Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, now mayor of Chicago, hasn’t completely stopped working for President Barack Obama: He’s giving informal advice to the president’s re-election campaign, The Hill
Emanuel, a friend of both campaign manager Jim Messina and senior strategist David Axelrod, states “very clearly” from time to time his ideas as to what the campaign’s strategy should be, a Democratic official told the news service.
One operative calls Emanuel, who left the White House two years ago, the “Democratic Party’s Karl Rove.” This source, like many other Democrats, appreciates Emanuel’s involvement in the Obama campaign.
“He’s one of our best strategists,” the operative told The Hill. “He still has that gift and that strategic mind that any sitting Democratic president running for reelection would want.”
Emanuel jumped to Obama’s defense last week after news reports that the Ricketts family — which owns the Chicago Cubs — was considering a $10 million ad campaign seeking to exploit Obama’s ties to his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
The mayor reportedly cut off ties, at least temporarily, with the Ricketts, who seek city assistance for their plan to refurbish Wrigley Field.
“Rahm is one of the smartest political tacticians out there,” a former senior White House official under Obama told The Hill. “And the bonus he brings to the table is he knows all the personalities involved. I can’t think of a better advocate.”
Emanuel’s involvement goes beyond strategy. Since his return to Chicago, the fiery mover and shaker has hosted multiple fundraisers and acted as an Obama surrogate.
That fiery personality created some tension between Emanuel and Obama, who has a much more quiet style, during Emanuel’s time in the White House.
But now the two reportedly get along swimmingly.
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