August 10, 2004


Keyes says Obama afraid to face him (SCOTT FORNEK, 8/10/04, Chicago Sun-Times)

Democrat Barack Obama said Monday he will engage in fewer than the six debates he previously agreed to in the U.S. Senate race -- prompting newly minted GOP rival Alan Keyes to accuse Obama of running scared and cowering "in timidity" at the prospect of facing him.

"That suggests doesn't it -- if right now they're scaling back -- a certain lack of confidence that there's any substance there," Keyes said of Obama.

The only think Mr. Obama had going for him was that he was a well-spoken black man with a delicate patina of conservatism--now he's only the second best spoken conservative black man in the race.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 10, 2004 11:32 AM

Two things: How does Keyes dodge the "carpet bagging" issue? And how does he raise $10M overnight to run the campaign? (for the record, I'm a HUGE Keyes fan)

Posted by: John Resnick at August 10, 2004 11:49 AM

Carpet baggers win. He'll have so much free media he'll barely need paid.

Posted by: oj at August 10, 2004 11:54 AM

As a grass roots activist in IL, I think there is some hope in a reactivated base.

Keyes will get no help from the state party - who really doensn't want him to win.

Other than that, we need outside help and out side money.

If any on this list want to donate or set up out of state phone banks, e-mail me.

Posted by: BB at August 10, 2004 12:18 PM

Now, now, let's be honest.

The "he's hiding from debates charge will be hurled by ANY challenger.... unless said challenger is about to win in a landslide. Then, the incumbent will say it.

We can all agree... Debates are advantageous to whoever is behind in the polls. They have nothing to lose. Whoever is ahead, of course, DOES have something to lose. Hence, without fail, the poll-losing side will propose fifty debates, the poll-winning side will settle for three and prefer one or none. Nothing here to do with Keyes or Obama at all.

I would love to see Keyes in the Senate. His would be a great voice there. But let's call it as it is here.

Posted by: Andrew X at August 10, 2004 12:32 PM

Oh man, they could make money, selling tickets and advertising to those babies.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 10, 2004 12:36 PM

And Obama's only half African American. Got to admit though: this young man has a future.

Posted by: genecis at August 10, 2004 1:42 PM

That's probably the best thing about having Keyes in the race -- while he's certainly vunerable to the carpetbagger charge he leveled at Hillary four years ago, Obama's current image is one of a moderate Democrat, which according to many belies the previously political stand he's taken. Keyes has a chance to scuff up that image a little.

Since the majorty of African Americans poll more socially conservative than their Democratic Party representatives, Keyes can try to draw out Obama on a number of issues such as school vouchers, abortion and gay marriage before the election, and get him on record as either for or against those things before he goes to Washington, where he could either maintain his pre-election stands or follow in Kerry's lead and flip flop when he finally has to vote (of course, Obama might lose, but at this point, a Keyes win in November would be as shocking as a Cubs win in the World Series in October).

Posted by: John at August 10, 2004 2:09 PM


A white candidate could have won but it's hard to see why a black Republican would beat a black Democrat.

Posted by: oj at August 10, 2004 2:13 PM

Gotta go with OJ on this one: while Keyes has his faults--I like him, but he is sometimes tone deaf as to nuance; he will make so much of a ruckus, Obama will have to be morereliant on paid media to be getting his message out. At some point, the press' simple "Obama=Good" message won't hold up any longer.

Keyes has to worry about a couple things: 1)IL is, sadly, a remarkably Democratic state 2) the head start Obama has.

Keyes benefits from: 1) downstate Bubba vote 2)opportunity to split Catholic ethnics from Obama (Keyes is Catholic) 3) opportunity to split African-American vote from Obama. It's probably not enough but this will be fun.

Posted by: cornetofhorse at August 10, 2004 2:33 PM


Yeah, that one bothers/puzzles me a bit, too. Tiger Woods, for another, is more asian than african, but...

Guess we believe in One Drop after all?

Posted by: mike earl at August 10, 2004 2:35 PM

>Guess we believe in One Drop after all?

Of course. It's the one thing the Klan and the Blacktivists agree on.

Posted by: Ken at August 10, 2004 3:47 PM

Keyes will be lucky to get 40% of the vote. As Richard Brookhiser noted at NRO, Alan Keyes's opinion of himself and the universe's opinion of him have fatally parted company.

Ditka would probably have received 62% of the vote, but as noted earlier, with all the IL "moderates" ducking, the party will get what it deserves.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 10, 2004 4:01 PM

I guess from what I read in the comments on this blog, when Keyes moves to IL, he will increase the population of 'real' Republicans by a factor of 2.

Posted by: Uncle Bill at August 11, 2004 10:45 AM