Tim Ryan Launches Campaign for U.S. Senate with Extremely Weird Video


As expected, Youngstown-area congressman Tim Ryan has entered the race for U.S. Senate. He did so Monday morning, posting a bizarre video to Twitter in which he hopscotched through the Mahoning Valley with his son, Brady, and outlined his campaign themes in awkwardly scripted moments designed to appear as conversation between father and son.

"We need to make huge investments into our public infrastructure," Ryan tells his boy, walking through an abandoned factory. "Our roads, our bridges, our airports. Broadband. We can actually revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains and make things here. We can do it, buddy. I promise."

The three-minute (i.e. extremely long) campaign video serves as an introduction or re-introduction to Ryan, the former high school quarterback and Zen master who has been representing the Youngstown environs since the Jim Traficant interlude. Ever Quixotic, Ryan ran for President in 2020.

The video, which captures important sites from Ryan's childhood, is designed to portray the candidate as an All-American dad who is absolutely gung-ho for Ohio workers. His big campaign message is "cutting workers in on the deal," and he uses phrases like "fight like hell" to signify his blue-collar grit. The video literally opens with the image of boots being laced up.

Ryan strains for the sort of everyman cachet that Sherrod Brown has attained without appearing to try too hard. But to join Brown, he'll have to win in a state that has voted overwhelmingly for Republicans in recent statewide elections. Ryan is for now the lone Democrat in a field blooming with Republicans: Josh Mandel, Jane Timken, Bernie Moreno, Mike Gibbons, J.D. Vance, etc. Woof.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley had been a name to watch on the Democratic side, but announced last week that she'll be running for Ohio Governor instead. Former state health director Amy Acton may or may not re-emerge in some form. She announced last month that she would not be running for Senate, but did so in a letter that sure felt like a campaign speech, leading some to wonder whether she had political aspirations after all.

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