My Dinner With Rummy

Politics -- and proximity -- make strange embedfellows.

Nixon resigned the day we returned to the United States. We caught his speech on television -- the first TV we'd seen in two months. Three years later, two other college friends and I started Westword.

Rumsfeld's resumé is much longer, of course. That August, he was called back to Washington, D.C., to serve as transition chairman for Gerald Ford's presidency. He went on to become Ford's chief of staff, and then, in 1975, the youngest-ever Secretary of Defense.

Today, at seventy, he holds that position again, after a very successful stint in the private sector -- where the public doesn't have the right to know.

And so he's irritated by the moody press. And by a story that, like the war, doesn't always know its place.

You'll Get a Boot Out of This

LoDo residents and businesses hot over the parking fiasco in lower downtown were all set to blast the city's parking management division when -- sadly -- cooler heads prevailed. Yes, parking's still screwy -- rates are higher, hours longer and spaces fewer, since the Union Station project has gobbled up even more spots along Wynkoop Street -- but LoDo District Inc., the group that represents the historic neighborhood, decided not to humiliate the parking division publicly at its thirteenth annual meeting last week.

The division had been the proposed target of a Flying Brick, the dark side of the prestigious Brick awards given to local do-gooders, but LDDI didn't lob the missile.

"The door with the city is cracked open," LoDo president Barbara Gibson explains diplomatically. "Do we want to have it slammed in our face?"

Fair warning to whoever replaces John Oglesby, Denver's last parking czar, however: Denizens of LoDo are ready to let fly -- and the brick is ready.

Deep in the heart of Texas: The Dallas Observer, Westword's sibling weekly in Dallas, took deep offense at a recent statement by Denver mayoral candidate Susan Casey, who'd called a press conference to say that this city should sell Cableland, the 24,000-square-foot mansion in Hilltop donated for a mayoral residence by the late cable magnate Bill Daniels. "Denver doesn't need a mansion for its mayor," Casey said. "Denver isn't Dallas. It's Denver."

But even Dallas doesn't have a mansion for its mayor, who happens to be Laura Miller, former columnist for the Observer. When I pointed out Dallas's lack of a mayoral manse, the Casey campaign responded that the candidate was referring to the TV show Dallas, not the city of the same name. Of course, Dallas didn't have a mayor in residence, either; in fact, that prime-time soap's only tenuous tie to Denver was inspiring Dynasty, a copycat soap starring John Forsythe and Linda Evans that was allegedly set in Denver, but filmed in California.

Still, Dallas -- the real one -- does have designs on one Denver project: Miller is pushing for a tax-subsidized convention hotel that would be built downtown, next to the city's convention center. Sound familiar? (If you need a refresher, see the big hole in the ground by Stout Street.) That proposal has become an issue in Miller's re-election campaign, in which she faces only one major opponent.

Casey is one of seven candidates fighting for your vote on May 5.

"For the record," the Observer concludes, "Dallas doesn't have a mayoral mansion, most likely because our extravagantly wealthy folk don't generally donate ostentatious, underutilized structures to the city. They just ask Dallasites to help pay for building them."

Sounds like Denver after all.

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