Re: [prezveepsenator] Fairfax Native Says Allen's Words Stung
- Sounds like a great All-Amsrican kid.. I believe that
Allen's sister wrote a book describing him as a bully
and a 'towell-snapper.' I think this pretty much tanks
his 08 presidential hopes and, according to his senate
race oopponent Jim Webb's campaign manager, pulled
Webb within 3 points in one non-partisan poll.
--- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:
> Fairfax Native Says Allen's Words Stung=== message truncated ===
> By Fredrick Kunkle
> Washington Post Staff Writer
> Friday, August 25, 2006; B01
> S.R. Sidarth had built an impressive record of
> achievements for such a
> young man: straight-A student at one of Fairfax
> County's finest high
> schools, a tournament chess player, a quiz team
> captain, a
> sportswriter at his college newspaper, a Capitol
> Hill intern and an
> active member of the Hindu temple his parents helped
> establish in
> But for all his achievements, the moment that thrust
> him into the
> national spotlight this month came when Sen. George
> Allen (R-Va.)
> called him "macaca."
> The remark stung the young man of Indian descent.
> What hurt more,
> Sidarth said, was when Allen gave him a sarcastic
> welcome to his own
> country, his birthplace even. It was too ironic, he
> thought. "I was
> born and raised in Fairfax County, and he's from
> California," said
> S.R. Sidarth, wearing khaki shorts, a yellow
> short-sleeve shirt and
> flip-flops a week after the incident during an
> interview at the
> campaign headquarters of Allen's opponent, Democrat
> James Webb.
> The full name of the suddenly famous 20-year-old is
> Shekar Ramanuja
> Sidarth. Following Indian custom, he goes by his
> surname. To some of
> his friends, he is simply "Sid."
> He returned this week to the University of Virginia,
> where he is a
> senior majoring in American government and computer
> Before college, Sidarth lived a somewhat typical,
> but distinguished,
> Fairfax County life. He attended the elite Thomas
> Jefferson High
> School, where he had a 4.1 grade-point average and
> scored 1550 on his
> SATs. He was a member of the chess club and the
> Spanish Honor Society
> and participated in the quiz show "It's Academic."
> At 6 feet 4 inches
> tall, he also played defensive end, tight end,
> punter and kicker for
> the school's football team.
> Sidarth was ambivalent about his sudden celebrity.
> He twiddled a pen
> as he talked about his life, at times barely raising
> his eyes from the
> office desk where he was sitting. "I was just doing
> my job, and I got
> sort of pulled into this," he said.
> Sidarth said the Allen incident hasn't turned him
> off from politics,
> though he's ruled out becoming a politician himself.
> Right now he
> thinks it's more likely that he'll become an
> environmental lawyer.
> Growing up, Sidarth was consumed by chess, testing
> his mettle against
> computers and in tournaments. As an 11-year-old, he
> paid attention
> when IBM's Deep Blue computer defeated Russian chess
> master Garry
> Kasparov in a legendary showdown between man and
> "I guess I was pretty introverted. I guess being an
> only child was
> part of that. I was on the computer a lot," Sidarth
> At U-Va., he joined the Quizbowl team and the
> Cavalier Daily. He also
> worked part time at the library and spent a term in
> Barcelona last
> fall, studying Spanish law and politics.
> The Webb campaign wasn't Sidarth's first venture
> into politics. In
> 2003, he contributed $2,000 to the presidential
> campaign of Sen.
> Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), according to campaign
> finance records.
> The next summer, he was an intern in Lieberman's
> His political interests follow family tradition. His
> accompanied Mahatma Gandhi to London for talks on
> political reform.
> His grandfather, R. Srinivasan, was secretary of the
> World Health
> Organization in the 1990s. His father, Shekar
> Narasimhan, aided some
> political campaigns, usually for Democrats but not
> always, Sidarth said.
> Sidarth's father, a prosperous mortgage banker, came
> to the United
> States to study about 25 years ago. His mother,
> Charu, a teacher of
> Indian classical dance, followed later.
> Both played important roles in the founding of Sri
> Siva Vishnu Temple
> in Lanham, one of the largest Hindu temples in the
> country, said
> Narayanswami Subramanian, the temple's president.
> Shekar Narasimhan is
> a trustee emeritus, Charu Narasimhan chairs the
> board of trustees and
> Sidarth volunteers there.
> "They've instilled in him all the values that are
> important to a
> Hindu: being honest, working hard," Subramanian
> Ali Batouli, a senior biology major at Stanford
> University who
> befriended Sidarth in a 10th-grade calculus class,
> said Sidarth could
> solve complicated math problems in his head faster
> than anyone else.
> As a high school senior, Sidarth also seemed to know
> more than his
> Advanced Placement classmates about Virginia and
> United States
> government history, Batouli said.
> Once, Batouli recalled, a roomful of Thomas
> Jefferson students were
> competing in an online academic contest against
> schools across the
> country. Sidarth answered most of the questions,
> helping the team to
> vanquish much of the competition.
> "He basically knows a lot about a lot," Batouli, 20,
> said by telephone
> this week.
> But Sidarth was not the kind to raise his hand a lot
> or show off, and
> he was interested in public service before any of
> his peers were,
> Batouli said. "On the weekends or something, I'd
> call him, and he'd be
> volunteering somewhere," Batouli said.
> It was his volunteering that started the clock on
> his 15 minutes of fame.
> On Aug. 7, Sidarth was given a digital camcorder, a
> copy of Webb's
> Republican opponent's schedule and orders to record
> Allen during his
> "Listening Tour" of Virginia. It is a routine
> campaign practice known
> as tracking, and both sides were doing it.
> Sidarth set off in a dark green, 1996 Volvo 960 with
> a faded American
> flag decal in the rear window and a washed-out "God
> Bless America"
> sticker on the rear bumper.
> At campaign stops, Sidarth said he and Allen's aides
> made small talk
> about the long trek, whether they had slept well and
> the name of the
> staffer from Allen's campaign who was doing what he
> was doing --
> keeping an eye on the opponent.
> At one stop, the senator had even walked up and
> shaken Sidarth's hand.
> Allen asked him his name and what company he was