria, but quickly shifted focus to a disruption by two Democratic protestors:

When he first reached the podium to speak, Allen was greeted by a shrieking whistle and two women screaming: "George Allen is a racist! Shame on the Republican Party for having him speak!"

The outburst referred to remarks by Allen in his 2006 reelection campaign against James Webb, in which he used a slur to refer to one of Webb's campaign volunteers, a college student of Indian descent.


The demonstrators -- Victoria Leavelle, 29, who is black, and Nancy Hwa, 45, who is of Chinese descent -- are Democrats. They continued to protest outside the school.

"When I found out that Allen was speaking at a rally specifically directed toward people of color, I was pretty appalled," said Hwa, accompanied by several other protesters outside.

Twaroski then quoted just one rally attendee and only to rebut the Democratic heckler, not to give her reasons for supporting the Republicans and the McCain/Palin ticket:

Others, such as Kishan K. Putta, founder and national director of Indians for McCain, disagreed. "George Allen is here today," Putta, 34, said. "Actions speak louder than words."

Following Putta's rebuttal, Twaroski used the final seven paragraphs of his article to give an uncritical look at Barack Obama's campaign efforts in the Old Dominion, including quoting an otherwise un-noteworthy presidential granddaughter:

Susan Eisenhower, a Republican and granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, spoke at a Women for Obama tea at a private home in McLean. She was accompanied by Kaine's wife, Anne Holton.

Eisenhower told the audience that she decided to endorse Obama during the primaries because he has the "intelligence and temperament" to bring people together. In an interview after the event, she made a pitch for other Republican women to get behind Obama, noting the upheaval on Wall Street last week.

"This is the first open election with no heir apparent since 1952, when my grandfather was on the ballot," Eisenhower said. "This gives the country an opportunity to think outside of party lines. This country is facing some issues of such fundamental importance as our standing in the world and on our own prosperity, so we have to think as Americans first."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters