August 09, 2004

Keyes On Eight Forty-Eight: Yikes 

posted by Paul Smith @ 2:34 PM
I wonder how soon before the state GOP says to itself, "We have the buyer's remorse." WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight gave Illinoisans their first real glimpse of Alan Keyes as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate this morning, and it wasn't a pretty sight. Host Steve Edwards went relatively easy on him, I'm sure to ensure return visits, but with a figure like Keyes, you just get out of his way and let him do his thing. You really need to hear him for yourself, so I suggest checking out the archives tomorrow when BEZ posts the RealAudio of the show if you missed it.

The biggest problem with Keyes, beyond his high-tension voice that is just murder early in the morning, he's one of those guys that uses a blustery rhetorical style of the kind where it sort of sounds like something smart is being said, if you unfocus your ears, but really, nothing too substantial is being put forth, at least nothing to justify the verbal diarrhea. This style also lets the speaker disguise his inability to make a convincing argument. He's like the political bastard child of Don King and Damon Wayans' pontificating inmate from In Living Color.

And it didn't matter when a question called for a succinct reply - EVERY SINGLE ANSWER was long-winded and prone to irrelevant asides. Which can be ingratiating in the hands of a very talented few, but Keyes' stridency is a major turn-off - there's nothing about him to warm up to. At first I was sort of entertained by his mania, but I quickly fatigued at both his tone and the tediousness of his thoughts. Republicans: as wasteful with our words as with our natural resources.

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