Emanuel Has a Campaign Manager

More

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel will have a campaign team ready when, as expected, he announces Friday he's leaving Washington to run for mayor of Chicago.  Unless Emanuel changes his mind at the last minute, which associates say is highly unlikely, he will return to Chicago as early as Sunday to begin to collect signatures necessary to put his name on the ballot next Monday.

A campaign manager has been hired, aides have a plan to get Emanuel on the ballot, and Emanuel has secured private commitments from several Chicago-based political consultants.  Several people said they have been contacted by people representing Emanuel but have been asked not to disclose the contacts. Candidates need 12,500 signatures to qualify for the ballot, but in practice, they'll find twice as many.

Emanuel's interim replacement is expected to be Peter Rouse, a senior adviser to the president. But White House officials insisted that no final decision had been made, which is a way of saying that, though a final decision has been made, it could become something less final if something happens during the next 24 hours to change minds.  Others, like deputy national security adviser Tom Donilon and White House counsel Robert Bauer, have made it clear that they don't want it. Vice President Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, has also been mentioned as a possible temporary replacement. A request from the President might change their minds, especially if the tenure of the appointment is short. Many White House staffers are rooting for Rouse, who is well-liked and well-respected by almost everyone who works for the President.

Democrats said to expect a mid-morning announcement from the president Friday, where he will say good bye to the departing chief of staff and announce the promotion of his new chief of staff.  Word of Emanuel's final decision is likely to be given to reporters tomorrow, along with the identity of his replacement.

Emanuel will not cruise to victory. Several prominent names, including Cook Co. Sheriff Tom Dart and Rev. James Meeks, also want to run. Dart is probably Emanuel's biggest threat.

Chicago politicos are unsure if anyone has what it takes to beat Emanuel, a campaigner of mythical status, but to a person, most believe he is vulnerable. He may even face challenges based on his actions as chief of staff, including the failure to pass immigration reform and his well-known revulsion for organized progressives.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In