I’m guessing that for the first time in any modern election, we will not see a significant number of undecided voters when it comes to the Illinois Senate race; now a match-up between Barack Obama and Alan Keyes, a man who rose to national prominence as a presidential candidate slash traveling stand-up comedian by way of actually saying out loud the nutty things many in the religious right settle for thinking to themselves or muttering under their breath whenever someone at Fox News rails against the Hollywood elite.
Obama should win handily, but having a sort of funny dude with nothing to lose as an opponent is not without its risks to reputation and poise.
Many analysts are pointing out that no matter who wins, the Senate will welcome only its fifth black Senator ever. That notion could mark the end of race as a meaningful description in politics. Keyes compared the situation to how Richard Williams must feel during a Wimbledon final featuring Serena and Venus:
“No matter how the day turned out, it was going to be a proud day for the Williams family.” (And let’s be honest, a pretty fun and active day for teenaged boys everywhere.)
Of course in this case, African Americans will really only be proud if one of the two African American candidates wins the election. I mean come on, Alan. Even Richard Williams probably thinks you’re a little nuts.