Ryan’s move brings local excitement

Thursday’s presidential bid announcement by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan has generated quite a buzz locally.

Certainly, it’s not every day that we get the opportunity to rub elbows with a candidate hoping to be calling the White House home in little over a year and a half.

That’s exactly what Ryan’s supporters will get to do today when they join the longtime congressman for his first local presidential campaign rally in Youngstown.

Now, sure, we’re disappointed that Ryan, a Niles native, didn’t choose a Trumbull County location to host his rally. But no matter where it is, we understand the importance and urgency of getting this campaign off the ground quickly, and we applaud that he is hosting that grassroots jumpstart here in our Mahoning Valley.

During his announcement Thursday on the nationally televised ABC talk show, “The View,” Ryan’s sense of humor and genuine likeability showed through.

“I’m just going to be myself; I’m going to be for things I’ve always been for,” Ryan said, commenting on some of his past voting records and the importance of good-paying jobs, while joking with the show’s hosts before he got down to business.

“I’m saying, where are our kids going to work, and how do we come together — the best of government, the best of the workforce, the best of the free-enterprise system — and then at the end of the day cut the worker in on the deal,” he said, noting that he understands the importance of winning Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin in order to capture the White House. Ryan believes he can do that.

But first, Ryan faces a tough road with an exhausting schedule in coming weeks and months. He will face challenges including an incredibly crowded field of Democratic hopefuls; fundraising efforts that must reach well into the millions of dollars to be considered successful; and the need to use as a springboard his current role as a congressman who has not before held statewide office. We suspect Ryan knows his presidential bid won’t be easy, but we admire his tenacity and drive.

The excitement being generated by Ryan’s announcement is palpable, and we hope along with generating enthusiasm for his White House bid, it will shine new light on the Mahoning Valley as well.

At the end of the day, if this doesn’t work out for Tim Ryan in 2020, this experience likely will serve to make him a more seasoned candidate as he considers future bids for the Oval Office, whether in 2024, 2028 or beyond.

Let’s face it: At the young age of 45, Ryan has many years and prospective presidential races ahead of him.

In the meantime, we wish Ryan the best. We will be watching eagerly as he paces himself for this very exciting ride of a lifetime.