On Obama's congressional ballot: Rep. Bobby Rush, an 8-term Congressman who beat Obama in the 2000 Democratic primary.
Despite Obama's youthful charisma, voters preferred Rush on the key campaign issues of:
* Black Panther membership.
* Largest ears (a criterion Obama vowed to never lose again).
And on Obama's presidential ballot: Alan Keyes, a former ambassador whom Obama defeated for the U.S. Senate in 2004.
Keyes has a natural constituency consisting of:
* African-Americans who smell an opportunity to put one of their own in the White House.
* Christian Falangists, who endorsed Keyes on their terrifying website.
* Guinness Book of Records purists, who want to deny Keyes' bid for most elections lost in a single year.
A lot has changed since Obama faced these two men. Rush has coalesced with him and endorsed his presidential bid early on. Voters will reward him with a free pass to Congress.
Keyes, on the other hand, called Obama "evil" and "against God," which isn't going to help him win swing votes, although it might land him post-election work as a speechwriter for Joe the Plumber.
Tags: Alan Keyes, Barack Obama, Bobby Rush, Illinois