WASHINGTON--Former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Roger Simon, now the chief political columnist for Politico, is back after being out of commission since October.
Simon explains what happened to him--his double loss of his leg and foot--with amazing grace and wit in his Politico column here.
Simon has known White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod, a former Chicago Tribune political writer, for more than 30 years. When Simon was ready to come back to work, he told Axelrod he wanted to kick off his return with an exclusive interview with President Obama. Simon talked to Obama in the Oval Office and you can read "Obama talks of oil spill, frustration and 2012" here.
Writes Simon: "In late April, my wife and I went to a reception hoping to run into Axelrod, and when we did, I invoked the "no good deed goes unpunished" rule. I told him that I would be returning to work in a few weeks and would like to interview Obama for my first column.
"If this seems grossly unfair -- staring up at a guy from a wheelchair and imposing on years of friendship -- there is a name for it: journalism. Axelrod said he would make it happen, and two days later when I ran into Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, Gibbs said Axelrod had talked to him about it, but that there was one condition. I knew then it was all over; I don't do interviews with conditions.
"And the condition is," Gibbs said with a broad grin, "that it take place in the Oval Office." This meant it would not just be an interview, but an Interview, taking place in the innermost of the White House's inner sanctums."
Axelrod and Simon were both guests on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Read the transcript of the show here.