Regarding Mike Ditka’s claim that he could have beaten Obama in race for Senate
In the 11th paragraph of an interview published nine days ago in a small-town newspaper in North Dakota, former NFL coach Mike Ditka OPINED that he should have accepted an invitation from Illinois Republicans to run against Democrat Barack Obama in a race for the U.S. Senate in 2004.
The reporter buried the lede of the story, so the rest of the world has learned of Ditka’s political braggadocio only in the past few days (see HERE, for example).
Ditka, who’s not known for his articulation, seemed something less than certain about whether he could have defeated Obama. “Not that I would have won,” he said, “but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”
Of course, that thought is enough to warm the cockles of Obamaphobic hearts across the fruited plain.
In reality, however, “Da Coach,” as he’s affectionately known to his fans, wouldn’t likely have fared well in an electoral matchup against Obama.
Mark W. Anderson PUTS IT more starkly:
[T]ruth be told, Ditka never had a chance in that contest.
In 2004, polling firm SurveyUSA did a head-to-head poll between Ditka and Obama that showed Obama had a 7-point lead over Ditka. Those seven points came when Obama was still a relatively unknown state senator and before his career-defining speech at the Democratic convention that September. At the time, Obama was an up-and-coming political star, and Iron Mike was a fading sports legend looking for something to do.
Then, too, Ditka describes himself as an “ultra-ultra-ultra conservative” — and Illinois has never been known to elect Republicans of that extremist stripe to the U.S. Senate. The Land of Lincoln is not a Tea Party state.