Who would have thought a softball question from Mike Allen could end so disastrously?

Allen, the chief political reporter at The Politico, was hosting a panel discussion this morning when he lobbed the innocuous query at Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, who arguably should have been expecting something a lot worse.

“You take your young people on fascinating trips around the world, headed these holidays to Cuba, why?” Allen asked, unwittingly tripping Emanuel’s fuse.

“Well, first of all, thanks for telling everyone what I’m going to do with my family. You just had a private conversation with me and now you decided to make that public. I really don’t appreciate that. I’m expressing to you, now, publicly my displeasure. My family’s trips are my family” Emanuel said, before elaborating on his answer with a dump of information about his family’s private trips.

Then Emanuel asked Allen for his cell number, “because I’d like you to listen to [wife] Amy and it’s not going to work.”

Allen, regrettably, did not follow up with the obvious question: Who cares?

Contact the author at gabrielle@gawker.com.