WASHINGTON--Mayor Rahm Emanuel will headline the Iowa Democratic Party's biggest annual event, the Jefferson Jackson dinner on Nov. 19 to support President Obama--stepping into a showcase for potential presidential candidates.
The dinner featuring Obama's former chief of staff will be in Des Moines. This is Emanuel's first visit to Iowa since taking office in May. The Iowa caucus is the first test vote in the presidential primary calendar.
Obama faces no Democratic primary in 2012. Obama's November, 2007 speech at the dinner--when he was locked in a primary with Hillary Rodham Clinton--was seen as one of the turning points of his campaign.
Iowa Democratic party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky, in announcing Emanual headling the dinner said, "It's an honor to welcome Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the state for the Jefferson Jackson Dinner and to hear him speak to Iowa Democrats in support of President Obama.
"Mayor Emanuel has proven to be one of the great advocates for Democratic values and middle class opportunity throughout his service in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, as a leader in Congress, and now at the helm of the great city of Chicago."
"..As we approach the First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses, announcements like this will continue to bring Democrats together and build the organization we need to win in 2012," added Dvorsky.