It is somewhat of a sad day here in Illinois. Most likely, after all the ballots are counted tonight, we will have to say goodbye to one of the finest visitors we have had to our state in a while.
Ladies and gentleman, the Secret Journey of Alan Keyes.
I feel sorry for the rest of the country, that you've missed out on the everyday details of the race for United States Senator in Illinois, between Keyes (R) and Barack Obama (D). Obama won the primary in March with 53% of the vote among six candidates. Keyes was asked to run in early August, after the primary winner, Jack Ryan, stepped down in disgrace over some lurid details contained in his divorce file that he had forgotten to share with Illinois GOP officials. Keyes was not the first choice to replace Ryan. In fact, he was not the tenth choice. He was about the fifteenth, as a long list of people turned down overtures by the state GOP to run against Obama.
Alan Keyes is from Maryland. In the past he has run for President and US Senator from that state. He's never lived in Illinois prior to becoming the candidate here. He's also just a tad outspoken. In 2000, when Hillary Clinton announced that she was running for the Senate as a new resident from New York, here's what Keyes had to say:
"I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton’s willingness go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there, so I certainly wouldn't imitate it."
(Quote taken from Archpundit, though to be fair, it was all over the place in August)
Pot, Kettle, I'd like you to meet Alan Keyes.
So it was off to a rip roarin' start for Alan Keyes. We soon found out that Keyes is arch-conservative, and considers abortion the single biggest issue in the world, not just in this election.
The first poll taken after Keyes entered the race gave a 68-27% advantage to Barack Obama, so the question became why was Keyes in the race? Did I mention his past campaigns for President and Senate? While it has never been confirmed, the idea is that for agreeing to be the sacrificial lamb for the GOP this fall, the Illinois Republican party is paying off Keyes' past campaign debt. Makes sense to me.
We have reached election day, and the polls haven't changed. Obama will receive around 65% of the vote today, and Keyes will have lost another campaign. It's hard for me to see how he did not make further inroads in this state. Here are some of Alan Keyes finest moments as the Republican candidate for US Senate from Illinois:
-During his speech where he accepted the nomination, Keyes sweat enough to drop ten pounds. His passionate delivery was overshadowed by his inflection every time he said "God" (pronouncing it GAWD), which was about fifty times. His last line was that "...but I have confidence, because the victory is for GAWD!" Interesting, to say the least. How refreshing to have the "God is on my side" perspective in this race.
-Keyes has intoned many times that "Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama" because Obama rejects the way Christ taught us how to live.
-Every campaign speech and stump has found Keyes pointing back towards abortion, and especially partial-birth abortion. At the onset of his campaign supporters showed up in T-shirts that said "Abort Obama" on the front.
-At campaign rallies Keyes would lead the crowd in the chant "Obama been lyin'!" Say that fast three times and see if you can tell which world-renown terrorist that sounds like.
-Keyes is as anti-gay as anyone in the public arena. He has attacked gays from all corners, giving us such gems as stating that gay couple should not be allowed to adopt, since it will mean children will not know their real parents, and "incest is inevitable" as these children grow and meet people that they will have sex with. By Keyes' law, heterosexual adoption should be illegal as well, yet he has avoided any comment on that. At the Republican convention, he chastised all gays as "selfish hedonists." When he was asked if he felt Vice-President Cheney's daughter Mary, an "out" lesbian was a hedonist as well, Keyes answered "by definition, of course she is. She is a selfish hedonist."
(Side note here. Do you think the Cheney's were outraged about this? One would think they were, since they experienced several public aneurisms over John Kerry's much less offensive mention of Mary Cheney in the last presidential debate. However, SHOCKINGLY, the Cheney's did not publicly comment on Keyes' slur towards their daughter. The Cheney's are the largest hypocrites I have ever seen. Their daughter should be proud of their unilateral, bipartisan support.)
-Saving his best for last, this past weekend Keyes told a full audience in a Church that a vote for a Democrat is "a mortal sin" and that "Catholics who vote democratic are akin to Germans who voted for Nazis."
Keyes' performance in the three debates has been priceless as well. When presented with questions about the economy or the war in Iraq, he has bent his responses to remind everyone that abortion is wrong. In one response he proclaimed that abortion, not disease, accident or homicide, is the largest killer of young blacks in the nation today. At the end of the last debate he was asked how he keeps his campaign positive when he faces forty point deficits in all polls. His response was that the polls were wrong, that he was going to win this election, because the people could not support the hateful ideas promoted by Barack Obama. It reminded me of the classic "Saturday Night Live" skit from the 80's, where the CEO of a practical joke-prop company is being grilled by "60 Minutes" for shoddy products. Martin Short is the CEO, and every time he is asked about the defective products he responds with remarks like "We didn't do that, you did it." When he is told he is being defensive he says "I'm not defensive, you're being defensive." The entire time he is sweating profusely in an "I'm so guilty" persona.
Alan Keyes will surely label Obama as the Demolition Man in the next few days in the aftermath of his trouncing defeat. He promises to remain in Illinois, where he has an apartment in Calumet City (shockingly, his Maryland mansion has not been put up for sale), so that he can fix the problems facing the GOP in this state. We can only hope so, but in reality, Keyes will be back worshipping his Invisible Sun in Maryland soon.
This morning, while the serious news stations on the radio were interviewing candidates, Keyes sat in on the Mancow Muller show here in Chicago. Muller is a right wing nutjob who disguises his ranting as free speech, but he is nothing more than a "shock jock." That Keyes would spend the morning of his first Illinois election on his show would be something like John Kerry spending this morning on Howard Stern. A serious candidate would never do such a thing.
But a pawn who is only in the race for the money to pay off the debts of his other failed archconservative campaigns? Absolutely.
Alan Keyes: Every Little Thing he does is Magic.