To the editors:
Thanks to Florence Levinsohn’s article (“A Well-Connected Man,” 14th July), I’m now aware of Phil Krone’s many qualities. I know that he’s a powerful man. I also now know that he’s a big influence in city politics, though the soothing tone of the piece leaves me unconvinced that this is necessarily a good thing.
Throughout the story we find him influencing this appointment, promoting that development project, massaging various deals and various egos (including Ms. Levinsohn’s), all the time exuding the kind of professional bonhomie one would expect from a man of “. . . world-class chutzpah, great daring, driving curiosity, deep religious convictions, striking cleverness, a good education, charming and sometimes biting wit, and long, extensive political associations.” Somewhere in the midst of all this goo may well lurk an interesting creature, a man with vocal and articulate enemies, a man who can mouth a sentence like “The rich often feel they are being left out of decision making and welcome this opportunity to express their opinion,” with no apparent irony and without blushing, but Ms. Levinsohn seems either unwilling or unable to bring him out into the open.
Her article addresses none of the issues raised by the phenomenon of political powerbroking in Chicago while presenting us with an uncritical and slavish portrait of seemingly one of its chief exponents.
When can we expect the real thing?