For those who have missed it, there has been quite a brouhaha in conservative circles over an alleged pay-for-play arrangement involving American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene. I won’t get into all the details; see here for a recap. I will thank John Hawkins for the nice words in his recap; indeed, I did ask a question designed to elicit real information from Keene. And here’s the thing: He answered it. And he answered it well. Keene reiterated that he has not changed his position that FedEx Express deserves support against a bad provision designed by rival UPS and its Teamsters overlords. And he explained why he signed a letter that could be read to suggest the opposite.
I myself think that either Keene and/or the ACU come away from this looking careless. But to listen to his conference call with conservative bloggers was to listen to somebody who sounded like he was being very open, very straightforward, and very honest. Not only that, but this is a man with more than three decades of fighting the good conservative fight. This is somebody who has earned the benefit of the doubt. This is one of the people without whom today’s younger conservatives would not have a “conservative movement” on which to build in the first place. Methinks this is an occasion to mark up as a lesson in managing public perception and appearances, not as an example of perfidy. David Keene still merits conservative support.