Halperin: Kristol 'Insane And Absurd' To Claim Chicago Run Pretext To Get Rahm Out Of White House

Paging Rick Sanchez!  The recently-canned CNNer could be perfectly placed to mediate the incipient feud between two media types who, as Sanchez might say, are "a lot like Jon Stewart" . . .

Mark Halperin has called Bill Kristol's theory that Rahm Emanuel's run for mayor of Chicago is a pretext to get him out of the White House "misguided, insane and absurd."

The Time editor and MSNBC analyst was reacting to a clip aired at the top of today's Morning Joe of Kristol expounding his notion.  Halperin knew he was about to stir things up, rhetorically asking "is it too early for me to pick a major fight with Bill Kristol?" before plunging ahead.  View video here.

 

BILL KRISTOL [in clip from Fox News Sunday]: I love the way the whole media's decided to accept Rahm's story that he's always wanted to be mayor of Chicago. Of course he grew up in the suburbs, went to college in New York, worked in Washington, DC, went back to Chicago in 1999.  I bet you could Google "Rahm Emanuel" and never find him saying a word about being mayor of Chicago until it conveniently became his life-long ambition so that they could give him a nice excuse for leaving the White House.
. . .
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Since we have Mark in Chicago, Mark why don't you play off the Bill Kristol comment.  I think Bill Kristol is speaking there as someone who doesn't understand that being mayor of Chicago, that's like, if you're from Chicago, that's like being more important than President of the United States for a lot of people.
MARK HALPERIN: Is it too early for me to pick a major fight with Bill Kristol?

SCARBOROUGH: No, no.

HALPERIN:  That is the most misguided thing, how is that is the most misguided thing I've heard on television.  Rahm has wanted to be mayor of Chicago for a long time.  The president didn't want to lose Rahm. The notion that this is some made-up excuse to get Rahm out of the White House is insane and absurd.
So for people from Chicago, being mayor is more important than being president? There are a lot of folks out there wishing Barack Obama had felt that way . . .

 

BILL KRISTOL [in clip from Fox News Sunday]: I love the way the whole media's decided to accept Rahm's story that he's always wanted to be mayor of Chicago. Of course he grew up in the suburbs, went to college in New York, worked in Washington, DC, went back to Chicago in 1999.  I bet you could Google "Rahm Emanuel" and never find him saying a word about being mayor of Chicago until it conveniently became his life-long ambition so that they could give him a nice excuse for leaving the White House.
. . .
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Since we have Mark in Chicago, Mark why don't you play off the Bill Kristol comment.  I think Bill Kristol is speaking there as someone who doesn't understand that being mayor of Chicago, that's like, if you're from Chicago, that's like being more important than President of the United States for a lot of people.
MARK HALPERIN: Is it too early for me to pick a major fight with Bill Kristol?

SCARBOROUGH: No, no.

HALPERIN:  That is the most misguided thing, how is that is the most misguided thing I've heard on television.  Rahm has wanted to be mayor of Chicago for a long time.  The president didn't want to lose Rahm. The notion that this is some made-up excuse to get Rahm out of the White House is insane and absurd.
So for people from Chicago, being mayor is more important than being president? There are a lot of folks out there wishing Barack Obama had felt that way . . .

Kristol Right About Googling?

I took up Kristol's suggestion and Googled "rahm emanuel want to be mayor of chicago."  The earliest reference I found was this April 19, 2010 HuffPo item reporting that Emanuel had expressed the ambition in a Charlie Rose interview that day.
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.