Jim Ryan Claims He's an Outsider

Now an outsider

Everyone wants to be an outsider these days.

First it was Andy McKenna, the former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party claiming his outsiderness in a TV commercial that failed to mention his North Shore upbringing, his MBA from Northwestern, or his corporate career as a boring businessman for a paper company.

He brags on his website that he has not spent his adult life in politics, though he neglects to mention how hard he's tried, having run and lost in a series of races.

Now it's former two-term state attorney general Jim Ryan - jumping into the governor's race as one of McKenna's opponents - claiming outsiderhood. Yes, the former state attorney general - and before that, the DuPage County State's Attorney - is now an outsider.

Please, people.

After all, one of Ryan's biggest liabilities is his past relationship with Stuart Levine, an insider's insider who has pled guilty on corruption charges and cut a deal with the feds to testify against Rod Blagojevich.

"I think I bring a fresh perspective," Ryan told WGN-AM. "I’ve been out of government for a long time."

Ryan lost the governor's race to Blagojevich seven years ago.

"I look at politics differently now," he told the Decatur Herald & Review.

Perhaps he's learned to obfuscate better. Rich Miller of The Capitol Fax Blog handed Ryan the Flip-Flop Award of the Day for already reversing himself on taxes.

"As the old saying goes, the only truly honest politician is a retired politician," Miller writes.

Maybe when Ryan was out of politics he truly was an outsider - if by outsider we mean someone who actually says what they believe. Funny how politicians believe they have to pretend to be what voters really want them to be instead of actually just being that very thing.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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