WASHINGTON--The Obama White House is not making any official endorsement of Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel--President Obama's Friday mega send-off for his chief of staff followed by a session with Chicago reporters where he repeated that Emanuel would make an "excellent" mayor is enough for now--and senior advisor Valerie Jarrett is not deviating from that official message. She was asked about an Emanuel endorsement Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in a conversation with Mark Halperin, who is one of the many national reporters in Chicago on Monday following Emanuel's "listening tour."
Jarrett: "Mark I hear you are in Chicago, my hometown."
Halperin: "Valerie I am and I'm delighted to be here. And the coverage of Rahm has been wall-to-wall and brutal. Part of his problem, as you know, is this is a pretty diverse city with a lot of different constituencies. I understand why the president has to be kind of laid back but Nancy Pelosi endorsed Rahm for mayor. I'm wondering if this morning you'll endorse Rahm and say he's your choice for mayor of Chicago?"
Jarrett: "I don't think anybody is interested in my choice for mayor of Chicago. My focus is right here and he hasn't even announced yet. I think this weekend he announced he's doing his listening tour; allowing people in Chicago all around the neighborhoods to tell him what they think. So, we'll be watching closely from afar."
Halperin: "So unlike Nancy Pelosi, you're not willing to endorse him?"
Jarrett: "I think the president said it best, 'He'll be a terrific terrific mayor if he's elected.'"