Friday, August 06, 2004

Keyes promises Republicans he'll run

So, Alan Keyes is willing to run for US Senate here in Illinois? This is going to be an uphill battle for Keyes, who already has two strikes against him. Mr. Keyes is a former Presidential candidate who was unable to gain any serious amount of votes in the 2000 primaries, which shows that he has difficulty in getting his message out on a national level. On top of that, he's literally an outsider: Mr. Keyes is from Maryland. I know everyone can point to Hillary Clinton as a successful case of carpetbagging as she is a former Chicagoan-turned-Arkansan-turned-New Yorker, but will it work for Alan Keyes? He's been quoted before as saying that he wouldn't do the same thing as Senator Clinton, but now he's considering it. Much like Lucy Ricardo, he's got some 'splainin' to do about his change of heart.

I pose this question: How is Mr. Keyes going to get his message out to the state in plenty of time to make an impact on the November 2 election? We're less than 3 months away. Will the Illinois GOP be able to fund enough commercials, print ads and internet presence to properly back him? The party has been pretty weak since George Ryan's ruinous escapades in office.

Mr. Keyes' conservative credentials are definitely in order, so he'll be able to mobilize a good portion of Republican loyalists. He supports school choice and vouchers, which ought to resonate with black voters. His stance on the Second Amendment is pretty safe, too. He's also pro-life, which is a must for anyone who wants to seriously run as a Replublican candidate. I think this is one of the reasons why John Borling fared so poorly in the primaries. He did get the nod from outgoing Senator Peter Fitzgerald, so any animosity between Keyes, the GOP and the Senator is either well-hidden or ameliorated.

Personally, I'd still rather have a local guy like Jim Oberweis or Andy McKenna as the candidate, and here are my reasons. They're both from Illinois, each man has a vested interest in making the state successful as their businesses depend on it, and they were both in the primaries. Mr. Keyes was not someone who appeared on the primary election ballots.

I'll wait to hear Mr. Keyes' message before I pass complete judgment, but it doesn't look good for the pundit from Maryland. If his message truly impresses me, I may be able to hold my nose and vote for an outsider. If not, things are going to look bad for the Illinois GOP for a few more years.

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