Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm Heads to Chicago

Quietly starts his mayoral campaign with a shout to the Bears

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Mayoral hopeful gives a shout out to Chicago Bears. (Published Friday, Oct 1, 2010)

    President Barack Obama gave a heartfelt goodbye to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Friday when he announced the departure of his brash, iron-fisted chief of staff.

    "Welcome to the least suspenseful announcement of all time," the president said to open the East Room press conference. "As almost all of you have reported, my chief of staff has informed me that he will be leaving his post to, uh, explore other oppportunities."

    That other opportunity, of course, is the job of Mayor of Chicago. Emanuel didn't address his ambition for the job,  but sources say Emanuel plans to begin with a "listening tour" Monday in an effort to build while transitioning from potty-mouth legislative enforcer to like-able candidate. He helped himself immediately by appealing to the Chicago electorate.

    "I’m very excited to be heading home to Chicago, which, as you know Mr. President is the greatest city in the greatest country in the world," Emanuel said. "These unprecendented and great times in Chicago --  The Chicago Bears are 3-0."

    Emanuel then delivered a teary eyed missive about the sacrifices of the men who raised him.

    "My grandfather and my father sacrificed so much to come here so that we could have opportuinties," Emanuel said fighting back tears.

    Emanuel also addressed his much publicized rough-and-tumble attitude.

    "Because my temperment is somewhat different than yours, I want to thank my colleagues for their patience," Emanuel said. "I'm sure you learned some words that you've never heard before."

    The president poked fun at Emanuel's penchant for swearing, too, but gave the man an emotional lift.

    "We’re losing an incomparable leader of our staff and one that we are going to miss very much," Obama said. "I am completely satisfied with the job he’s done.For the past two years I’ve begun my day with Rahm. I’ve ended my day with Rahm.  Much to Amy’s chagrin, I’ve intruded on their personal life. "

    News of the announcement shouldn't come as any surprise. Emanuel's departure has been rumored for months, especially after he told Charlie Rose in April that he would like to run for mayor of Chicago when Daley stepped down.

    Back then it was taken as a sign that Emanuel wasn't content with his high-stress White House job.  But when Daley announced his plans to retire from office this September, the wheels on Emanuel's mayoral machine began spinning furiously.