After months of speculation, Rahm Emanuel is expected to leave his position as White House Chief of Staff on Friday.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, citing a "top Washington source" reports that Emanuel will move to Chicago as soon as this weekend and "begin campaigning like a galloping horse next week."
While Emanuel's desire to be Chicago's mayor has been public knowledge for some time now, POLITICO reports that his anticipated speedy departure from the White House was "at [President] Obama's request."
On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Emanuel was attempting to move into his former Chicago home on the North Side, but a tenant he leased the home to refused to leave. This will not stand in his way. Sources told Sneed he had at least four other housing options in the city.
President Obama's senior adviser Pete Rouse is currently favored to take Emanuel's place in Washington.
The chief of staff switch is coming sooner than originally expected. Obama recently suggested he'd prefer Emanuel to stay through the midterms but this week said his aide needed to make a decision soon about whether to run in the Feb. 22 mayoral election.
While there will surely be a media frenzy, Chicagoans should not expect a big show when Emanuel comes to town.
"Don't expect a bigtime formal announcement he is running," the Washington source told Sneed. "Rahm is just going to hit the bricks running. Everyone will get the message pretty quickly."
The list of candidates to replace longtime Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley continues to grow. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is expected to make an announcement soon, and has support in the city based on some very premature polling. The City Council's Black Caucus is currently working to choose a "consensus candidate" for the city's African American community. Those being considered include U.S. Rep. Danny Davis; State Senators James Meeks and Rickey Hendon; former state Senate President Emil Jones; Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers Jr. and former U.S. Sen. Carole Moseley Braun. Representing the Hispanic community, City Clerk Miguel del Valle and chairman of the City Colleges Board Gery Chico have already announced their candidacies. Rep. Luis Gutierrez has also been considering a bid.