Ditka asserted that he now regrets having decided not to run against Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate race nine years ago. At the time, Ditka was headlined as a strong possible candidate to enter Illinois and Washington, D.C. politics via the Illinois Senate’s doors – as he has always been extremely popular with Illinoisans.
Ditka said that he probably would have defeated Obama, and then Obama wouldn’t be in the White House – as he has now been for the past nearly-five years. Ditka went on to say that it’s the biggest mistake he has ever made by not running against Obama.
At the time, President Obama said that Ditka was enormously popular. He also said that he thought that a Ditka candidacy would have immediately made Ditka the electorate’s favorite.
During his talk, Ditka stated that the Republicans tried to convince him to run against President Obama when Jack Ryan – the primary winner – quit his efforts to become the Illinois senator because of a controversy regarding his divorce from Jeri Ryan, an actress in “Star Trek: Voyage.”
Obama and Ditka were in the White House together two years ago when Ditka gave Obama a Bears’ jersey with the number 85 and the name “Obama” written on the back of it.