Back in 2004, Barack Obama was engaged in a heated battle in Illinios for a seat in the U.S. Senate. His opponent? A Rebuplican named Jack Ryan. The outcome of that race will never be known. Why? Because a certain Borg popped up and forever altered the political landscape.
OK, I might be overstating her actual influence. Jeri Ryan hasn’t joined the list of celebrities endorsing the various candidates, but she is a factor in the three-ring circus we call politics. See, Jack Ryan, Obama’s senate opponent in 2004, is her ex-husband. The same ex-husband she claimed had taken her to Paris sex clubs and tried to persuade her to perform various sex acts while others watched. The allegations were part of divorce papers unsealed by court order during the course of that 2004 campaign. The sex scandal resulted in Ryan withdrawing from the race. Obama went on to win in a landslide over Ryan’s replacement, Alan Keyes.
That landslide victory marked the beginning of Obama’s rise to national prominence. It also propelled his presidential aspirations. After a victory in Iowa and a very close second in New Hampshire, it’s obvious that he is a viable candidate, capable of winning both his party’s nomination and the general election in November. And he may very well have Jeri Ryan to thank for all of that (and we have the PopWatch blog to thank for reporting it).
If we swear in our nation’s first African-American president in 2009, I wonder if Jeri Ryan will get an invite to the inaugural ball?