By David Skolnick
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a prominent Ohio surrogate for Hillary Clinton, said he “would definitely” give serious consideration to joining her administration should the Democrat win the presidential election.
“Obviously, that would be something we’d have to consider,” Ryan of Howland, D-13th, told The Vindicator. “I mean it would be a big opportunity. From the executive side, you can really drive change.”
As for what potential fit Ryan sees in a Clinton administration, he said, “I would like them all. I love the education stuff. I love the transportation stuff. I love the workforce development stuff that would come through the Department of Labor. The ag[riculture] stuff too. I don’t know how this works. I can’t imagine the pool of people she would have to choose from on any of these topics so it’s a longshot.”
Ryan wrote a book, “The Real Food Revolution,” about healthy eating and green groceries in 2014.
Ryan has strong ties with Clinton, being the first U.S. House member to join the effort to urge her to run for president in November 2013. Ryan, who is seeking his eighth term in the House in a safe Democratic district, also delivered one of the final speeches of the Democratic National Convention that concluded with Clinton’s address to the crowd in Philadelphia.
If offered a Cabinet position, Ryan said, “I’ve got a wife, three children, two dogs and a house, and [my family’s] opinion matters; uprooting kids and all that stuff.”
Ryan said he’s had a brief conversation with ex-Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams, the head of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, about life in the administration. “I asked if he’s traveling a lot,” he added.
But a Cabinet position sounds enticing, Ryan said.
“You’re running a major multiple-thousand-employee operation, which would be fun,” he said. “It would be a challenge.”
Ryan has considered runs for governor and the U.S. Senate in previous years, and said staying in the House would still benefit the Mahoning Valley.
Ryan served on the influential House Appropriations Committee and is building his seniority there. He is currently the 15th most senior Democrat out of 21 on the committee. But three Democrats ahead of him are leaving after this term, and a couple of others could be gone as they are facing tough re-elections. At worst, he’ll be the 12th most senior Democrat on the committee.
Also, Ryan is the fourth most senior Democrat on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and will move to third in 2017 because of a retirement of a more-senior Democrat.
Ryan has shared the stage with Clinton and spoken at her rallies in his district, including Youngstown and a Monday event in Akron.
“As I told her [in Akron], I think people are just starting to really pay attention” to the presidential race between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, Ryan said. “[Trump] would gut you and walk over your cold dead body and not even think twice about it. We’ve got to get that message out, and people are catching on.”
Polls show a statistical dead-heat between the two candidates in Ohio, a key swing state.
Ryan introduced former President Bill Clinton at a Wednesday rally in Boardman.
The former president said of Ryan: “He’s one of my favorite members of Congress because he’s got a good mind and a good heart, and he’s doing a great job for all of you.”
A quote similar to the one Ryan told The Vindicator before the Clinton rally attracted the attention of the national media, many who had never heard his Clinton stump speech before. That led to Ryan trending Friday on Facebook for his Trump quote: “This guy to our friends in the trades – to our steelworkers who he’s been treating unfairly, very unfairly – he will, he will gut you and he will walk over your cold dead body and he won’t even flinch.
He added: “He’ll climb over your cold dead body and get on his helicopter, right?” Ryan said. “I don’t mean to be dramatic, but that’s what’s at stake.”
During his July 28 DNC speech, Ryan said of Trump: He’s “been stabbing workers in the back for years. ... Trump got rich ripping people off, stiffing small businesses and contractors. Now he says he’s gonna bring back our jobs? Hey, Ohio, don’t buy it.”