- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 30, 2010

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will resign Friday to explore a run for mayor of Chicago, the Associated Press is reporting.

The departure of President Obama’s top aide has been widely expected ever since longtime Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced he would not seek re-election next year after more than 20 years in the post.

In media interviews, Mr. Emanuel, a former congressman from the city, has made no secret of his interest in pursuing the job.

The AP, citing two people close to the Democrat, said Mr. Emanuel will begin a neighborhood “listening tour” ahead of formally launching his campaign and will unveil a website “in the near future.”

The White House will face a challenge in deciding who will replace the hard-charging Hill veteran. Like outgoing economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers, Mr. Emanuel was the target of heavy criticism from activists on the left, who argued he has been too pragmatic and compromising on policy.

But choosing a successor with a more progressive track record could be a tough sell when, by all accounts, there will be many more Republicans on Capitol Hill after November’s elections — if not at least one GOP-controlled chamber.

Multiple media outlets were reportig Thursday that senior Obama adviser Pete Rouse will replace Mr. Emanuel as the chief of staff. The AP quoted White House press secretary Robert Gibbs as saying the president has “complete loyalty and trust” in Mr. Rouse.

Mr. Emanuel is not assured of success in Chicago. A number of other prominent Democrats in the city have expressed interest in running for mayor next February.

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