[Ditka, pictured here in a scrapped 2004 campaign ad detailing his administration’s domestic policy]

When I want the realpolitick of the American landscape explained to me, I always turn to Yahoo! sports for some plain talk.  In this case, Chris Chase’s alternative history of the 2004 Illinois Senate campaign, in which he writes, “For a few days in the summer of ’04 there was the very real possibility that the Republican opponent in Obama’s first major election battle race would be Chicago Bears coaching legend Mike Ditka.”

Indeed, and how would Obama have done against an older,  more experienced hot head with health issues?  I guess we’ll never know.