So, the Illinois Republicans are so hard up for a candidate in the U.S. Senate race — the GOP’s primary nominee got blown up by a sordid sex bomb that had been hiding in a sealed divorce-case file — that they’re close to naming Alan Keyes of Maryland to run against Democrat Barack Obama. The reasons: He’s black, like Obama; he’s known, like Obama; and unlike Obama, he’s conservative. (And there is another hopeful: Andrea Grubb Barthwell, a doctor who used to be with the Office of National Drug Control Policy. She’s also black, which is suddenly a quality the Republicans seem to value quite highly.)
But back to Keyes: Some of the Party of Lincolners say that the fact he’s a nonresident is a nonissue, pointing to the Bobby Kennedy/Hillary Clinton precedent in New York state. Well, there’s one big difference: Running for the Senate in their newly adopted state was their idea, at least; they didn’t have a lot of desperate party hacks with a ballot vacancy to fill begging them to run, please run.
One fun detail from the Trib’s story on Tuesday’s GOP ballot confab:
Three men who showed up unannounced were allowed to speak to the committee as was a 32-year-old Florida man wearing an 18th Century powdered wig. The only person who said he wanted to speak to the committee but wasn’t allowed to enter was a protester standing on the sidewalk outside the club wearing lederhosen.
Bummer for the lederhosen guy.
And this late update: The candidate-deprived Republicans have asked Keyes to accept the party’s nod — even though I’ll bet he can’t find Kankakee on the map. And Keyes says he’ll think about running and let them know his answer this weekend. The Sun-Times quotes him as saying, “If I do step forward to accept this challenge, I will be laying it all on the line.” Whoa! He’s going to lay it all on the line! Get ready for the fur and family values to start flyin’.