The Magazine

Will Keyes Go Fifth Party?

Howard Phillips's Constitution party romances its dream candidate

Jun 5, 2000, Vol. 5, No. 36 • By TUCKER CARLSON
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Keyes's success in the debates is part of the other reason Bush strategists should think twice before antagonizing him. Keyes has a constituency, mostly of Christian pro-lifers who have seen him on television. "Alan Keyes is a hero to those people," says Howard Phillips, and that is probably not far off. These voters may not want Keyes to be president, exactly, but his opinion still matters to them. What if Keyes were to devote himself full-time to convincing evangelicals not to vote for Bush? Does the Bush campaign need that? Probably not.

For Bush, the choice is simple, says Connie Hair: Tamper with the party platform or pick an unacceptable running mate and he wins a wildly articulate enemy with a national audience and lots of free time. Or he can keep the party pro-life. In that case, says Hair, "The day after the convention we'll be working for Bush."

Tucker Carlson is a staff writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.