Ditka vs. Obama?Any conjecture here is garbage. Chicago and most of the collar counties run very blue. The red parts of the states are southern and central Illinois, which tend to not be Bears or even Chicago sports fans. Ditka was entertained as an option by a disparate Republican party very late in the race. It was a gimmick only slightly more compelling than the man they got to agree to run , Alan Keyes. (similar to the Palin pick pandering to disenfranchised Hillary supporters, the GOP thought maybe Illinois voters would be just as happy with some other black guy, despite the fact that he was diametrically opposed to everything Obama stood for.) Ditka did not run because a) he was not qualified, having never served in public office b) he would have got absolutely smashed. Illinois voters aren’t dumb. We don’t elect professional wrestlers and action stars to our highest political offices. Jack Ryan would have presented a serious threat had he been able to finish his campaign. He was young, reasonably centrist, handsome, and had populist appeal having left his position as a high paid attorney to work as teacher in inner city Chicago. it would have been a very tough race, which Obama acknowledges in the Audacity of Hope. Ditka as a candidate would have been laughable. Obama would have dispatched with that crazy old man in the same fashion he will dispatch with the crazy old man he is running against now.
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