Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #3 Jack Ryan


Name: Jack Ryan
Education: BA, Economics – Boston College; Doctorate of History – Georgetown University
CV Highlights: Second Lieutenant (United States Marine Corps); Stockbroker (Merrill Lynch); Professor of History (United States Naval Academy); Analyst (CIA); National Security Advisor; President of the United States of America.

[Note: Not to be confused with the other real-world politico whose Senatorial career imploded after divorce details became public. ]

When I was growing up on Long Island, there was always a Tom Clancy novel on my father’s nightstand. He would read the books slowly, very slowly. Come to think of it, I never actually saw him with the book in hand, reading, but every two or three years I’d notice he had moved on to the next volume in the series. In researching Ryan for this post, I understand now my father’s persistent if leisurely-paced dedication to the series: Jack Ryan is the Republican Jed Bartlett, the clever, conservative, media-savvy war president that could unite red, blue, and purple states.

It’s hard not to get excited about Ryan after reading his resume. After a post-college military career cut short by injury, Ryan made millions investing in stocks. Reluctantly pulled into government service, Ryan eventually embraced this career and rose from CIA analyst to NSA to VP and ultimately to the Presidency when a terrorist action destroyed the Capitol, killing the former president and most of Congress and Cabinet. In his government service Ryan foiled numerous terrorist plots and mostly famously assisted the defection of a USSR submarine crew. He also negotiated a workable Mideast peace plan and won a land war in China.

While the the world we live in isn’t as chaotic as Clancy’s (the US fights wars with a merged Iran-Iraq, Japan, and China in less than a decade), I look around us and I wouldn’t mind a Ryan presidency navigating our geopolitical waters.

Other Fictional DC Residents

3 Comments so far

  1. Luis (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 4:24 pm

    Ummm. I’m no Clancy fanatic, but if I remember correctly, Ryan’s house sits on a cliff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. Although a lot of the action is DC based, he doesn’t live here (you know, if he were alive and not a fictional character and all).

    Does that still count?

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

    He does when he moves into the White House :)

  3. Doug (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 5:22 pm

    I’m not a huge Clancy fan either, but the Hunt for Red October was a good yarn. Like you, my father read all of them, and about a bazillion others in the same genre.

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