This 'Hail Mary' Pass Might Work

With all the problems that our party has been having in the state of Illinois, there may yet be some hope for us to retain the U.S. Senate seat this year. With the decision of Senator Peter Fitzgerald to not seek re-election, it is important that a principled conservative be elected to this position.

By now, many Americans know about the situation regarding Jack Ryan, who won the highly-contested Republican primary for U.S. Senate, but recently dropped out of the race after his divorce records were unsealed. Following Ryan's withdrawal, someone suggested to my state representative that Michael Jordan take his place as our party's nominee for this critical position. I at first thought that that was a non-serious idea, but that suggestion was actually made seriously - Jordan is apparently a conservative, and may be able to follow the 'Schwarenegger model' to a statewide office in a Democrat-controlled state. Michael Jordan is even more famous than Arnold Schwarzenegger, and from what I hear, he is actually a conservative (unlike 'The Terminator')... Many professional athletes are, unlike those in Hollywood.

I don't know if Jordan is interested at all in running for U.S. Senate, but this idea may just be on the right track. A big-name celebrity could be just what our party needs to rescue its hopes for keeping this seat.

I just saw that another one of the Republican column editors (right below) has broken the news to our readers that famed football coach "Iron Mike" Ditka is considering a possible run for this position. I do not know much about 'Da Coach,' but from what I've read, he seems like a real conservative - something that our state, and our party, really needs right now. Celebrity status is one thing that can overcome conventional political "can't"s... i.e. - a strong conservative can't win statewide office in a place like Illinois; political outsiders can't win major offices on their first run; outspoken and principled individuals have no chance in certain states, etc. In 1998, another celebrity newcomer to politics, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, shocked pundits, pollsters, and political observers across the country by shattering another one of these "can't" claims - candidates of a newly-formed political party can't be elected Governor & Lt. Governor of a state.

Coach Ditka is someone that would be fun to campaign for, and if he makes a clear allegiance to conservative principles, is someone who many conservatives in our state should be able to rally behind. (It's about time we had a general-election candidate like that again!) And Ditka will be able to attract many votes from independents and Democrats as well, probably including many in Chicago as well. A Ditka candidacy would throw a wrench into the gears of the Democratic political machine in Illinois, and would also overcome the GOP Establishment's continuous opposition to conservative Republicans in major statewide races. (The Establishment attempted to stop the primary victory of Peter Fitzgerald in 1998, with everyone from Bob Dole to Jim Edgar pushing for the nomination of liberal Loleta Didrickson for Senate.) With a conservative celebrity as our party's nominee, it could renew the spirit and vigor of the Illinois Republican Party, and of the conservative movement within our state.

We should know within the next few days whether Mike Ditka will be our party's nominee - our man to go up against liberal Chicago Democrat Barack Obama. If Da Coach is in, this is one 'Hail Mary' pass that could touch down in November.

Posted by Aakash at July 14, 2004 8:18 PM