Rep. Ryan will play it safe

On the side

‘Death by China’: U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, is among those interviewed in a documentary, “Death by China.” The film is about how unfair Chinese trade practices have hurt American jobs and companies.

The documentary will be shown at the Regal Austintown Plaza 10 on Mahoning Avenue on Sept. 7.

Young Republicans: The Trumbull County Young Republicans will meet at 7 p.m. today at its headquarters inside the Eastwood Mall, between Dillard’s and the license bureau, in Niles.

Randy Law, a former Ohio House member who is seeking to return to the General Assembly in the Nov. 6 election, is the guest speaker.

You could see U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, was feeling the heat.

The congressman was covered in sweat as he stood outside Poland’s Dobbins Elementary School on July 6, after President Barack Obama’s 40-minute speech to an invitation-only crowd of about 300. He was standing in the hot sun talking to me about the president’s speech.

Earlier, Ryan spoke at the event, praising the president for rescuing the American auto industry, for the stimulus package, for working to help the manufacturing sector, and if he kept going, probably that the central air conditioning system in the school made it comfortable inside when it was well over 90 degrees outside.

Ryan said he’s slowed down his life in the past couple of years, through his meditative practice of mindfulness — of which he wrote a book — but his political ambition hasn’t taken a rest.

Ryan is a regular on MSNBC political talk shows, and has grown considerably as a public speaker since his brief time in the Ohio Senate in 2001 and 2002.

Ryan, first elected to the U.S. House in 2002, is again giving serious consideration to running for higher office. Ryan said he may run for governor in 2014 against John Kasich, the Republican incumbent.

Ryan has thought of seeking state office before, including governor and lieutenant governor, as well as for a U.S. Senate seat. Each time, Ryan has opted to stay in the U.S. House.

The House is a relatively safe place for the Democrat whose district, thanks to a Republican redistricting effort, becomes even more Democratic after the Nov. 6 general election.

In the end, it’s highly doubtful Ryan would give up the security of his House seat to run for governor.

First, if ex-Gov. Ted Strickland, who lost to Kasich in 2010, decides to run in 2014, Ryan would step aside. Strickland plans to make a decision on a rematch after the November election.

Others considering a Democratic run for governor include ex-Attorney General and Treasurer Richard Cordray, the director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

Ryan isn’t a gambler, particularly because if he wants to run for governor, he’d have to give up his congressional seat.

If Ryan ran, Republicans could easily point to his largely liberal record as being out of touch with mainstream Ohioans.

That’s part of the strategy Republicans are using against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat seeking re-election in November. It didn’t work when Brown defeated then-U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, a Republican, in 2006, but that was an incredibly successful year for Democrats.

Kasich has faced criticism for massive cuts to education and local governments, and voters soundly rejected his public-employee union law, SB 5, in November 2011.

But Ohio has seen 10 straight months of declining unemployment, to its lowest point since October 2008, and is better than the national rate.

The results of the presidential election will have huge ramifications on the 2014 gubernatorial race as well as the state’s economy with Kasich in charge.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.