On Nov. 8, 2012, two days after President Obama’s re-election, Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered a speech at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago to raise money for an organization that supports the private funding of part of the city’s struggling school system.
After the high-dollar event, I asked the mayor a question about his other fundraising role: the millions of dollars he raised in the final days of the campaign for the Obama superPAC, Priorities USA.
The mayor responded to my question by attempting to berate me, then grabbed me, while his bodyguards approached. A member of the mayor’s staff later demanded that I delete the recording of the encounter, and a recording of the mayor’s speech to the well-heeled donors.
I recounted the scene my new book PANIC 2012: The Sublime and Terrifying Inside Story of Obama’s Final Campaign. Last night an audio tape of the encounter was aired in part on The Young Turks.
“Look, I don’t mind being yelled at,” I explained to the host, Cenk Uygur, on the show. “But I think the mayor clearly crossed the line by grabbing me. I’ve interviewed terrorist leaders. I’ve interviewed dictators. I’ve interviewed a lot of politicians. I’ve interviewed a lot of angry people, but none of them have ever laid a hand on me.”
You can hear audio of part of the exchange in the clip above.