Chicago Magazine Interviews David Hoffman '95

From Chicago Magazine:

When David Hoffman ran in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary against Alexi Giannoulias two years ago, Hoffman’s first run for office, I wrote that if he had just a couple more weeks and if he had joined the race earlier, he would have beaten Giannoulias. I also opined that in the general election against Mark Kirk, Hoffman’s experience in law enforcement—head of the gang unit at the U.S. Attorney’s office here and the tough Inspector General of the city of Chicago during the Rich Daley administration—might have allowed Hoffman to best Kirk. (In Hoffman’s record, there are no embarrassing family bank ties or résumé embellishments.)

The 44-year-old Winnetka native—the father of two young children, married to Monique, and, since 2003, a Wicker Park resident—has a resume so stellar it looks like it was assembled by a hired consultant. A progressive, a social-justice crusader who carries peerless law enforcement credentials and clerked for conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Hoffman is a graduate of Yale and the University of Chicago Law School. (For my detailed look at his biography, see "Republicans vow to make Illinois the next Massachusetts. Can David Hoffman stop them? Who is this guy, anyway?")

For a short time in September 2010, after Rich Daley unexpectedly announced he would not seek reelection and before Rahm Emanuel officially announced his candidacy, Hoffman was in the mayoral speculation mix. (Conventional wisdom had it that Hoffman, whom Daley appointed to the IG job—Hoffman held that post from 2005 until 2009, during which time he gave Daley regular bouts of heartburn—might have challenged Daley in a primary.)

In a conference room at Sidley Austin where he’s now practicing law—he’s also teaching a weekly seminar at U. of C. Law called “Public Corruption and the Law”—Hoffman and I spent more than an hour talking late last week. I asked him repeatedly if he’d like to be mayor or U.S. Attorney or U.S. Senator or some such position that would return him to  public service, having 12 years under his belt when he left to run for office in 2010. He was cagey, but my takeaway is yes.

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