WASHINGTON--Mayor Rahm Emanuel is heading to Baltimore for his debut before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where he keynotes an address on Saturday morning.
His mayoral spokesman would not say yet when he was flying to the conference, which begins on Friday with a speech by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
UPDATE: Emanuel departs Chicago for Baltimore and the conference on Friday. He will be traveling with his policy director, David Spielfogel. The mayoral conference runs through Monday and Emanuel will remain in the Baltimore--Washington area through Monday, though I am told his plans may change. Emanuel is expected to visit his family in their Washington home--still here until the end of the month--during this East Coast swing. END UPDATE
Emanuel, in office only since May 16, was vaulted to a featured position in the speaking line-up. Others addressing the conference will be Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue, Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
Mayors and Afghanistan: As White House chief of staff, Emanuel played an integral role in the Obama administration self-imposing a July deadline for a gradual troop pullout. Members of Congress--including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) want soldiers to come home at a faster pace--saving the U.S. billions of dollars.
Will Emanuel join the nations mayors in pressuring Obama to step up the pace of getting out of Afghanistan--as his top military advisors say they may need more time? At the conference, the mayors will be asked to vote on a resolution--entirely symbolic-- "to end the Afghanistan War and re-direct spending for job creation."
Also: on Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be inaugurated as the new president of the group.