Emanuel sizes up chances in Chicago race
Edging closer to a Chicago mayoral bid, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has started talking to a larger field of potential rivals and touting a set of private poll numbers as a measure of his potential strength.
Emanuel has not made a decision, but one possible opponent said after a meeting Tuesday night that he came away with the clear message that Emanuel will probably resign soon and announce his candidacy.
“I got the impression it is very likely he is going to do this,” said Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), who spoke to Emanuel for about half an hour at the Caucus Room, a Washington restaurant. The meeting came at Emanuel’s request, said Davis, who is also weighing a mayoral bid.
If Emanuel decides to enter the race to succeed retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley, he might leave the White House in a matter of weeks. One person close to Emanuel said Wednesday it was “very possible” he would depart before the midterm election on Nov. 2.
Emanuel would be the latest top advisor to leave President Obama’s inner circle. This week, the White House announced that one of the president’s top economic aides, Lawrence H. Summers, was stepping down to return to Harvard University. Two other highlevel economic advisors, Peter R. Orszag and Christina Romer, already have left.
Asked about Emanuel’s plans, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that Obama was “not aware” that Emanuel had “made any decisions.”
RAHM EMANUELSaul Loeb
Obama’s chief of staff may step down soon.