Democratic Primary Exit Survey: Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan isn’t going to be the next president of the United States. Since he announced his candidacy, he’s been among the dullest in a field of dull 2020 Democratic hopefuls. Ryan’s moderateness has excited almost nobody. And as of Sunday, he’s suspended his bid for the Democratic nomination to return to his home state of Ohio in the wake of the mass shooting in Dayton.

Using this moment to bow out seems politically savvy. Ryan’s gained no traction as a presidential candidate and the second debate was a total disaster, leading his team to produce perhaps the blandest, most pathetic campaign slogan ever. Bernie Sanders also viciously dunked on him with his “I wrote the damn bill” line, treating Ryan like Vince Carter treated Frédéric Weis.

In this MSNBC interview, though, Ryan showed more character and fire than at any point during his actual presidential campaign. His frustration is palpable, and his declaration that Republicans need to “get their shit together” was ballsy (even if he’s already used the word “shit” to describe the president’s constitutional values). Ryan was accessible during this interview in a way he simply wasn’t before. It’s almost as if the severity and sheer emotion of this moment brought out something that actually distinguishes him as a politician and a person. Then, when Donald Trump addressed the nation and misidentified Dayton as Toledo, Ryan expressed his irritation via Twitter.

I’m starting to like this guy—wait, should he stay in the race?! The answer’s still definitely no, but making it a question is a win for Ryan. Just a week ago he was the tepid, milquetoast moderate, while this week he’s cornered the market on public Trump frustration. Goodbye for now, Tim Ryan, and hopefully for good. But if you really must return to the race, please continue saying shit like this.