If you ever met one of our city’s two Mayor Daley’s, you would always count to see if you still had all 10 fingers after shaking their friendly hands. It’s just sorta what any experienced Chicagoan does.
Our last Mayor Daley [Richie] was once asked about some of the corrupt transactions that came down during his mayoralty. With that only-one-in-the-world Daleyesque expression [nary a facial muscle changes from its who-me? smile], he offered the reporter what should surely go down in Chicago history as a classic Daley-ism: “I don’t know what I knew.”
I was in the vicinity of that encounter, and bring up this spectacular little political moment for the consideration of our beleaguered President, now tie-deep in scandals. Why? Because it is a stunning phrase worthy of the ancient Delphic Oracle of Greece. It can fit any situation at any time in any court with any citizen Democrat or Republican. I mean, philosophers and astrophysicists should be so stunning in the pungent use of their words
Frankly, I don’t expect President Trump to borrow this bon mot, for he assures us he “knows stuff” because of his great brain. And yet, he might want to slip this one into his next Twitter. It’s neat, brief, and thoroughly quotable.
We can only surmise Mayor Daley’s exact meaning at the time. But I get the idea he was trying to say what he knew about the dirty details of the deal in question were hard [aka. incriminating] to recall at this time. Now notice how Trumpian are the Daley’s, and how Daley is Trump. All three master practitioners [aka. building stuff], not master philosophers [aka. speaking in full sentences]. So quite naturally all three never ask for any shadowy details whenever ordering something be done. Details are for underlings [aka. faceless bureaucrats who exist to provide deniability].
As expected, Richie was never implicated in any wrong doing. However, I would hate to leave a spectacular comment like that go to waste. Frankly, I think it’s as good as most Sunday sermons I’ve ever heard, for it remind us of at least one great truth: We are not the same person today we were yesterday. For good or for ill, we all change; we all grow; we all continue to peel back another of those curtains which shield our steps down the road of public life.
Who knows? By the end of our smaller trip, you and I may meet Richie and Donald there. Where we’ll all remember everything worth remembering….
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