August 04, 2004

Why Keyes? 

posted by Paul Smith @ 4:39 PM
I agree with Archpundit: the Austin Mayor makes a valiant effort trying to rationalize why, given the sheer unwinnability of the contest and the fact that Keyes has no connection to Illinois politics whatever, the state Republicans are courting this bizarre figure. Certainly, if I were a low-down, long-term-thinking GOP party loyalist, I would be thinking of ways to throw a little mud on Obama and hope it stains him enough to be remembered at some far off point in the future when the senator runs for president.

But I agree with the "on the other hand" point more: this kind of speculation - that the state Republicans are treating this race like part of a larger, complex game of chess - simply ascribes the lot of them far more intelligence and sophistication than has been demonstrated to date.

I was walking with a friend today who's had experience in state politics, and he said, you've got to remember, these people just aren't that smart. Sure, on occasion they're savvy or evince a bit of cunning. But it's no prerequisite for the job.

I think what happened here boils down to, "Hey, they've got a black guy; uh … here's our black person! Eh?"

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