A nation of letters

Well, it’s official now. Robert Zimmer, clearly pining for a prime cabinet post or ambassadorship to

By Tim Murphy

Well, it’s official now. Robert Zimmer, clearly pining for a prime cabinet post or ambassadorship to someplace warm, has written to the president-elect to offer his congratulations on behalf of all of us. Okay, well, that’s fine, I guess, but very un-Zimmer-like. The Robert Zimmer we knew would have fired Barack and Michelle, expelled the kids from the Lab School, and announced the University has bought the house next door and is leveling it to build a hotel, or something–and then declined to comment publicly. You know, bold and dramatic action.Anyway, here‘s the letter:

The Hon. Barack Obama President-Elect of the United States of America P.O. Box 8102 Chicago, IL 60680 Dear President-Elect Obama, On behalf of the University of Chicago community, I congratulate you and your family on yesterday’s extraordinary victory. It is with honor and pride that we, like our City of Chicago, watch one of our own ascend to the nation’s highest office.The campus was electric on Tuesday night. From the Library to the Law School, hundreds of people came together to watch—and celebrate—the election of a “University of Chicago Democrat,” as described in Cass Sunstein’s much-quoted New York Times Magazine portrayal. Prof. Sunstein characterizes our mutual dedication to pragmatism and independence, a reliance on data, not dogma, that will be required to address the challenges—economic development, education reform, healthcare access, international relations—that we face.We value the contributions that you and Michelle have made to the University and to the community. We share your commitment to “our better history” and to ensuring that the University’s efforts—research, teaching, medical care, and community outreach—provide vision and leadership for our city, our nation, and the world. To that end, we hope we can assist you as you craft your policy agenda. We are all heartened by your achievement. Yours sincerely, Robert J. Zimmer