WASHINGTON -- How odd! There I was, Saturday evening in the Windy City at a fundraising event for the Chicago Rowing Foundation, and who do I encounter but the mayor of Chicago, His Honor Rahm Emanuel? You might recall that back in 2010 I was encouraged by conservative Chicagoans and doubtless by the good government lobby to run against Rahm for mayor, claiming, quite properly, that I had a more legitimate claim to residency in Chicago than did he. What is more, I had a friend on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and, it being more important in Chicago whom you know than the merits of your case, I am pretty sure the Republican nomination was mine. In the end, I took a pass on the race, but now I am not so sure I will pass it up in 2015. Rahm's problems mount, and I would relish debating him on the issues. He seemed like a likable fellow when he stopped me for a picture and presumably my autograph. Alas, ushers hastened us to our seats.
I say the encounter was odd because of all the scandals that are now accumulating in Washington: the cover-ups, the infringements on civil liberties, the government encroachments on the press. The last time the left was using the government to hide the truth, to intimidate and to criminalize free expression was the Clinton administration, and Rahm was right there in the White House, serving as the big lovable lug of a president's senior advisor. On Feb. 26, 1998 the White House sent me an autographed copy of the president's charmless opuscule, "Between Hope and History," with an official White House return of address. I still have it among my mementoes from public service. It was sent anonymously, but I have always thought that Rahm had a hand in it. In fact, I ought to have it fingerprinted. It was like receiving a dead fish in the mail from the Cosa Nostra.
The arrival of the book signaled the attacks on The American Spectator in the press and the government investigations, and the dragging of the Spectator's employees and friends before a grand jury in Fort Smith, Ark. It took a year of expensive and mostly silent persecution -- when the government is after you the telephone rarely rings. Still, in the end we were cleared in a way that the Clintons have never been cleared. Exoneration -- a word neither Hillary nor Bill has ever heard!