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Hillary Clinton's 'Hard Choices' Tour Launches in Chicago With Emanuel Interview

Can Chicago's respect for the iconic Democrat rub off on the embattled mayor?

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Hillary Clinton's 'Hard Choices' Tour Launches in Chicago With Emanuel Interview

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton laughs as she takes he seat on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, to testify before the Senate State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs subcommittee hearing on the State Department's fiscal 2013 budget.

Hillary Clinton is choosing Chicago, her hometown, as the first destination in her book promotion blitz.

The former Secretary of State and author of the new memoir "Hard Choices" will give the keynote at June 10's Food Marketing Institute Convention at McCormick Place, followed by an appearance the next morning alongside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel put on by Chicago Ideas Week, of which Emanuel is co-chairman. At the latter event, already sold-out, Clinton will make a speech and sit down with the mayor for an interview and audience Q&A.

This week, on Thursday, Emanuel -- a former Clinton Administration adviser and super-skilled money-maker -- will emcee a splashy fundraiser for the Ready for Hillary PAC at the John Barleycorn in River North. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, also running for re-election, recently added his name to the guest list of VIPs urging Clinton to run for president.

Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of Hillary. Her second book, which drops next Tuesday, has reportedly raked in pre-sales of 1 million copies, placing Clinton in insta-bestseller territory with superstar French economist Thomas Piketty. And it's just as controversial as "Capital," prompting the Benghazi-obsessed GOP to publicly whine that she's using the tome to curb criticism of her handling of the Libya debacle. (Here's an advance look at the Benghazi chapter, via Politico.)

Clinton remains hugely popular in Chicago while the embattled Emanuel's approval ratings continue sliding downward amid mounting opposition to his pro-growth political agenda. You don't have to be an Axelrod-level operative to see how Emanuel has shrewdly leveraged the "Hard Choices" promo tour, and Clinton's respected public image, to boost his own faltering reputation here.

Will Clinton's pixie dust rub off on Rahm? That remains to be seen.

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