Rahm Emanuel wants to run for mayor of Chicago...and he said it himself this time.
In an interview on Charlie Rose's PBS talk show Monday night, Emanuel said that he was contemplating a run for Chicago mayor.
"I hope Mayor Daley seeks reelection. I will work and support him if he seeks reelection," Emanuel said, according to a transcript from the show. "But if Mayor Daley doesn't, one day I would like to run for mayor of the city of Chicago...That's always been an aspiration of mine even when I was in the House of Representatives."
Rumors of Emanuel's desire to run have been swirling for months, and the New York Times Magazine reported in March that he "openly communicates that [desire] to people, including his friend Richard Daley, the incumbent mayor."
Emanuel also told Rose that he missed the regular contact he had with constituents as a representative of Illinois' 5th District:
"You learned a lot," Emanuel said, according to a transcript of the interview.
He also said his Speaker of the House aspirations were "over."
Emanuel has previously said that he would not be running for Chicago mayor in the 2011 elections, and Mayor Daley has yet to announce whether he will run. But William Daley, the mayor's brother, said in March that if Emanuel wants to run, he has to "get in line."
WATCH the conversation here (scroll down for the transcript):
READ the full exchange between Emanuel and Rose regarding his future political aspirations:
Charlie Rose: Is there any other job in government you'd like to have?
Rahm Emanuel: In government?
Charlie Rose: In government.
Rahm Emanuel: Yeah.
Charlie Rose: What?
Rahm Emanuel: Well, I mean, it's no secret --
Charlie Rose: That you want to be speaker of the house.
Rahm Emanuel: Well, that's over. No, I would one day -- first of all, let me say it this way, I hope Mayor Daley seeks reelection. I will work and support him if he seeks reelection. But if Mayor Daley doesn't, one day I would like to run for mayor of the City of Chicago. That's always been an aspiration of mine even when I was in the House of Representatives.
Charlie Rose: Mayor of Chicago.
Rahm Emanuel: Yeah, fact I said the one thing if you ask me what I miss, I miss the contact with constituents. You know, I miss being in the -- when you were running the office, that touch with people. I used to do as you know I developed this thing called Congress on Your Corner where I used to stand in the grocery stores with a table of constituent service, and just greet people. And you learned a lot. And one of the best pieces of legislation I introduced was the Elderly Justice Act, came from a lady who talked to me at a grocery store about what happened to her father in a nursing home, and the way I found out that the law on the books was no real federal bill that dealt with seniors. And that's a -- you know, not all stories are like that. I helped a small business get a loan that expanded a tubing company. I miss that. I mean, I love what I'm doing. I find great passion in it because I work for a great president with a breadth of issues that has -- if you're in public policy at a period of time in history that's important, one day I'll go back to elected office and say I've enjoyed it, I enjoyed that process.
Charlie Rose: So rather than being a member of the Cabinet, if you left the chief of staff job you'd more likely want to go --
Rahm Emanuel: One day I'll -- I mean, you asked me if I was thinking of it that term, I mean, right now I'm a Chief of Staff -- I'm in the Cabinet, President put the Chief of Staff in the Cabinet, but one day I want to run again for office and if I get a -- but again I want to repeat because the Mayor's a dear friend of mine, and I support him, I hope he seeks reelection as you know, Charlie, you've been out to Chicago, he's done a fabulous job, and one day I would like to -- but if he doesn't at some point that will be something I'll do.