Friday, March 12, 2004

Jack and Jeri Ryan

It seems that Illinois journalists have decided to sit back and see if something more develops before spilling the beans on the accusations enumerated on Rich Miller's web site. This is the usual measured, cautious methodology of political journalism. But those rules do not apply to this case. This isn't just about Jack Ryan -- candidate for the Republican Senate nomination, it is also about Jeri Ryan -- Fox TV star and Hollywood hottie.

I think that it will be just a couple of news cycles before one of national tabloids latches onto this story (predicted headline: "Boston Public Sex Acts"), runs it as a story centered on "allegations" about Jeri with Jack as just background, and the story of the sealed records cracks wide open from interest on the Jeri Ryan side.

But because the primary is just around the corner, Jack may be the GOP nominee before the story moves from web to tabloid to fringe media (us blogs) to the papers to people's TVs.

And then what? Will Jack step aside after the story reaches critical mass? Who would fill the GOP slot?

(Is this looming scandal the reason Sen. Steve Rauschenberger has been strangely, -- even inappropriately -- confident in his campaign? As one of the fellows at the top of the GOP food-chain, wouldn't he have known that this story was floating around if General Borling and Rod McCulloch knew? If I had to fill the GOP slot after a scandal, it would be with a steady, work-horse like Steve R.)

It looks like the fun of the primaries might not be ending on March, 16 after all.

(Last night my wife and I were discussing the “Ryan = scandal” phenomenon. She’s afraid that the next Abraham Lincoln may be growing up somewhere in Illinois, but because his last name is “Ryan” he will never get elected.)