A best-kept secret just got out: House Democrats are tapping Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) to run for president in 2020.
Ryan has been dodging questions about his political aspirations, but after watching President Trump win his state and the presidency, he was bold enough to challenge Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leader, a post she’s held since 2007. She beat him handily, but his gumption to run against her upped his reputation so much that he’s become “a potent surrogate for Democratic candidates”, as the Washington Examiner put it.
“Tim speaks to a segment of Democrats in our party that we need to bring back into the fold,” Rep. Matt Doyle, D-Pa. told the Examiner. “I think he has a great message. He’s bright, he’s articulate, he’d be a great candidate.”
If Ryan runs, he’ll be joining a slew of Democrat hopefuls, including Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
“[Tim’s] someone that really speaks to the states we lost — Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin — I mean, those would be areas where he would be really effective,” Doyle said.
The Youngstown, Ohio native is seen by many as someone who can reach Trump voters from the white working class.
Doyle speculated that even if he doesn’t run, Ryan would be a “great vice presidential pick too.”
Ryan, 44, told MSNBC in September that he was unsure about running, but since then, the buzz around him has been building so much so that one House Democrat said, “We call him the white male whisperer.”
“That’s a cool way of putting it,” Ryan said when asked about the characterization. But he quickly pivoted, “To me it’s about figuring out how to craft an agenda for us as Democrats that appeals to the working class people and there are a lot of people working class in African-American communities that aren’t hearing the Democrats emotionally connect with them.”
Asked about the increasing excitement around Ryan, Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Keith Ellison said he can’t endorse anyone. “He hasn’t talked to me about this, but I certainly welcome his voice,” Ellison said.
“Apart from the who of it all, we’ve got to have somebody talking about how trade is wrecking the Midwest,” Ellison noted, adding, “We got to have somebody who talks about how wages have just stagnated for American people. We have to have voices like that in the presidential race. Whether Tim runs or not, whether Tim wins or not.”
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