Rahm's Residency

December 2nd, 2010 11:46 AM

My campaign for mayor of Chicago against Rahm Emanuel is getting under way. I already announced on Sean Hannity's nationally televised program and have Sean's endorsement. After careful consideration, Rush Limbaugh undoubtedly will be aboard and Mark Levin and, of course, the tea partyers. Moreover, I already have two major newspapers endorsing me, The New York Sun, which was very kind in noting my talents and relative integrity compared with the opposition, and The Washington Times — also very kind. Neither had a good word to say for Emanuel. Perhaps more endorsements are coming. Frankly, I would not be surprised if both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times endorsed my candidacy. I am as clean as a hound's tooth!

One can understand the antipathy of the press. It generally sides with good government and clean politics. Rahm's connections with the disgraced ex-governor Rod Blagojevich are a matter of record. You will not catch me on the telephone with Blagojevich. But then, Rahm has a way of running out on people. He ran out on President Bill Clinton in October 1998, leaving his advisory position at the White House just before the big lovable lug of a president was impeached. He ran out on President Barack Obama in September, giving up his chief of staff post just before the poor sap lost 60-plus seats in the House of Representatives in the greatest midterm rout of either party since 1938.

One thing that has not been given proper attention is that Rahm acted on the spur of the moment. On Sept. 7, Mayor Richard M. Daley surprised everyone and declined to run for re-election. That was when Rahm jumped in, thinking he could reclaim the home that he had leased to Rob Halpin, a patriot, in 2009. Proof of how recent Rahm's decision was to run for mayor is that Halpin signed a lease extension in September. A few days later, Rahm made his decision and, with his usual charm, thought he could bully Halpin out of the house. Now Halpin himself is running for mayor, and the 59-year-old real estate developer made clear his hard feelings toward Rahm when he told The Wall Street Journal, "Maybe I'm just as tough as Rahm is."

What makes Rahm's residence problem all the more curious is that after he left Clinton's White House, he made a cool $18 million in a little more than two years on Wall Street, a personal fortune that in Chicago raises no eyebrows but to most Americans sounds like the infamous "revolving door." So why was Rahm so greedy? Why could he not keep his home open? Was it lack of forethought? No intention of returning? Did someone make off with that $18 million?

Thus far, there are no lawsuits questioning my residency in Chicago, which is very similar to Rahm's. We hardly have spent a night in our hometown since 2009. That is in breach of a law that requires a candidate to reside in Chicago for a year before running for office. For his part, Rahm has attracted several lawsuits challenging his residency. The most formidable is from Burt Odelson, a Chicago attorney and an expert on election law. He represents two petitioners, Walter P. Maksym and Thomas McMahon. They never were treated as rudely as Halpin by Rahm, but they apparently do take the rule of law seriously. Rahm has not lived in Chicago for a year. His home is inhabited by Halpin. Case closed.

As for Rahm and me, he is listed near the top of the declared candidates by the Chicago News Cooperative and has 90,000 signatures. I am listed near the bottom with no signatories, not one. Where did Rahm get 90,000 signatures, and why the nice round number? As for my signatories, I have no friends in the unions or riding the city's garbage trucks. I have made no political deals and am beholden to no interest groups. I rest my case. I am as clean as a hound's tooth! Maybe that will be my slogan, a sketch of a hound's tooth. Need I say more?

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. His new book is "After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery." To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.