WASHINGTON--Watch for President Obama to preside over the announcement--which could come on Friday--that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is departing from the White House. Emanuel is all but certain to jump immediately into the race for Chicago mayor. I'm told by insiders that Obama is likely to make the announcement from the Rose Garden--weather permitting, otherwise the Obama goodbye will be from inside the White House. Obama is expected at the same time to tap senior advisor Pete Rouse as the interim chief of staff.
Don't expect any formal announcement from Emanuel on Friday--it would not be smart politics to launch a Chicago mayoral bid from Washington. He knows that the smart political move is to be in Chicago--with all the local press--to jump in the race. Emanuel--who has not been in Chicago since Mayor Daley announced on Sept. 7 he would not seek another term--nor heard from-is expected to return to Chicago over the weekend to informally launch his bid for mayor.