Emanuel sizes up chances in Chicago race

Los Angeles Times - - 9• 23•10 - Peter Ni­cholas re­port­ing from Washington Hal Dardick re­port­ing from chicago peter.ni­cholas @latimes.com hdard­ick@tribune.com

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 EMANUEL

Saul Loeb

Obama’s chief of staff may step down soon.

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