WASHINGTON -- Ah so, every day, in every way, it becomes ever clearer that Rahm Emanuel's campaign for mayor of Chicago and mine have striking similarities. Rahm went off to Washington two years ago to pursue politics on the national stage. I left Chicago about 40 years ago to pursue politicians on the national stage, particularly huckster politicians. Two of my targets were Rahm's old boss Bill Clinton and the president's boss, Hillary.
This fall, we returned rather recklessly, both to run for mayor. I immediately had major newspapers supporting me and at least one national figure, Sean Hannity, on his estimable TV show. Rahm flummoxed around in the city. His ill-considered campaign was attacked as that of a "carpetbagger" after it became clear that he had not lived in his home for the past two years. His house was in possession of one Rob Halpin, who refused to leave. It was the gesture of a patriot. Critics have hardly questioned my Chicago residency. His friendship with Rod Blagojevich, the disgraced former governor, has been raised. Anyone who has looked into the matter knows I am clean as a hound's tooth. Yet Rahm and I do have the nagging question of our residency. Two judicial panels have taken it up, and this week the second, an appeals court, rejected him. Now his fate is with the Illinois Supreme Court. The courts have not dealt with me yet.
About the time that The New York Sun endorsed me -- "(Tyrrell's candidacy will) be the freshest breeze out of the Windy City since Lincoln ... Tyrrell is right in the Chicago tradition ... Tyrrell is of the more literary turn, but he can talk with the windiest of the Chicago wise men ... He was born in Chicago of a family with deep roots in the best tradition of Illinois politics" -- I offered to enter into a joint legal action with Rahm, challenging the one-year residency requirement for running for mayor. But I have heard nothing from his crack legal team. Shortly thereafter The Washington Times added, "Tyrrell vows to pursue policies informed by the most energetic minds of the modern age, such as former American Spectator contributors Milton Friedman and Edward C. Banfield." I was willing even then to pool my resources with Rahm and see whether we could not get this irksome residency requirement waived, but to no avail.
Last week, Rahm raised more than $10 million for his campaign. Now he may have to return it, for it is apparent that he is in the same mess as I am. I have suffered no such embarrassment.