Famed Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka wishes he had run against President Barack Obama for the open Illinois Senate seat in 2003.
During a recent event the Bears coach revealed: “Biggest mistake I’ve ever made. Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”
Ditka and his “ultra conservative” political leanings would have allowed him to replace Republican favorite Peter Fitzgerald. That candidate exited the race with little time left after it was discovered that he took his wife to sex clubs and tried to get her to perform sexually with him in front of other patrons.
Ditka and his ties to the city of Chicago and support from Chicago Bears fans would have made him the perfect last minute opponent.
When the Republican political machine called on Mike Ditka to run Obama was quoted as saying, “He’s enormously popular. I think if he gets in, he immediately becomes a favorite.”
Ditka ultimately decided not to run after his wife voiced her disapproval with ditching his business obligations. Ditka turned down the chance to run just four months ahead of the election.
The same month that Ditka declined the Republican invitation to run, Barack Obama gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. That speech brought President Obama into the national spotlight and helped him secure a landslide victory against his Republican challenger, former Ambassador Alan Keyes.
The following term President Obama was elected as the President of the United States and then re-elected four years later.
During an oil field opening ceremony in North Dakota this week Ditka looked back on his decision and in retrospect he seems content. Speaking to The Dickinson Press Ditka said, “If somebody would have told me 40 years ago they’d pay you to be on TV, I would have said ‘You’re crazy.'” Ditka adds, “They pay me to be on TV and talk about something I like to talk about, football. That’s almost insane.”
While President Obama and Mike Ditka don’t see eye-to-eye politically, they did manage to put their differences aside when the 1985 Chicago Bears team visited the White House in 2011. The Bears were supposed to have a ceremony they year they won the Super Bowl, however, that ceremony was cancelled after the Challenger space shuttle explosion sent the country into a period of mourning. At the Ceremony Mike Ditka proclaimed, “On behalf of the 1985 Chicago Bears, we consider him one of us. We’re very proud that you honored us by bringing us here. It’s only 26 years after the fact, and five administrations, but thank you.”
Would you have voted to turn Da Bears head coach into Senator Mike Ditka?