Mayoral hopeful Bill Daley, former U.S. commerce secretary during the Clinton administration, is flying to the nation’s capital Tuesday to honor a man he very much admired: former President George Herbert Walker Bush — the Republican president defeated by Bill Clinton in 1992.
Daley, who tells Sneed he had a long and very friendly relationship with Bush, plans to attend his memorial services.
“I first met him in the early 1990s during the Bush-Clinton debate in 1992,” said Daley, who eventually became President Barack Obama’s chief of staff. “He came over and said ‘hi’ to me and Rich (former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley).
“Off and on he called me when I was commerce secretary, including once to tell me about a problem with lobster fishermen in Maine. [Bush lived in Kennebunkport, Maine., from May to October.]
“He was the first one who called me when I went to work for SBC in Texas — and this was only a year after the Bush-Gore election and I was the chair of [Al] Gore’s [presidential] campaign. He hosted a dinner party for me in Houston with Jim Baker and Lloyd Bentsen and others.
“We stayed in touch and a few years ago, when my wife and I were vacationing in Maine, we went to visit him in Kennebunkport. He was always very nice and kind and gracious. He will be missed.”
On Wednesday morning, family and friends will gather at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., for a memorial service. President Donald Trump has designated Wednesday as a national day of mourning, the White House announced.
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Hold ‘em & fold ‘em!
Legendary Bears coach Mike Ditka, who was released from a hospital in Naples, Florida, recently following a heart attack and pacemaker implant, is up to his old tricks.
But not on the links this time. (Close . . . but no cigar!)
Sneed is told Da Coach was seen playing gin rummy with his buddies at the Olde Florida Golf Club, where he is a member — and where he had gone the day before Thanksgiving to golf shortly before complaining about not feeling well, and being rushed to a hospital.
You asked for it: Several readers asked to see a close-up of the pin worn by Jane Byrne when she was sworn in to office as the city’s first female mayor in 1979 that Sneed wrote about over the weekend. Byrne’s daughter, Kathy Byrne, gave it to current mayoral candidate Susana Mendoza to wear on the campaign trail as a good-luck charm. The younger Byrne is Mendoza’s campaign manager.
You got it: Here it is!
Sneedlings . . .
Condolences to the family of attorney/sports agent Steve Zucker, who died Sunday night at the age of 78. He recently published a book about his career titled: “Playing Games is Serious Business.” … I spy: “Chicago Med actors Brian Tee, Yaya DaCosta and Torrey DeVitto spotted at TAO over the weekend. … Ditto for Chicago PD” and “Fire” stars Jesse Lee Soffer, Annie Ilonzeh and Taylor Kinney. . . . Comedian George “Cheers” Wendt dining at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie on Sunday. . . . Today’s birthdays: Jay-Z, 49; Tyra Banks, 45; and Marisa Tomei, 54.