Keyes To Run Against Obama in Illinois Senate Race

Both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times are reporting that Alan Keyes will accept the Illinois GOP’s offer to run for the senate spot vacated by Jack Ryan. This is certainly an interesting decision for the GOP - Keyes doesn’t live in Illinois and he blasted Hillary in 2000 for being a carpetbagger (and said he would never do something like that).

I don’t see the logic behind this run: Keyes is not likely to win and it denies the opportunity for a local republican to get name recognition for a later race. Of course, the GOP insists that Keyes being black had nothing to do with him being offered the spot. Overall, people don’t seem very enthusiastic about this choice. Former republican governors both refused to endorse Keyes, with Edgar issuing a “no comment” and Thompson taking a wait-and-see approach. A non-scientific poll on the Tribune website currently shows that 80% of those voting don’t think this is a good idea.

So - do you think this is a smart move? Is the party just trying to win the state senate races? Is Keyes just an attack dog whose sole purpose is to knock Obama? What are your thoughts about his candidacy?

I will be waiting to see if all the esteemed conservatives on this board who attacked Hillary Clinton as a carpetbagger when she ran for the Senate in New York will do the same to Keyes in Illinois.

I won’t hold my breath.

Don’t have any thoughts yet, too busy rolling around on the floor clutching my sides. Where’s my theasarus:hmmmm, “massacre, debacle, slaughter, boondoggle…”

Or maybe Li’l Abner: Jubiliation T. Cornpone, remembered for Cornpone’s Defeat, Cornpone’s Rout, and Cornpone’s Utter Humiliation…

This doesn’t make any sense to me. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Keyes pull out at the last minute.

When Hillary ran in New York, she had a very good chance of winning. New York politics is completely different than any other place. The carpetbagger label didn’t hurt Sen. Clinton much.

Keyes doesn’t have a snowball’s chance to win in Illinois. This race has become a joke when Mike Ditka was considered as a candidate and the Jack Ryan debacle. Would the Republicans really want to put Keyes up there in prime time during their convention? Keyes is an eloquent speaker, but his politics are on the far right fringe of the Republican Party. I could also see media coverage of Keyes hurting Bush.

Ya know, I really like Keyes, but I hate to see him doing this. First of all, it makes him look like a hypocrite since this is the sort of thing he said he wouldn’t do (that is, run for office in a state where he doesn’t live), and secondly, he has little to no chance of beating Obama.

Bummer. I can’t help but feel that this is simply a desperation move on Keyes’ part to get his name back in the news.

That part bothers me quite a bit, and I was just remarking such to a coworker this morning.

I like Alan Keyes as a thinker and a commentator, but he’s never shown any talent in getting elected to anything. Winning in a big state like Illinois requires a local politician who’s a proven vote getter.

It’s the mark of desperation, from a party who doesn’t want to cede that race entirely. Not half as desperate as what the Democrats did in New Jersey after Torricelli quit, though.

You can exhale now, Fear Itself.

Keyes is a one-issue candidate (abortion), and does not represent the majority view AFAIK.

He is not from Illinois. It’s ridiculous that one has to be a resident only as of Election Day to be considered a resident. Make it, say, five years before Election Day.

He ran for president (twice?) and lost. He once went on a hunger strike to demand that he be included in the '96 primary debates, so he’s a bit of a kook.

I am guessing that the Illinois GOP have given this race up for lost and Keyes is their sacrificial lamb. But I’m astonished that they can’t find a viable Republican candidate in Illinois. Statewide, Illinois is pretty moderate. I think in '92 we had ten Democratic Congressmen and ten Republican Congressmen; the R’s have a slight advantage now. We’ve had one Democratic Senator and one Republican Senator since Fitzgerald beat Moseley-Braun. Governor Rod is the first Democratic governor in my memory. Even Chicago isn’t that heavily Democratic anymore, and some people think that has to do with machine politics more than any strong lefty principles.

I don’t think Keyes was chosen for his race. It was down to him and a black woman who worked for Bush. I think he was chosen for his name recognition, more than anything else. You can find Bible-thumpers and anti-choice activists anywhere, but I can’t believe they have any kind of real power in Illinois.

Here is a link the the Tribune poll

I don’t know if that will show the results or let you vote (let me know what happens).

So far, 82% say No, he’s not a good choice.

Um, Mr. Moto, you do recall that Torricelli’s replacement, Lautenberg, not only had a real chance to win but actually won it, don’t you? How was that choice an act of desperation?

Josh Marshall got a good laugh out of this today:

I have been almost feeling sorry for the Illinois Republican Party. On short notice (like a month :rolleyes:) they had to find a new candidate in this tiny, unpopulated state who is electable AND willing to take on Barack Obama in a shortened race. By throwing in a couple more criteria (able to finance his run out of his own pocket AND isn’t nuts) this was, collectively, an apparently tall order.

So, is Mr Keyes a carpetbagger or merely waffling on the issue? If he runs should we wave frozen waffles at him?

Who is this Alan Keyes?

Perhaps you don’t recall, but Torricelli withdrew after the statutory requirement for fielding new candidates had expired. Members of the Armed Services had already voted in the election using absentee ballots with Robert Torricelli’s name on it.

Torricelli was obligated to either stay in the race, which he’d surely lose (given his ethical problems) or leave the race unopposed to the Republican candidate, Doug
Forrester. It took a bit of creative legal wrangling by the state Supreme Court (dominated, of course, by Democrats) to allow Lautenberg to replace him.

Of course, Democrats don’t have any problems with Supreme Court intervention in elections, as long as their guy wins. :wink:

You’re overreaching there, and that’s being kind - Lautenberg won *despite * not getting the Torricelli votes, by your own account.

The court wrangling was simply over getting Lautenberg’s name printed on the ballots, not over whether or not voters could vote for him or have their votes counted. Your attempt at drawing a parallelism to Bush v. Gore is, shall we say, result-driven.

Now, about that “desperation” stuff, may I assume you’re dropping it?

No overreaching. Democrats were desperate not to lose the seat, so they were changing the rules while the election was already in progress.

This is quite stupid. As was noted before, if you are going to lose, the thing to do is run your own rising star and have them conduct a nice, happy campaign to build name recognition and goodwill. You don’t pull in someone who can easily be portrayed as a nutjob. This isn’t quite as bad as the open racist the Republicans are, to their horror and our amusement, running in Tenn. But Keyes is not only a loser politically and journalistically (his Tv show was a huge bomb), but an out of control ego. That’s not to say that politicians in general aren’t egotistic, and Obama probably is as well. But Keyes does just as terrible a job at hiding it as Al Sharpton.

Are these carpetbaggers following me? First Hillary toe-touches in New York, and now Keyes in Illinois? Shit.

Keyes hasn’t got a chance. I think in a way, it makes more sense for the GOP to run a candidate like him, since it won’t hurt his prospects later on: he doesn’t have any. I presume they’re just cutting their losses, hoping not to sink much real money into this campaign, and they’ll try and mount a better challenge to Durbin in '08 and Obama in '012.

I’ll enjoy not voting for Keyes even more than I enjoyed not voting for Hillary. (I don’t like her, but I loathe him. And I do like Obama.)

To avoid further hijacking of this thread, allow me to direct the interested reader to Torricelli quits Senate race - what does NJ Law say about replacing his name? (October 2002).

You seem to be under the impression that voters are not normally free to vote for whomever they wish. The Lautenberg case was, literally, simply about whether his name could be physically printed on the ballots, not about whether he could be a candidate or whether anyone could vote for him. They could have voted for him as a write-in candidate regardless.

He’s proof that Afirmative Action isn’t exclusive to liberals.

After a stellar 1996 primary campaign, in which he routinely went head to head with luminaries such as Morry Taylor, Bob Dornan, Miscelllaneous, and Uncommitted, he became a national political figure.

He also hosted “Alan Keyes is Making Sense” on MSNBC, which rated in negative integers.

That really has him primed for high office.