The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, June 23, 2004  

Oh, that divorce proceeding!

U.S. Senate candidate Jack Ryan, an Illinois Republican, expects the controversy surrounding Monday’s release of damaging documents in his pending divorce case to “go away very quickly,” but some state Republican Party leaders are raising questions about Ryan’s honesty and the viability of his candidacy.

The Chicago Tribune reports (“GOP Leaders Say They Felt Misled on Ryan File,” by Rick Pearson and Liam Ford): “Ryan was determined to try to quickly put the controversy over the documents behind him, including allegations made by his former wife, TV actress Jeri Ryan. . . . The documents released by the court also showed that Ryan vehemently denied the allegations when his ex-wife first leveled them in 2000. At a news conference Monday, Ryan declined to answer directly when asked to renew that denial, instead referring repeatedly to his statement in a legal declaration four years ago that the charges were libelous and ‘smut.’”

Meanwhile, Republicans, presumably including those of the God-fearing, “family values” type, are circulating “talking points” that emphasize Ryan “never broke the law, never broke one of the 10 Commandments, and never broke his wedding vows.”

As for Ryan, he offers this defense: “She says three times over eight years [of marriage], we went to places that she felt uncomfortable. That’s the worst of it. I think almost any spouse would take that as, ‘Gosh, if that’s the worst someone can say about me after seeing me live my life for eight years . . .’ then people say, ‘Gosh, the guy’s lived a pretty clean life.’” [Emphasis added.]

I give Ryan’s candidacy another 48 hours, tops.

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