Former U.S. Amb. Alan Keyes is sending signals to allies that he is weighing a late bid for the Republican presidential nomination, two sources close to the two-time presidential candidate say.
This week, Keyes's name was registered to participate in the West Virginia Republican convention in 2008 -- that party's delegate selection contests. The entry fee is $5000 and the deadline for payment was last Friday, according to the state party's website.
Sources close to Keyes confirmed that he has begun to talk to some of his longtime advisers about a run. But they said he did not direct RenewAmerica, a grassroots activist group he chairs, to send in the fee.
RenewAmerica has started an active Draft Keyes movement through its political action committee. The PAC paid for a table at the Iowa Republican Party straw poll in Ames last month, and Mary Parker Lewis, Keyes's long-time chief of staff, wrote in an e-mail that she would probably rejoin RenewAmerica soon.
But, she, said, "To date, I would say he has only very provisionally, only in principle, approved their efforts as a moral conservative voter mobilization," Lewis said.
Renew America's website includes this paragraph:
"Alan has also given the movement's leaders his general permission to undertake their effort in the first place — on the condition that they make it clear that, while he is aware of what they are doing and generally approves of it, they are acting independently of him and assume full responsibility for the effort.
For the record, this enterprise is entirely these leaders' idea — not Dr. Keyes' — and Alan has never encouraged them to undertake it."
One source said Keyes wants to speak at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in Washington, scheduled for October 19 through the 21st.
Keyes calls himself a "declarationist" and has said that judges should interpret the constitution as it was written and in light of the "self-evident" truths contained within the Declaration of Independence. His earlier presidential bids have earned him the reputation as being a great debater and a great foil for "mainstream" conservatives but little else. He's also a three time former U.S. Senate nominee, having most recently tried to beat a guy named Barack Obama in Illinois.