WASHINGTON--Mayor Rahm Emanuel protests that he has no interest in the White House; yet he sat down for an interview with NBC's Harry Smith for the new show "Rock Center with Brian Williams" where he is asked if he wants to be the first Jewish President. Emanuel's big profile on NBC Monday night comes just after he headlines a big Iowa Democratic Party dinner in Des Moines on Saturday.
After just five months in office, Emanuel is eager to brag nationally about his "accomplishments."
UPDATES Emanuel spokesman Chris Mather tells me I am wrong to link the timing of the NBC profile and the Iowa Dinner as I did in the struck out paragraph below. From Mather: 'We did not give big national interview to run after (Iowa) speech. This was supposed to run two weeks ago. You need to change this. ...Harry Smith approached us months ago and asked if we would do one of the first shows."
Emanuel taped interviews for the piece late September and early October. Mather would like me to make sure I say Emanuel "considers being the Mayor of Chicago the best job in the world. He is not running for president and has said so repeatedly." END UPDATES
Since Emanuel and his press staff know a lot about messaging, they had to know that giving a big national interview to run after the Iowa event would only fuel speculation about Emanuel's future. Anyone think Emanuel is going to sit in City Hall for 21 years?
The Monday show is on 9 p.m. Chicago time, 10 p.m. EST
My column on Emanuel delivering his first major speech for President Obama is HERE.
FROM NBC: "The first in-depth profile of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in his new role as Mayor of Chicago. The famously-foul-mouthed political operative is making big changes in the "city of big shoulders" and making big news as he takes on Chicago's municipal unions and the city's problems. But the reputed political tough guy is also showing surprisingly sensitive side."