Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Obiwan Keyesnobi

Posted by Adam Graham on June 6, 2007

Remember Obi-wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars movie. He’d been minding his business when a cry for help arrives. Carrie Fisher delivering her most memorable line says, “Help us, Obiwan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”

Apparently, Alan Keyes is getting much the same message, given the latest news, several folks are starting a draft website for Keyes to make a run in 2008. According to the press release:

According to a statement at the website — AlanKeyes.com — the organization’s purpose is to “determine and rally support for a presidential candidacy by Dr. Keyes.”

The statement adds, “We Need Alan Keyes for President, Inc., is a political action committee . . . not managed by Alan Keyes.”

The effort is spearheaded by several individuals at RenewAmerica, a grassroots organization affiliated with Keyes.

Stephen Stone, president of RenewAmerica, said, “At this point, Alan has not indicated that he will run. In fact, he has said that he would run only if enough people at the grassroots come forward to say they want him to run. Our job is to give them a chance to do so.”

This sounds…familiar. In fact, that was the terms in 2000. He spent months campaigning all around Iowa, but didn’t officially announce until August when he thought there was sufficient support. Though, in this case, he hasn’t been to Iowa or New Hampshire, at least as far as I know. This brings up a point. Part of the reason, Keyes doesn’t win elections is that he really doesn’t seem to want to run in the first place. Keyes has run for office five times. Take a look at the history:

1988: The Republican nominee for US Senate in Maryland dropped out of race. The State Party turned to a well-spoken American Enterprise Institute named Alan Keyes, who managed 39% in a State Dukakis won.

1992: In the only election, Keyes ran for without prompting, he found himself the GOP nominee against Maryland Democrat Boss Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) in a year that Bush was losing. The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee cut funding, resulting in a 71-29% win.

1996: With a growing awarness of moral issues, Keyes decided to jump on the potential presidential candidate circuit, raise some issues, get other candidates talking about morality, and then go home. Keyes delivered an address that set the nation ablaze, “No Choice for Silence” as interest skyrocketed. Thus a campaign was born.

2000: Keyes spent the late ’90s concerned that someone would get in the race who would speak to the country’s moral concerns. He spent time in Iowa, but held off on officially announcing his candidacy for President, while candidates announced by the boat load, Keyes continued to evaluate a potential run based on people’s response. When he was finally satisfied in August, 1999, he announced. Of course, by then, many Conservative activists had already committed to other candidates.

2004: The plan was for Keyes to be running-in a Marathon. Unfortunately, scandal engulfed Jack Ryan, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Illinois. In describing what brought him there, Keyes said:

And so, I was resistant to the idea. As is always case, though, when people approach me with something that might make sense, I try my best to be fair to them, and at one point, they made the point that maybe if I looked at the record of Barack Obama, I would think differently, because it just seemed wrong, they said . . . .

[laughter]

Now, wait a minute. I’m just reporting here. It just seemed wrong that somebody with his record should kind of waltz into the United States Senate unopposed.

Thus, he went to Illinois and was dragged into a race he didn’t ask for, didn’t want, and then got thrown to the wolf by the party establishment, and ripped apart by the Obama-Daley machine.

He’s never run for President like a man with fire in his belly for the White House, but rather as someone who’s passionate about ideas.

Now, here in 2008, we have people putting together an effort to get Alan Keyes to run in an election he doesn’t seem to want to run in, in an office he has no desire to win. Meanwhile, media has grown more harsh, more fixated on winning, more everything that’s hampered Keyes for years. I respect Dr. Keyes a great deal, but even if I weren’t working for John Cox, I still would not be behind this draft effort.

I greatly expect many of the people involved. I bear them no disrespect, but I’ve seen enough. I’ve seen a man I greatly respect and admire dragged through the mud during the 2004 Senate campaign, much of the work done by Republicans who made the #1 mistake folks make with Alan Keyes: assuming you can change him from who he is into who you’d like him to be.

The Chicago media, the Daley machine, and the treacherous Illinois Republican leadership did a hit job that would make Tony Soprano proud. Bloggers ripped apart and dissected his family life, and he was made the goat of the whole affair, and despite entering 3 months before the election in an uphill battle, he recieved most of the blame. At that moment, his 2008 chances (which had been decent overall) went up in smoke.

He shouldn’t subject himself to this presidential campaign, there are other wasy he can make a difference.. The American people and conservatives need to learn some lessons in understanding the Constitution, what it means to be an American, etc. We need leaders all across our country who are declarationists.

As someone who respects Dr. Keyes, I’d like him not to enter this race, not to committed to Declaration principles. It’s those things that Dr. Keyes can spread without another race for the White House.

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