Wendy Davis is Jack Ryan?

In late 2003, Republicans thought they had found the perfect candidate to win an open seat Senate race in blue state Illinois. Not only did the Democrats have a weak field full of infighting (a milquetoast rich guy, a union stooge, and the a guy with a funny name who was the most left-wing member of the Illinois state legislature), but Jack Ryan looked like a hero out of a novel.

The handsome Ryan could self-fund his campaign due to his partnership at GoldmanSachs. A Catholic, he went from public school to Dartmouth, and then got a JD/MBA from Harvard. Before becoming an investment banker he'd worked at a refugee camp for Central Americans escaping wars. He quit Goldman to teach at a Southside Chicago Catholic school in a tough neighborhood.

Over the early months of 2004, David Axelrod destroyed the milquetoast rich guy (Blair Hull) by getting his divorce records unsealed. There were some nasty allegations, Hull plummeted and that guy with the funny name picked up Hull's support.

Axelrod pulled the same trick on Jack Ryan. Despite the fact that his ex-wife supported his campaign, during the divorce she had alleged that they had been to sex clubs. There was no substantiation, just her allegation during a messy divorce. In fact, Ryan's ex-wife never even alleged infidelity and confirmed as such during the campaign.

Unlike Wendy Davis temporary restraining order, Jack Ryan never had a judge tell him that he needed to refrain from drugs and alcohol around his kids. He had one simple allegation against him, not the litany of things that a judge had to order Wendy Davis not to do.

Jack Ryan ended up withdrawing. Texas divorces often get TROs issued, but I sure wouldn't want to be running the campaign of someone who had one issued against them.

Oh...and Axelrod's client ended up in the White House.

Posted by Evan @ 01/22/14 09:38 PM


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