Mike Ditka Says Not Running Against Obama for Senate in 2004 is Biggest Regret

Heather Ginsberg

10/11/2013 2:05:00 PM - Heather Ginsberg

Mike Ditka is one of the best known names in football. The tight end turned coach, turned ESPN analyst is now speaking out on his political ambitions. Apparently the former NFLer wishes he had run on the Republican ticket for Senate in 2004 in Illinois. His opponent that year would have been Barack Obama.

In an interview with the Dickinson Press earlier this month the former Bears coach called the decision not to run the “biggest mistake I’ve ever made”. He went on to say, “Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House”.

Apparently the GOP tried to recruit Ditka to run for the seat, but he declined the option because of a lack of time to commit to the campaign. Back in 2004 though, Obama was worried about Ditka and what would happen if he entered the race. “He’s enormously popular,” Obama said in 2004. “I think if he gets in, he immediately becomes a favorite.”

It’s really too bad. He actually could have had a great chance at beating Obama in the 2004 Illinois senate race. Just imagine how different things could have been…