Ron Paul

The Third Coming of Alan Keyes

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Eighteen hours later, no one has answered the basic question of the final pre-caucus GOP debate: What in the hell was Alan Keyes doing there? A technicality in the debate requirements let him onstage, sure, but wasn't it an insult to the other candidates, who've been campaigning here for months, to invite a guy who clearly hadn't been stumping in rec centers or even prepped for the event? Byron York followed Keyes to get an answer.

"You have a couple hundred paid staff in Iowa?" a reporter asked.

"No, it's not paid staff," Keyes said. "Are you listening or not?"

"It's a question. How many paid staff in Iowa?"

Keyes had had enough of such details. "You are working, I guess, for the elites who want us to believe that campaigns are about money," he told the reporter.

"Do you not wish to answer the question?"

"No, I want you to understand that you don't have the right to dictate our political process. It belongs to the people, not to you. And money doesn't buy votes."

I jumped in again. "Ambassador, I'm going to ask you one more time. Have you personally been doing campaign events here in Iowa in the last few months?"

"I have had several campaign events here in Iowa, but I will not define those events as you do," he said.

"In the last few months?"

"I don't define those events as you do. And I don't think you have any right whatsoever to establish yourselves as the arbiter of what constitutes an event. I will do that in a way that reflects the best needs and purposes of the people who are working with me. Because as I see it, every time somebody comes forward and takes the pledge, that's an Iowa event."

Is this really the same guy who ran for the Senate in 1988 and had his campaign managed by Bill Kristol? Or the guy who scored 14 percent in Iowa eight years ago? He sounds, honestly, like he's had a psychotic break. Anyway, his childish whine about media bias and money made a little sense in 2000, when George W. Bush vacuumed up millions of dollars to freeze out Steve Forbes, but in 2008? When Mike Huckabee is outpolling Mitt Romney after spending one-twentieth the cash? Or when Ron Paul can build a movement online, for basically free, and vault into the top fundraising tier?

Keyes's rants about the media aren't even fresh. In 2000 Peter Bagge followed Keyes for Suck.com and came out with the definitive profile of the man.

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  1. Keyes. Insane. Moron.

  2. Anyone else thinks Bagge’s cartoon (the one shown in the post) in a little, er, how should I say …

  3. Anyone else thinks Bagge’s cartoon (the one shown in the post) in a little, er, how should I say …

    Hard on Alan Keyes? It’s supposed to be.

  4. All whines about media bias are childish. “OMGFAUXNEWS!!” “dammned librul media”

  5. While watching the debate reaired last night, my buddy and I had a few good laughs at Alan Keyes. I knew it was coming because I’d seen the live-blog yesterday, but I guess I didn’t warn him because when Alan Keyes appeared on screen my buddy screamed “Oh My God! What is Alan Keyes doing there!” as though he’d just seen a ghost or something.

  6. Alan Keyes was there so Ron Paul would look sane by comparison. In Keys defense, he has been running for President non-stop for like 15 years now. I can only imagine what doing that would do to one’s sanity. It is a tribute to his fortitude that he is not institutionalized.

  7. Anyone else thinks Bagge’s cartoon (the one shown in the post) in a little, er, how should I say …

    Yeah. Definitely. On the other hand, this is a guy who was crushed by Obama’s pinky finger, so no indignity, regardless of how topically insensitive, is much below him.

    Then again, when he started reciting the Declaration of Independence as a new year’s resolution, it warmed my heart a half-degree. Before it was chilled again by everyone else’s response to that inane question. “Candidates, please pander in a pithy sound-byte form. You have fifteen seconds apiece. We will start with Mr. Keyes and go this way…”

  8. Lest we forget that we in Illinois were punished with Alan Keyes presence back in 2004 in race for Senate against none other than Barack Obama. He was clearly crazy back then, so his recent outbursts are hardly surprising. He also jumped into that race only three months before the election.

  9. This was news to me:

    …campaign managed by Bill Kristol…

    Megalolz

  10. Keyes’s rants about the media aren’t even fresh. In 2000 Peter Bagge followed Keyes for Suck.com and came out with the definitive profile of the man.

    And we know what happened to suck.com as a result.

  11. Lest we forget that we in Illinois were punished with Alan Keyes presence back in 2004 in race for Senate against none other than Barack Obama. He was clearly crazy back then, so his recent outbursts are hardly surprising. He also jumped into that race only three months before the election.

    To be fair to the GOP, the leading candidates dropped out in scandal, if I remember correctly.

    But picking Alan Keyes was great. I could just imagine what was going on in the GOP headquarters…

    Illinois campaign manager: “Dammit! Who can we get to got up against that black guy?”

    Staffer: “Uh, sir, I think we have our own black guy somewhere, but he’s not from Illinois.”

    Manager: “Well get him out there dammit. Hopefully no voters will be able to tell the difference. Muhahaha!”

  12. Who the hell is Alan Keyes?

  13. This is offtopic, but after reading the liveblogging of the debate and an article about the winners and losers, I was a little surprised to see that USATODAY says the clear winner was… Fred Thompson.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2007-12-13-debate-analysis_N.htm

    What?

  14. Chances of Alan Keyes becoming President + Ron chances of Ron Paul becoming President = 0
    So why do the same people who want to treat Ron Paul as a serious candidate want to treat
    Alan Keyes as a fringe candidate.

  15. Wow, it’s funny to see you all have to keep reinventing your talking points to discredit Ron Paul as a ‘serious candidate’. As of now, the things that don’t indicate a serious candicacy include: Straw Poll victories, drawing crowds of 5,000 people, actual, genuine enthusiasm, and being the top fundraiser for the 4th quarter. What’s next? A good primary showing?

  16. Silence, Agares, before I burn your sigil in flame.

  17. I just thought it was funny that Keyes kept saying how he was getting ignored, all while the idiot moderator kept asking him to talk.

    I was just glad that Ron Paul was able to crack a joke at someone else’s expense.

  18. To be fair to the GOP, the leading candidates dropped out in scandal, if I remember correctly.

    Jack Ryan, ex-husband of Jeri Ryan

    Just wanted an excuse to post a picture of her

  19. Re: Jack Ryan

    He was a GOP dream candidate based on what I remember; relatively young, attractive, well-spoken successful businessman who quit his big-money job to teach in the inner city. But it came up that he tried to get his wife to go to a sex club with him. She said, post-divorce, that he did not want to have sex with others, just her, and that he never pressured her to go, just asked. That was the scandal. He wanted to have slightly kinky sex with his wife. The IL GOP ran him out after that. On the plus side, that was one of the final straws that led me to finally be comfortable cursing Republicans equally with Democrats and fully embracing libertarianism.

  20. agares,

    Paul is going to get about 10% of the vote. Alan Keyes is going to get about 0.1% of the vote. That’s two orders of magnitude.

    Ron Paul has already effected the race, changing what is discussed and how it is discussed, in much the same way Ross Perot did. Alan Keyes is a crazy guy whose yammerings haven’t, and won’t, matter at all.

  21. call me crazy, but i think Alan Keyes is the kind of looney bastard who would make a good president. Nobody dared mess with Regan because he was crazy enough to bomb a country just to win a pissing contest. Keyes is a bit like the American answer to crazy foreign dictators

  22. “Paul is going to get about 10% of the vote. Alan Keyes is going to get about 0.1% of the vote. That’s two orders of magnitude.”

    Doesn’t change the math any, neither is going to get the nomination. As for Keyes being the guy with the weird fringe message, there are a lot more people, especially in the Republican Party, who argee with Keye’s Social Conservative ideas than those who agree with Paul’s Libertarian ideas.

  23. I think he went wacko when his daughter went lesbo. He was already a little strange, but before then he made some sense. Now i think hes just angry insane and hateful.

  24. He wanted to have slightly kinky sex with his wife.

    AND it was in sealed court documents from his divorce, that his wife, Jeri, didn’t even want released to the public!

    That said, picking Alan Keyes was just one in a long line of bone-headed decisions by the corrupt GOP machine in Illinois.

  25. Doesn’t change the math any, neither is going to get the nomination.

    Howard Dean didn’t win the nomination, either.

    Who’s had a greater influence on American politics in the past three years, Howard Dean or John Kerry.

    I guess Howard Dean “doesn’t matter.”

  26. Yeah, except, joe, I don’t think GOP party chairman is in Ron Paul’s conceivable future. Dean wanted to give a party with basically the same values as his a new strategy (incidentally, the fifty state strategy was brilliant), whereas Paul wants to change the party’s values from what they are today.

    They don’t want to give him a consolation job; they want to either kill him or kick him out the door.

  27. Rush Limbaugh also just asked “What the heck is Allen Keyes doing there?”

    He also thinks he is a kook.

    Take that for whatever it is worth.

  28. No, but becoming party chair is not the only way a candidate can be influential. That’s why I brought up Ross Perot.

  29. Sorry, joe — I missed your Ross Perot comment.

    …but now that you mention it, Perot did have quite an impact, but it was not in a way conducive to his ideas being embraced; IIRC he pounded hard on NAFTA, and yet Clinton got elected and passed it anyway.

    Likewise I think it more likely that RP’s influence, if he does not get the nom, will be practically speaking to destroy the GOP coalition and get Dems elected for the next 15 years or so.

  30. Uh oh, the talk for Dr. Paul has come up again.

    Cue Edward, enter stage far right, in 5..4..3..3..2..1..and here comes Alan Keyes?

    Could it be they’re one in the same? It sure would explain a lot, especially the whining and rambling comments they both make…

    LOL!

  31. Elemenope,

    I was thinking about Perot’s (and Tsongas’s) deficit-hawkishness.

    Likewise I think it more likely that RP’s influence, if he does not get the nom, will be practically speaking to destroy the GOP coalition and get Dems elected for the next 15 years or so.

    Perhaps, but historically, neither party has allowed itself to be a permanent minority. If one party achieves such dominance, the other moves its positions to attract a larger share of the electorate.

  32. I read in Wikipedia his favorite TV show is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

  33. To be fair, Jack Ryan got a lot of press b/c he quit investment banking to teach at “an inner city school.” But few articles mentioned that the school, Hales Franciscan, is an elite private Catholic prep school, only one of a few in the country that is exclusively African American. It isn’t exactly “Blackboard Jungle.” It isn’t even “To Sir, With Love.”

  34. He wanted to have slightly kinky sex with his wife.

    I’d like to have slightly kinky sex with his (ex-)wife my own self. Does that mean I can’t run for office?

  35. They didn’t make Vitter resign. I don’t get it. Jeri Ryan is hot. Is it the fact that Jack Ryan liked watching other people(I wonder if she swings both ways?) do her.

  36. Seriously, if Hillary wants to undermine Obama, she can have a lower-level lackey bring up the issue of Obama’s electability.

    “What do we know about Obama’s ability to win an election. His only test was a face-off with Alan Keyes?”

    That should take off some of the lustre.

  37. I think you would have to be a bit crazy to run for POTUS anyway. What sane person would want all that stress for less money than an average corporate president makes and then have a target on your back for the rest of your life. No thanks. It might be a dream job for some elementry kids but no sane grown up would want that.

  38. Rico – the same thing might have been thought about Bush. Right.

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