August 05, 2004
The moment we've all been waiting for: The Illinois GOP has selected a candidate to run against Barack Obama for the U.S. Senate. Alan Keyes, former talk show host, presidential candidate, and ambassador to the U.N. Economic and Social Council, will likely be on the Illinois ballot. The candidacy remains tentative because Keyes said "like a string of previous possibilities...he needed a few days to think about it." (Quote is from his Renew America web site.) Alan Keyes is articulate, has name recognition, and can probably generate large quantities of cash for the campaign. And he's putting wind in the sails of Phyllis Schlafly, who with great gusto is filling my inbox with calls for Keyes-Obama debates...and interviews on her new book. What Alan Keyes doesn't have is residency in the State of Illinois, and apparantly he couldn't even drop by to discuss things with the Illinois GOP. No matter, the U.S. Constitution says "a senator must be 30 years of age, a citizen of the United States for 9 years, and must reside in the state he or she represents at the time of election." So he's got some time to set up an Illinois address to call home by November 2nd. Yes, I'm skeptical. Others have already pointed out that the final two possible candidates considered by the Illinois GOP are black (the other being Andrea Barthwell, who resigned her position with the Office of National Drug Control Policy to throw her hat in the ring). Gotta have another African-American to run against that skinny kid with the funny name? Let's hope cynicism is misplaced, and we really will have more black candidates from all political parties in the future. After all, only four African-Americans have ever been elected to the U.S. Senate. Maybe it's time for some affirmative action?
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