Government

Tim Ryan Prominently Featured in TIME Cover Story

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is prominently featured in the cover story in new issue of TIME magazine, which is on newsstands today. The article is entitled The Democrats’ Dilemmas: A Divided Party Debates Its Future. It was written by Philip Elliott with a Youngstown dateline.

Excerpts from the article — the portions where Ryan was quoted and cited — were emailed to reporters this afternoon by Ryan’s office.

“Like virtually all Democrats, Tim Ryan is no fan of Donald Trump. But as he speeds through his northeastern Ohio district in a silver Chevy Suburban, the eight-term Congressman sounds almost as frustrated with his own party. Popping fistfuls of almonds in the backseat, Ryan gripes about its fixation on divisive issues and its ‘demonization’ of business owners,” the article states.

“Ryan, 44, was briefly considered for the role of Hillary Clinton’s running mate last year. Now he sounds ready to brawl with his political kin. ‘We’re going to have a fight,’ Ryan says. ‘There’s no question about it.’

“The momentum may be on the left, but picking up the 24 seats required to retake the House, and the three states needed for control of the Senate, will mean luring back blue collar workers in places like Ryan’s Mahoning Valley district, where the steel plants are shells of their former selves, small businesses are boarded up and payday lenders seem to be on every corner. This used to be a Democratic stronghold, but Trump won three of the five counties in Ryan’s district. If Democrats don’t refine their pitch to alienated white voters, Trump could win re-election with ease. ‘The resistance can only be part of it,’ Ryan says. ‘We have to be on the offense too.’

“Part of Ryan’s pitch has been to put away the pitchforks and modulate the tone. ‘We cannot be a party that is hostile to business. We need those businesspeople to hire our people, who just want a shot,’ Ryan fumes. ‘We can be business-friendly and still be progressive.’

“On a Friday in late July, Ryan was padding through the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s annual Italian festival in Youngstown. Simmering red sauce was heaped on polenta, and elephant ears layered with powdered sugar were matched with mostaccioli showered with ground Parmesan from plastic tubes. It was a throwback to a time when church socials defined communities. ‘These are my peeps,” Ryan says to no one in particular as voters swarm him. He doesn’t forget where he came from,’ says Robert Rodkey, 71, after saying hello to Ryan. ‘Union isn’t a word for him. It’s a way of life. Now if only the Democrats would follow him.’

“Back in Youngstown, you can see the wheels spinning in Ryan’s head. He sees a role for a Midwesterner who can connect with the working-class voters who took comfort in Trump’s rage. Indeed, he thinks the Democrats’ future depends on it. ‘We can get the party back on track,’ Ryan says as his SUV rolls away from a meeting with Ohio union chiefs. ‘Someone’s going to figure this out. Someone needs to.’ “

Pictured at top: Tim and Andrea Ryan and their son Brady leave the Mt Carmel festival. Photo by Mark Hartman for TIME magazine.

FULL ARTICLE

SOURCE: Office of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.