WASHINGTON--Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not part of a group of Democrats trying to raise money outside of the re-election campaign to help build support for President Barack Obama among Jewish voters--in the wake of GOP efforts to woo Jews by criticizing his record on Israel.
Emanuel is a co-chair of the Obama campaign--and told me in an interview last week he would do whatever the campaign asked him to help--as his time permits--in outreach, fund-raising and other surrogate tasks.
The Washington Post said Emanuel was involved in an effort outside the campaign to counter the millions of dollars casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is contributing to help Mitt Romney peel off Jewish voters.
That's not quite so, I was told Friday by Tom Bowen, who runs the Emanuel political operation. Emanuel did meet about two weeks ago with Marc Stanley, who is the chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council who is trying to raise money to defend Obama with Jewish voters outside of the campaign.
The "Mayor is not working on this," Bowen told me. Stanley "approached (the) mayor to detail (the) project and ask advice.
"He listened, said he's not getting involved and that he has important work to do in Chicago, and that was the end of it," Bowen said.
"The effort -- which involves Dems like Harvey Weinstein and Rahm Emanuel -- is effectively an acknowledgment that Dems need to take the possibility of Jewish defections seriously, that Republicans have gotten an early start in their efforts to peel off swing state Jewish voters, and that small shifts could impact the outcome."