Is Rahm Emanuel running for president already?
That’s the conclusion anyone familiar with the mayor’s ambition would have to draw from the announcement that Emanuel will headline the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Nov. 19. It’s the Iowa Dems’ biggest event of the year, making it a coveted engagement for presidential candidates. Barack Obama spoke at the Jeff-Jack in 2007. A few months later, he won the Iowa Caucuses.
When asked about the topic Thursday, Emanuel seemed to protest a little too much about his potential for national office.
"No, never, not interested" he said. "I love this job, I love working for the tax payers."
Despite his salmost cookie cutter denial, the roster of former keynotes says otherwise.
According to the Des Moines Register, “past keynote speakers include Ed Rendell in 2010; Vice President Joe Biden in 2009; Obama and all the Democratic presidential candidates in 2007; former president Bill Clinton in 2006; and former Vice President Al Gore in 2001.”
For a small state, Iowa’s Democratic Party attracts big names. Here are some other recent speakers:
2000: Joe Biden
2004: Al Franken
2002: John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean
2003: Kerry, Edwards, Dean, Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley Braun, Dick Gephardt
2005: Tom Daschle
2008: Al Gore
Do you see anyone on that list who hasn’t sought a big job in Washington, in most cases the biggest? According to The Hill, Emanuel's Iowa trip has inspired cybersquatters to snap up Rahm for President domain names, including rahmforpresident.com, rahmemanuel2016.com, and rahm2016.com.
Even though he is, for now at least, a local official, Emanuel is using the Jefferson-Jackson dinner to demonstrate he’s still a national player. Don’t be surprised to see him there again in 2015.
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