By Tully Corcoran, FOXSports.com In 2004, Mike Ditka had a chance to run against Barack Obama for Illinois' senate seat, making a chop block that would change the course of American history. And he whiffed.
This is according to Ditka, by way of the
Dickinson Press in North Dakota. A former tight end who became famous for being the legendary mustachioed coach coach of the Chicago Bears and for speaking so fast he cuts off his sentences before they're finished, Ditka was encouraged to seek Illinois' vacant senate seat the same year a much-less-famous state senator named Barack Obama was beginning what would become a rapid rise to the pinnacle of world politics. Ditka thinks he would have won, had he just accepted the GOP's offer to run. "Biggest mistake I've ever made," Ditka said. "Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn't be in the White House." Ditka at the time described himself as
"ultra-, ultra-, ultra-conservative". but he was not the GOP's first choice to run against Obama, who was going to be the favorite regardless of who the Republicans ran out there. Plan A was to go with Jack Ryan, but he dropped out after some unsealed divorce records revealed accusations Ryan urged his wife to perform sex acts in front of other people at sex clubs. So they went to Ditka, but he said he was too busy. Ditka made these remarks in North Dakota, where for reasons not even he could explain ("I have no idea," he said) he was invited to attend the grand opening of an oil company. But since he was there, he spoke for a half hour and waxed, almost politically, about North Dakota's booming energy industry. “It’s a boom for this state and for the country," he said. "Of course, if the politicians don’t screw it up somehow."
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