The year was 2004. The setting was Illinois. At stake was the open senate seat and the one that everyone wanted to run for it was Mike Ditka.
Ditka, a Republican, but also a former famous football coach for the Chicago Bears and a television commentator and speaker was asked to run for the seat. Based on his positive popularity and name recognition, the Republicans thought for sure he would win easily.
But he decided not to run.
“I’ve thought about it. I’ve talked to my family. I’ve talked to some close friends. I have a lot of commitments that I’ve made previous to this coming up, some obligations to my partners here at this restaurant. And therefore, it’s something that I can’t do at this time,” he said.
Which is fine, we can all admire a man that stands by his word and his commitments, but had he ran– and more importantly, had he won– we would not be in the same situation we are in today.
You see, because he did not run, Alan Keyes made the bid– while he was not even living in the state! He lost with a carpet-bagger brand attached to him to a young man with passion, who had a chance to speak at the Democrat Convention that year.
That man was Barak Obama.
So, you see my friends, if Coach Ditka had run and won in 2004, we wouldn’t be talking about Barak Obama in 2008.