By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

The Illinois Court of Appeals is wrong.

Today’s decision denying Rahm Emanuel’s residency requirement to run for Mayor of Chicago is anti-American and anti-democratic. (That’s a small ‘d’ but I suppose you could substitute either.)

This issue hits home to me.

I was born in Okinawa, Japan in 1968 because my dad was stationed there. At the time, the entire island was a U.S. military base and a U.S. territory.

As I was growing up my dad (who fought communism for the United States for over thirty years) always said it bothered him that I could never become president because I wasn’t a ‘natural born citizen.’

I am very proud of my dad’s service but I assured him there would be plenty of other reasons why I could never become president. (My freshman year of college comes to mind…)

Then John McCain announced his bid for the White House and we discovered that he had been born under similar circumstances. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone because his dad was a US Naval officer at the time and was stationed there.

So McCain was a natural born US citizen from birth even though he wasn’t born in the 50 states.

Clearly when Rahm Emanual moved from Chicago to temporarily work in the White House it was because (like most Americans) when the President of the United States asks for you to work for him it is hard to say no.

I don’t think that going on the equivalent of a political deployment should prevent you from being a resident back home.

George W. Bush maintained his Texas residency and paid taxes there the whole time he was president. Many presidents have done the same thing.

I have no problem with that at all.

The White House wasn’t ‘his’ house any more than it was Rahm’s.

They just worked there.

Chicagoans should choose their mayor. Not two out of three judges.

Dan McDermott publishes three Virginia newspapers: Warren County Report, The Lynchburg Times and The Sherando Times. Email:


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.