A celebrity journalist briefly toyed with the idea of mounting a Senate bid in Ohio — only to call the idea quits less than two days later.
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera first announced earlier this week that he was “pondering” a 2022 run for retiring Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) seat in Congress’s upper chamber, but according to the Washington Examiner, Rivera said Thursday that he’d decided against it.
No Senate run for Rivera
In a tweet posted Tuesday, Rivera declared that he “pondering running for retiring [Sen. Portman’s] seat in United States Senate,” adding the hashtag: “#GoBuckeyes”
The announcement received a fair share of both support and ridicule on social media — and, apparently, behind the scenes.
By the end of the week, in response to a post from the Cleveland radio station he hosts a program for, WTAM, Rivera gave an update from himself and his wife, Erica.
After a 36-hour pondering whirlwind I’ve decided not to seek public office. Erica and I deeply appreciate the good wishes of those cheering the idea.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 11, 2021
“Fox freaked out”
According to HuffPost, Rivera discussed his “whirlwind” campaign consideration during an appearance Friday on Fox & Friends, where he seemed to imply that network executives may have played a role in his decision to discard the idea.
“Well, you know what happens? You wake up, you have a dream, and the thing is you probably should keep your dream to yourself,” Rivera said of his short-lived plan, according to HuffPost.
“Instead, I started talking to Erica about it and we both got very enthusiastic,” he added, noting that he had intended to run as a moderate Republican.
“Fox freaked out, you know, said pick a lane, are you a journalist or a politician, and I wasn’t ready to, you know, jump off my current turnstile, so, instead I had to kind of embarrass myself and say never mind,” Rivera explained. “Maybe if I kept my mouth shut another six months it would have been a different story.”
Was he serious?
Of course, it was never entirely clear just how serious Rivera was about a potential Senate run in Ohio, much less if he would even have had a decent shot at winning the Republican nomination and later, the general election.
In the meantime, there will be no shortage of candidates vying for the soon-to-be-open Senate seat in the Buckeye State — and it will likely be a welcome change. According to WKBN in Ohio, “it’s been 10 years since someone other than Republican Rob Portman or Democrat Sherrod Brown has represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate.”