This may be a Republican masterstroke. Mike Ditka is still wildly popular in Chicago, and if picked to replace Ryan in the race against Obama, I would immediately bank on him as the frontrunner. He would grab a very large portion of the undecideds, and probably also pull in significant numbers of otherwise non-voters. Could this selection do the impossible, and put Illinois into play for Bush?
Homepage for the grassroots movement here. Ditka's work in the Republican party here.