Alan Keyes’s Martyrdom Aborted

It appears we spoke too soon when we declared Alan Keyes’s presidential hopes over in April. Keyes had failed to make any headway in the Republican primary, and when he quit the GOP to become the nominee of the Constitution Party—the Howard Phillips fringe group that won James Dobson’s protest vote in 1996—he discovered that the activists at the Constitution Party convention didn’t care for him too much, rejecting him 3-to-1 in favor of Chuck Baldwin.

Keyes is no stranger to political failure, having lost (by similar margins) three Senate races in two states, along with two previous presidential runs. This year he waxed philosophical: “I kind of represent, in political terms, the abortion. You’re invited in, but they kill you. You’re invited in, but they kill you.”

But somehow, Keyes has found a way to continue his quixotic race. An article in FrontPage magazine (which described Keyes as “the Energizer Loser”) detailed how disgruntled members of California’s Constitution Party delegation (known there as the American Independent Party) broke away from the national party after it rejected Keyes.

And now it seems that the California Secretary of State is recognizing the breakaway faction. So, barring any further legal action, Keyes is going to be a real presidential candidate in November. At least in California. Why, Keyes’s presence on the ballot may even siphon enough far-right votes from John McCain to tip the state’s electoral votes to Barack Obama.

While this must be an exciting moment for the Keyes camp, one has to wonder: If Keyes “represent[ed], in political terms, the abortion” before, what does he metaphorically represent now?