Campaign in crisis

He tried, and tried, and tried, but alas Republican wannabe Illinois Senator Jack Ryan couldn't save his campaign. After an allegation like this...

CHICAGO — The former wife of Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan claimed in divorce documents released Monday that he pressured her to perform sex acts in clubs while others watched.

...it was always going to be difficult. Still, the Ryan campaign weren't going to go down without a fight.

First, on Tuesday, this...

Calls for Ryan to leave the race came almost immediately after the revelations, but Ryan rejected them.

"I think this is a new low for politics," Ryan said Tuesday on Chicago's WLS-AM. "It seems to me it's just a new standard, and I don't think it's healthy for our democracy."

"There's no breaking of any laws," he said in an interview on WBEZ-FM. "There's no breaking of any marriage laws. There's no breaking of the Ten Commandments anywhere."


Then on Thursday, this...

Senate candidate Jack Ryan, facing embarrassing sex allegations in his divorce records, canceled his fund-raising trip to Washington on Thursday amid signs of declining support from Republican leaders.

Spokeswoman Kelli Phiel denied rumors that he is considering withdrawing from the race, saying "Jack Ryan is in the race to stay."


But on Friday, in an official statement, it had come to this:

"The debate between competing visions and philosophies is a vital one the voters of Illinois absolutely deserve. Elections, after all, are about choices. But it's clear to me that a vigorous debate on the issues most likely could not take place if I remain in the race.

"What would take place, rather, is a brutal, scorched-earth campaign — the kind of campaign that has turned off so many voters, the kind of politics I refuse to play.

"Accordingly, I am today withdrawing from the race."


An interesting lesson in campaign crisis management, but one that was ultimately unsuccessful. It seems that the complete lack of contrition or regret didn't help Ryan, nor did the sharp contrast between family-values rhetoric and sharing the love in practice. Still, every cloud has a silver lining. Anyone wanna be a Senator for Illinois?

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