President Mike Ditka? That would be an interesting alternate timeline to visit.
Ditka, the former Chicago Bears coach, was speaking at an oil company event last week in Watford City, N.D., when he recalled his decision not to run against Barack Obama in the 2004 Illinois Senate race.
“Biggest mistake I’ve ever made,” Ditka said, according to the Dickinson Press newspaper. “Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”
Ditka’s name came up in 2004 as a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate after the Republican nominee, Jack Ryan, stepped down amid allegations by his ex-wife involving sex clubs.
Various Republican politicians as well as Ditka were offered the unappealing opportunity to run against the popular Obama. Ditka and the others said no, and the nod went to a candidate who wasn’t even from Illinois — Maryland political activist Alan Keyes, who lost to Obama with only 27 percent of the vote.
Four years later, Ditka backed Republican John McCain for president against Obama.
When Obama won and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on charges of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat, Ditka was again urged to seek major office. A Burr Ridge man started a website calling for Blagojevich to be impeached and replaced with Da Coach. Blagojevich was indeed bounced, but second-stringer Pat Quinn got the governor’s job, not Ditka.
From the Chicago Tribine via Richard Milz