washingtonpost.com  > Opinion > Letters to the Editor

Alan Keyes Is No Harold Stassen

Saturday, August 28, 2004; Page A23

Your Aug. 9 editorial regarding new Illinois GOP Senate candidate Alan Keyes compared Keyes to Harold Stassen. This comparison is grossly unfair to Stassen.

It is true that Stassen threw his hat into the ring nine times (proving either that he was a man of many hats or that he had an extremely durable one). But despite his quixotic quests for the presidency, Stassen's accomplishments illustrate that he was more than a perennial candidate.

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In 1938 he was elected governor of Minnesota at the age of 31. He served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. charter meetings in San Francisco. He released the Minnesota delegates to the 1952 Republican convention to vote for Dwight D. Eisenhower, thereby denying Robert Taft the nomination. And he served as president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1948 to 1953.

While many public figures have perhaps a longer list of accomplishments, Stassen nonetheless found outlets for service other than running for office.

-- David C. Leach


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