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“”Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% crazification factor in any population.
Furthermore, another factor in Obama's favor at the time that Rogers didn't mention is that the original Republican candidate, Jack Ryan, had been forced to suspend his candidacy after his divorce and custody records were released to the press, revealing that he had taken his former wife, actress Jeri Ryan, to various sex clubs (including, in at least one case, a bondage club) and tried to have her perform sex acts on him out in the open. Keyes was the GOP's last-minute replacement on the ticket after the sordid details of Ryan's divorce came out. So not only was it a normal candidate running against a clearly crazy opponent, but the crazy guy also had the baggage of the last guy's sex scandal following him, and had been drafted into the campaign with little time to prepare.
Perhaps the greatest confirmation of the existence of said factor in the last decade can be found in a 2003 poll of Russian attitudes toward Josef Stalin in which 36% thought he was a pretty cool dude.
- ↑ Crazification Factor
- ↑ No relation to the character from several of Tom Clancy's novels.
- ↑ Best known for playing Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager. Yeah.
- ↑ John Chase and Liam Ford. Ryan file a bombshell: ex-wife alleges GOP candidate took her to sex clubs. Los Angeles Times, 22 June 2004.
- ↑ Russia: Builder of Ruins