Before he was mentioned as a possible Senate successor to Barack Obama, before he helped lead the Democrats back to power in the House, before he was even elected to his first term as the congressman from the North Side of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel was telling friends that he had one goal in life: to become the first Jewish speaker of the House.
But the No. 4 man in the House Democratic leadership has become a victim of his own success. As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Emanuel helped lead the Democrats back to the majority in 2006. That victory put the speaker's gavel in the hands of Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and she's not likely to give it up any time soon.
Emanuel -- who is both ambitious and impatient -- may not be able to wait. In early June, conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote that Pelosi was "reported to be privately talking" about Emanuel as a possible successor for Barack Obama if Illinois' junior senator is elected president.