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Alan Keyes officially leaves GOP and hardly anyone notices

April 16, 2008 |  7:10 am

Alan Keyes, the former Republican who came within about 1,200 convention delegates of thumping Sen. Bob Dole for the GOP presidential nomination in 1996 and then came just as close to dismantling Gov. George W. Bush in 2000 for the party's White House nod, is seriously considering trying to embarrass another political party.

Keyes announced TuePerennial presidential candidate and former Republican Alan Keyes says he's now threatening to join the Constitution Party and run again this fallsday night that he was officially leaving the Republican Party, which was relieved to hear it.

Keyes is best known recently as the former Illinois Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate singlehandedly responsible for halting the rise of a Democratic state senator there named Barack Obama. In their fabled statewide 2004 contest, Keyes came within 43 percentage points of tying Obama.

In what Keyes' website billed as a "major announcement," the outspoken abortion opponent said he was considering joining the Constitution Party.

"They're considering me, I'm considering them," Keyes told a conference call of several people Tuesday night. "We have so much in common that I find it hard to believe we won't be able to work out a common basis for working together."

The website of the Constitution Party, which has national headquarters in the well-known political hub of Lancaster, Pa., proclaims its political goal is "to restore our government to its Constitutional limits and our law to its Biblical foundations." The party holds its presidential nominating convention later this month in Kansas City, Mo., which is famous for great barbecue.

According to Keyes' very own website, he is busy these days writing books and speaking out on America's moral crisis. During a candid moment backstage at a Des Moines GOP debate in the 1999-2000 campaign, Keyes admitted to a bystander that perennially running for president was very good for boosting his speaking fees.

"Alan's stated purpose in life," his website says, "like that of America's Founders, is to provide a secure future for our posterity."

--Andrew Malcolm

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