We have reached the end of our 2008 Presidential Loser Series, and boy have we saved one of the best for last! That would be Alan Keyes, officially the last major figure to drop out of the presidential race, and yet still a candidate.
Keyes, an ultra-conservative commentator from Maryland, has had an astounding career in the field of losing, spanning three decades and at least two states:
* Keyes' first run for office comes as the Republican nominee against Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes, in 1988. He loses with 38% of the vote.
* In 1992, the Maryland Republicans put him up for the Senate again, this time against incumbent Barbara Mikulski. He gets 29%.
*Keyes decides to try his hand at the presidency in 1996, losing to Bob Dole. He gets 1 vote at the Republican National Convention — the same as Robert Bork.
* In 2000, Keyes still has a bunch of campaign buttons left, so he tries for the presidency again. He loses to George W. Bush and also, for the first time, John McCain.
* In 2004, the Illinois Republican Party — for reasons unexplained — airlifts Keyes in from Maryland to run for Senate. He loses, for the first time, to Barack Obama with 27% of the vote.
And then came 2008, when Alan Keyes realized that, by running for president again, he could simultaneously lose a second election to both John McCain and Barack Obama!
Keyes entered the race with the strategy of dominating the African-American vote in the Republican primaries. And that's exactly what he did, racking up an impressive two delegates in the process! Laugh if you will, but that was double the number that Rudy Giuliani got.
Keyes lasted in the Republican race long after John McCain had been declared the winner. He finally dropped out in April, only to decide that he was up for some more losing. So he threw his hat in the ring for the Constitution Party nomination, and quickly lost that to a guy named Chuck Baldwin. (Which makes it fair to assume that if Keyes had won, Ron Paul would have endorsed him, too.)
In recent news, Keyes got himself named as the presidential nominee of something called America's Independent Party. His campaign website consists entirely of a donation form.
For more news on Keyes losing races, check back with us every even numbered year. History suggests there's a lot more to come.
Tags: Alan Keyes, Catching Up With a Loser