The Rittenhouse Review

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

Thursday, June 24, 2004  

Or a Soap Opera or a Stanley Kubrick Film?

Is it over for U.S. Senate candidate Jack Ryan, Republican of Illinois?

The Chicago Tribune reported at mid-day today (“Sources: Ryan Campaign Explores Exit Strategy,” by Rick Pearson and Rudolph Bush):

Officials in the Jack Ryan campaign have spoken to some members of the congressional delegation, asking for advice about a possible strategy for ending his candidacy in the U.S. Senate race, sources said today.

But as recently as this morning, a Ryan spokeswoman was denying rumors the candidate was reassessing whether to continue his campaign.

“We are not reassessing. Jack Ryan is in the race to stay. Jack Ryan will be in the race on Nov. 2,” Kelli Phiel told the Associated Press.

The conversations between Ryan’s campaign and Republicans in Washington came after the candidate dropped a scheduled trip to the nation’s capital to participate in a fundraising event with Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia), head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The cancellation of that fundraiser fueled speculation in the GOP that Ryan had lost crucial support from the national Republican group.

Republican sources told The Tribune said they expected the White House to weigh in on the viability of Ryan’s candidacy.

The Ryan campaign this morning acknowledged it had cancelled the trip to Washington, but that it was due to “other” reasons, unrelated to the fate of candidacy.

Meanwhile, Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass writes in today’s edition (“Ryan Should Quit Senate Race”):

Handsome Jack Ryan looks like a U.S. senator -- rich, tall, with nice teeth and an Ivy League education. But he’s much too delusional for the Senate. Some of us have seen this in him for a long time. Others became aroused only recently.

I figured Ryan was delusional last March, when the Democratic political consultants began whispering about Blair Hull’s divorce files and Hull’s files became public, killing off Hull’s campaign. The politics were a natural extension, from Hull to Ryan. Yet Ryan persisted in thinking that his own divorce files would remain sealed. He chirped and flashed those teeth, a mannequin of a political candidate animated only by his own narcissism. […]

The U.S. Senate is not a place for people like this.

I agree. The delusional do not belong in the Senate. The Bush White House, maybe, the Rumsfeld Pentagon definitely, but not the U.S. Senate.

This story is creepier than a Stanley Kubrick film.

[Post-publication addendum: Also in today’s Chicago Tribune: “Ex-Wife Stands by Allegations” and “Obama Lets Opponent Do Talking,” by David Mendell.]

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