White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel leaving to run for Chicago mayor at the briefing on Wednesday:
Q Rahm for mayor?
MR. GIBBS: Are you signing up? (Laughter.) You know, I think many of you saw what David said on the morning shows. Look, obviously, something like that doesn't come around a lot. Mayor Daley has been there since 1989. And I presume that Rahm will take some time and make a decision about that. It's no surprise that he was -- that's a job he's been interested in.
I will say a couple of things. One, it's understandable -- I'm not from Chicago, but having spent a lot of time there over the past seven or eight years, it's a city you can fall in love with very quickly. But secondly I would say, our day ends with and begins with a meeting in Rahm's office. We had that meeting yesterday and we were focused on a series of things that lie in front of us, and started it at 7:30 a.m. this morning with the same meeting.
So I think Rahm right now is focused on the enormous number of tasks that we have in front of us as an administration. I have no doubt that he'll take some time to think about what he wants to do with his future, but I think his focus right now is on his job as chief of staff.
Q Do you know if he's talked to the President about it, or to you about it?
MR. GIBBS: I have not talked to him about it. I have not -- I don't know the answer to the second --
Q Robert, do you expect -- Rahm may leave, the midterm elections are coming up, people are exhausted, it might be a natural time for some staff turnover. Should we expect that after the midterms?
MR. GIBBS: Well, I mean, look, I don't have any news for you on that. I would say -- look, I think -- I do not think it is surprising that that is a time in which people who have given two years of service return to things that they were doing beforehand. I don't doubt that that will happen in -- it will happen in this administration like it has in many of the previous.
I will say, too, for those that were on the campaign, this is sort of the end of year four, not necessarily the end of year two. So I think there's no doubt that there will be people that return to their lives and their families and -- but we've got a while before that. We've got at least two months before this election -- or about two months before this election before we get to a lot of those decisions.