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Obama's chief of staff set for Chicago mayor run

Rahm Emanuel could succeed an Irish-American as the mayor of Obama’s home town – and jump ship as the White House sinks.

Emanuel (right) has been the White House Chief of Staff since Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
Emanuel (right) has been the White House Chief of Staff since Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
Image: Charles Dharapak/AP

WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF Rahm Emanuel is widely expected to quit the White House in order to run for mayor of Chicago.

The race is on to succeed Irish-American Richard M Daley, who indicated that he would not be seeking a seventh term as mayor of the country’s third-largest city after 21 years in its top job.

Though Emanuel – famous for his foul mouth and short temper, earning him the nickname ‘Rahmbo’ – has yet to declare his intentions, one of his fellow Obama advisors David Axelrod told CBS that the chief of staff would “make a great mayor because he’s a larger than life personality, a personality that loves the city. He’s not a fraid to make decisions and to tackle hard problems.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs added that he had “no doubt” Emanuel would consider his options.

Emanuel, a former congressman, would be widely expected to easily secure the Democratic nomination for the position should he seek it, and would be a favourite for the job with the job being held unbrokenly by Democrats since 1931.

The departure of the chief of staff would be a blow to the president, though in the modern era it is rare for a single chief to oversee an entire presidential term.

His loss, however, would be a significant one as the White House faces the prospect of losing control of both Houses of Congress in November’s mid-term elections, greatly hampering the administration’s ability to legislate.

With few of the White House’s senior advisers having left since Obama took office, Emanuel’s departure could open the floodgates for other senior figures to quit the Obama administration.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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