Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Pat O'Malley, a Republican Party leader, speaks about the
Jack Ryan v. Barack Obama U. S. Senate race:

Berkowitz: As we sit here on April 10, there are two ways of looking at this [Senate] race, you have an...articulate conservative in Jack Ryan, somebody who we know and who has been on this show [two times], certainly articulate and thoughtful and is a good representative of the conservative point of view-- more than that, but that is one aspect; Barack Obama is articulate, been on this show [seven times], good representative of the liberal point of view, but the question is will we get to that [clash of views] because there is this issue of the sealed records, that is-- his[Jack Ryan's] child custody records, some would say his divorce records-- he would make that distinction-- are sealed and people are-- there are rumors about what is in there and should they be disclosed. Some are saying just that undercurrent is holding this race back from being the kind of discussion that I just mentioned of policy issues. What is your take on that? Is that currently happening and what will happen during the rest of the campaign?

O'Malley: Well, first of all, I know for a fact, because I got a call the day after the primary campaign, and Jack Ryan and his campaign staff were busy working the next day, which speaks well for their campaign. No. 2, this issue- you mentioned transparency before-- there has been some discussion that Mr. Ryan needs to become transparent on this issue. You know, at first blush, one would have to say- you know what, if he is protecting a child...

Berkowitz: If he is protecting a child, we would all agree that should be left confidential. But, if he is portecting himself and the Party from embarrassment, then what?

O'Malley: Well, my understanding is as of just these last couple of days, is that there is a referee who has been appointed to review the file and make a determination as to those items that need to be addressed to protect the interests of the child and distuinguish those from all others and I believe it is Ryan's intention to make those public. So, I think the public then will have the transparency that they are looking for--

Berkowitz: So, is it your sense that that will get removed as an issue and then we will see a race of [public policy] issues or--

O'Malley: Well, I hope it will get out of the way and that we will have a race of issues because I think you characterized both of these gentleman very well. I served in the [state] Senate at the same time as Barack Obama did; I think we shared six years together and Barack is-- He is certainly liberal, there is no question about that--

Berkowitz: Even as Jack Ryan is certainly conservative, to be fair.

O'Malley: He [Obama] also is articulate. Well, some people might say, if there is a moderate in this race- it is probably Jack, because Jack may be socially conservative; he may be fiscally conservative, but he also is almost a bleeding heart, about taking care of kids--

Berkowitz: about caring about the poor and Hope, Growth and Opportunity

O'Malley: and it is not just talk with Jack

Berkowitz: But, you can be conservative and be that, don't you think?

O'Malley: Absolutely, and that's the point.,,I was trying to say that if you are going to contrast them, I think the person who really cares in this race, based on my experience between serving with Barack and learning about Jack Ryan would be Jack Ryan.

Berkowitz: Well, I think Barack Obama certainly cares, too, so we are not going to let it go--

O'Malley: Oh, I have been there; I see how he cares.

Berkowitz: Well--

O'Malley: It's called [the] Great Society, reinvented.

Berkowitz: Well, you have a difference of opinion [as to what policies are best to pursue] but in terms of both individuals caring about assisting people, I think we can say they both care.

O'Malley: Oh, I don't question that.
Pat O'Malley, interviewed on "Public Affairs," recorded on April 10 and as is being cablecast in the suburbs this week [See, below, for suburban airing schedule and locations] and as will be cablecast in the City of Chicago on Monday night, April 26 at 8:30 pm on Ch. 21