In Chicago on Tuesday, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel tells the Chicago press corps, 'You guys gotta start drinking decaf,' after reporters asked him about his admission last week that one day he want to be Chicago mayor. Below, my Sun-Times colleagues report on Emanuel at the Richard J. Daley Global Cities Forum at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
BY ABDON M. PALLASCH AND FRAN SPIELMAN
Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporters
CHICAGO--President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel tried to tamp down talk about him running for Mayor of Chicago as he appeared Tuesday at the Richard J. Daley annual Global Cities Forum at UIC.
At the same time, Emanuel gave what might be construed as a window into how he would govern as mayor, advocating a regional approach, cooperating with suburbs to tackle problems. Emanuel shared the stage with mayors of Paris and Philadelphia.
"Emanuel has recently expressed an interest in being mayor of the city of Chicago AFTER Mayor Daley steps down," moderator Judy Woodruff said. "But the consensus is that before that happens he's going to have to get some real experience."
As laughter broke out, Emanuel said, "I'm smiling."
When reporters pressed him on the issue, Emanuel told them to calm down, implying it was their questions -- not his statement of interest in running for mayor on Charlie Rose' national talk show last week -- driving the discussion.
"You know we have our home here," Emanuel said, trying to beg off questions. "I can't wait. At some point in the future... Don't over-interpret anything. Don't everybody get excited. At some point, when we come back, which is always our goal, which is why we rented the house. ... You guys are way too excited. You guys gotta start drinking decaf."
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NBCChicago's Ward Room transcript of Emanuel exchange with reporters:
Reporter: "So is, is Mayor Emanuel something that sounds good to you?"
Rahm: "You guys are way too excited. You guys gotta start drinking decaf."
Reporter: "Has Blago subpoenaed you yet?"
Rahm: "Huh? No."