|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2009)|
|47th President of the United States
January 20, 2005 – January 20, 2009
|Succeeded by||Jack Ryan|
October 27, 1948 |
In the novel Debt of Honor, Kealty was serving as a Senator from New England, before being appointed Vice-President following the resignation of President J. Robert Fowler (at the end of the previous novel, The Sum of All Fears). He was investigated on suspicion of rape of a former staff member, and was forced to resign; subsequently, Jack Ryan was appointed as Vice President. At the end of the novel, when a plane crashed into the Capitol killing Durling, Ryan became President.
In the next novel in the series, Executive Orders, Kealty challenged Ryan, claiming that his resignation had never been submitted to the Secretary of State according to the legal requirements, and therefore that he should have become president on the death of Durling. However, in a subsequent court case where he sued Ryan, the court described Ryan as "President of the United States", thereby implicitly overruling Kealty's claim to the presidency.
However, in the 2003 Tom Clancy novel The Teeth of the Tiger, Ed Kealty reappears as the US President, seemingly to have been elected after Robby Jackson's assassination, earning the nickname "The Comeback Kid". Because of Kealty's politically expedient stance, the novel maintains that is why Former President Jack Ryan secretly created "The Campus" – a secret independently funded agency outside of Government control, that can take security operations into its own hands.
In Dead or Alive, Kealty is still President of the United States. Kealty's ineffectiveness in combating terrorism and his reversal of President Ryan's tax reforms has caused many Americans to question his ability to lead the country. As a result, Jack Ryan is convinced by Arnie Van Damm (his former Chief of Staff) to come out of retirement and run against Kealty in the upcoming presidential election.
Although Clancy has never stated that the character is based on a real-life politician, readers have noted the similarities between Edward "Ed" Kealty and Edward "Ted" Kennedy. Aside from their similar names, both are Democratic U.S. Senators from New England, known as politically liberal, come from privileged backgrounds, and both have been involved in sex scandals.
Kealty campaigned against Ryan in Locked On, facing off against him in various televised debates—it quickly became apparent to even his closest supporters and financial backers that Kealty was doomed to lose the race, having never been completely accepted or supported by the majority of Americans. The result was Pavel Laska, a devout enemy of Ryan as well as Kealty's kingmaker; who sought, upon effectively abandoning Kealty, to bring down Ryan's administration—by using Kealty and his administration to hunt down John Clark, a longtime friend and former bodyguard of Ryan's, officially by labelling him a killer and personal assassin for Ryan, as he was a confirmed connection to The Campus; the secret intelligence agency that Laska had hoped to use Clark to expose the organisation. Ryan, in the end, however overcame all of Kealty and Laska's efforts to harm him; resulting in the end of Laska's operation, exoneration of Clark and the arrest of key members of the Kealty administration. Kealty himself lost the race against Ryan by a narrow margin; the president-elect now prepares to undo all of the damage the Kealty administration has done, and Kealty himself is faced by the knowledge his legacy is in ruins.