Keating drew headlines again in 2008 when, as co-chairman of the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), he raised the issue of Obama’s past drug use, calling him “a guy of the street.” Speaking on comedian Dennis Miller’s radio show, Keating said of Obama, “He ought to admit, ‘You know, I’ve got to be honest with you. I was a guy of the street. I was way to the left. I used cocaine. I voted liberally, but I’m back at the center.'”
During his almost eight-year tenure at the American Council of Life Insurers, Keating was credited with improving the trade group’s reputation and putting it on better financial footing. He attracted more than 50 companies back to the ACLI — including MassMutual, MetLife and other large insurers — and moved to make the ACLI more bipartisan, promoting Kim Dorgan, the wife of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), as its chief lobbyist and pressuring the trade group to make is political giving more balanced. The ACLI announced in September that former Sen. Dick Kempthorne (R-Idaho) would replace Keating, who stepped down early this month.
The ABA hired the recruiting firm of Korn/Ferry International to help in the search for its new president.
The ABA is one of several high-profile trade groups that have been looking to fill their top jobs before the new Congress convenes in January. The Business Roundtable is expected to soon tap a new president, and contenders include Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who is retiring this year; Nick Calio, who worked in both Bush administrations; and internal candidates Larry Burton and Johanna Schneider.
The Motion Picture Association of America is also looking for a new president, as is the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.