Alan Keyes is a former Ambassador to the Economic and Social Counsel of the United Nations who ran against Barack Obama in 2004 for the U.S. Senate and in the 2008 Republican Presidential Primary.
2004 General Election
- Main Article: Obama born_alive controversy
After a number of candidates including former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka declined to run, the Illinois GOP finally settled on Alan Keyes with less than 3 months left before the November 2004 election. His sudden entrance into the state for the election was initially attacked in the press as "carpetbagging". Keyes repeatedly claimed his primary motivation for entering a race he had seemingly no chance of winning was his disgust at Obama's votes on the popular Born Alive bills. Keyes, from his first day of arriving in Illinois (August 9, 2004), accused Obama of having voted against bills mandating medical care for newborn children, and supporting "infanticide" (the term twice used in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act) where hospitals left newborn infants to die like garbage.
|“|| "I'll also tell you quite clearly and unequivocally that if those [Obama's liberal votes] had been the only points of difference between us, it would not have been me! What finally caught my eye, however... was when I learned that in April 2002, Obama had cast a vote that would continue to allow LIVE BIRTH ABORTIONS in the state of Illinois. It's very important that you understand what I'm talking about. We are talking about a situation in which, in the course of an abortion procedure, a child has been born alive -- she is out of the womb, breathing and living on her own -- and Obama cast a vote AGAINST the idea that that child's life should be spared. Obama's position and his vote would make it legal to condemn that innocent babe to death!"
-Alan Keyes, August 18, 2004
Obama in a debate on October 13, 2004, defended himself against Keyes' accusations of infanticide, retorting,
|“||"If Ambassador Keyes had called me up, he could have saved himself a trip, because existing Illinois law mandates that any infant that has a chance of survival is provided life-saving treatment."||”|
However, Keyes' rhetoric, calling Obama's votes "the slaveholder's position" and saying "Jesus Christ would not vote for Obama" was widely ridiculed by the press. Keyes' unabashed criticism of homosexuality as "selfish hedonism" also led to his demonization in the press when he was asked by gay radio host Michelangelo Signorile if that made Mary Cheney one as well, and Keyes answered, "Of course she is. That goes by definition." Major publications then criticized him as having "lashed out", "trashed", and "attacked" Mary Cheney as a sinner. Keyes pointed out that he never brought up the subject, and was simply responding to the show's host, stating "You have intervened in order to try to personalize the discussion of an issue that I did not personalize. The people asking me the question did so and if that's inappropriate, blame the media. Don't blame me."
Obama would ultimately win the election, 70% to 27%.
- Spivak, Todd (2008, February 28). "Barack Obama and Me." Houston Press.
- CNN (2004, August 9). "Keyes Challenges Obama for Illinois Senate Seat."
- MSNBC (2008, February 20). "Obama Becomes Rising Star Among Democrats."
- Chicago Tribune. "The GOP's Rent-A-Senator."
- Washington Post (2004, August 9). "Mr. Keyes the Carpetbagger.
- Pearson, Rick (2004, September 5). "Keyes, State GOP Gearing Up Blame Campaign." Chicago Tribune.
- Associated Press (2004, August 9). "Keyes Assails Obama's Abortion Views."
- United States Congress (2003, March 13). "S.3: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003."
- Smiley, Tavis (2004, August 31). "Alan Keyes on the Tavis Smiley Show." NPR.
- CBS2 Chicago (2004, August 30). "Alan Keyes on CBS2 Chicago This Morning." This Morning.
- Keyes, Alan (2004, August 18). "How You Can Help Alan Keyes for Senate!." Keyes2004 Inc.
- Chicago Tribune (2004, October 13). "Debate or Discussion?"
- Thomas, Scott (2004, September 7). "Alan Keyes on the Scott Thomas Show (AM1160 - WYLL)." Scott Thomas Show. Chicago, Illinois.
- Signorile, Michelangelo (2004, August 31). "Alan Keyes Discusses Homosexuality with Sirius OutQ." Sirius OutQ.
- Associated Press. "Keyes: Cheney's Gay Daughter Practicing Selfish Hedonism."
- Skalka, Jennifer & Casillas, Ofelia (2004, August 31). "Keyes Defends Comments About Cheney's Gay Daughter." Chicago Tribune.
- Pallasch, Abdom M. (2004, September 2). "Topinka Says He Should Apologize for 'Idiotic' Comment." Chicago Sun-Times.
- Mostert, Mary (2004, September 4). "Alan Keyes Teaches Sex Education Lesson to Homosexual Interviewer." RenewAmerica.
- CNN.com. "Election Results: U.S. Senate/Illinois." Election 2004.