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Bob Woodward calls out Rahm Emanuel on ‘hyper-partisanship’ in D.C.

Bob Woodward Journalist  speaks Illinois Holocaust Museum EducatiCenter's Humanitarian Awards Dinner. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Bob Woodward, Journalist speaks at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center's Humanitarian Awards Dinner. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 7, 2013 5:36AM



Legendary journalist Bob Woodward spoke of Mayor Rahm Emanuel with a mix of fondness and distaste on Wednesday night while addressing a crowded ballroom in the Loop.

“We miss you in Washington, but you’ve left a legacy, and it’s not all your fault, but there is a hyper-partisanship that is so off the charts, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Woodward, who was the keynote speaker of an event sponsored by the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

“There is so little focus on what’s real, what’s true,” said the Washington Post associate editor whose investigation into the Watergate scandal forced President Richard Nixon to resign.

Last week, Woodward drew national attention when he revealed that senior White House official Gene Sperling told him via email he would “regret” questioning the White House’s account on the origins of sequestration.

Before Woodward took the stage, Emanuel stood at the same podium and joked: “Bob, if you thought Gene Sperling’s email was a political threat, to quote a line from the ‘Untouchables,’ ‘You’re not from Chicago.’ ”

Emanuel added: “I am a little hurt that you actually thought Gene Sperling was a little more threatening than I am.”

In chatting about the now-famous exchange with Sperling, Woodward told Politico last week: “I’ve tangled with lots of these people. But suppose there’s a young reporter who’s only had a couple of years — or 10 years’ — experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You’re going to regret this.’ You know, tremble, tremble. I don’t think it’s the way to operate.”

Wednesday’s dinner at the Hyatt recognized the humanitarian efforts of billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, Johnson Publishing Company Chairman Linda Johnson Rice and Chicago Board Options Exchange Chairman William Brodsky.



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