Rahm, sitting in his old Cabinet Room seat, ponders nature of evil – Chicago Tribune
Turns out, he still sits in it.
The actual chair, that is.
Emblazoned with the words “Chief of Staff, January 20, 2009,” the seat that once graced the Cabinet Room in the White House now sits in a conference room on the fifth floor of City Hall — just to remind everyone who’s boss.
The mayor revealed in an interview on American Public Media’s Marketplace that like every member of the Cabinet, he was offered the chance to purchase his chair.
“I bought it when I left, and it kind of has my tush indented in it, so I keep it,” he said in a recent interview, acknowledging he was sitting in the chair at the time.
Rahm declined to say how much he paid for the keepsake, which is an 18th-century style and has a brass plate affixed to the back with his position engraved on it.
And he rejected the suggestion, first made by his White House pal David Axelrod, that switching from the White House to become mayor had “maybe taught Rahm a bit of empathy.”
“I’ve always had empathy and I’ve always cared,” he told interviewer Kai Ryssdal. “You couldn’t be a dancer if you didn’t have a connection to emotions and a way of communicating them.”
“David may be right, but he may not be totally right. Maybe being mayor is unlike being a congressman or chief of staff. … It’s not like being chief of staff lends itself to public expressions of empathy.”
Though the mayor spent most of the interview hitting familiar talking points about education and the city’s fiscal situation, he concluded the interview with an unusually enigmatic quote.
Asked by Ryssdal’s co-host Molly Wood to reveal “something you once thought you knew that you later found out you were wrong about,” Emanuel, a fast talker who often interrupts questioners, paused for what seemed like an eternity.
“I would say … I believe, I’ve always believed, that even in the worst person, there is good, and I’m not so sure that’s true,” he eventually said.
Whether it was crime, politics or something else on his mind when he pondered the nature of evil, the mayor didn’t say and wasn’t asked.
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