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Rahm Emanuel

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Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel
55th Mayor of Chicago
Assumed office
May 16, 2011
Preceded by Richard Daley
23rd White House Chief of Staff
In office
January 20, 2009 – October 1, 2010
President Barack Obama
Deputy Mona Sutphen
Jim Messina
Preceded by Joshua Bolten
Succeeded by Pete Rouse (Acting)
Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Jim Clyburn
Succeeded by John B. Larson
Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Bob Matsui
Succeeded by Chris Van Hollen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Rod Blagojevich
Succeeded by Mike Quigley
Senior Advisor to the President
In office
January 20, 1993 – November 7, 1998
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Henson Moore
Succeeded by Joel Johnson
Personal details
Born Rahm Israel Emanuel
(1959-11-29) November 29, 1959
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Amy Merritt Rule (1994–present)
Children Zachariah
Alma mater Sarah Lawrence College (B.A.)
Northwestern University (M.A.)
Religion Judaism
Net Worth $11.4 million (2010) [1]

Rahm Israel Emanuel (; born November 29, 1959) is an American politician who serves as the 55th Mayor of Chicago. A member of the Democratic Party, Emanuel was elected in 2011, becoming Chicago's first Jewish mayor. He was reelected on April 7, 2015.

Born in Chicago, Emanuel is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Northwestern University. Working early in his career in Democratic politics, Emanuel was appointed as director of the finance committee for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. In 1993, he joined the Clinton administration, where he served as the Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and as the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy before resigning in 1998. Beginning a career in finance, Emanuel worked at the investment bank Wasserstein Perella & Co. from 1998 for 2 1/2 years and served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac.

In 2002, Emanuel ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by Rod Blagojevich, who had resigned to run for Governor of Illinois. Emanuel won the first of three terms representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, a seat he held from 2003 to 2009. During his tenure in the House, Emanuel held two Democratic leadership positions, serving as the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2007 and as the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus from 2007 to 2009. After the 2008 presidential election, President Barack Obama appointed Emanuel to serve as White House Chief of Staff.

In October 2010, Emanuel resigned as chief of staff to run as a candidate in Chicago's 2011 mayoral election. Because of questions over his eligibility to run for mayor, Emanuel's candidacy was initially rejected by the Illinois First District Appellate Court, though he was later found eligible to run in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois. Emanuel won with 55% of the vote over five other candidates in the nonpartisan mayoral election, succeeding 22-year incumbent Richard M. Daley. Although Emanuel did not obtain an absolute majority in the February 2015 mayoral election, he defeated Cook County Board Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García in the April 7 runoff election.


  • Early life and family 1
  • Education and upbringing 2
  • Political staffer career 3
  • Career in finance 4
  • Congressional career 5
    • Elections 5.1
    • Tenure 5.2
    • House leadership 5.3
    • Positions on political issues 5.4
  • Democratic Party leadership 6
    • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman 6.1
    • 2008 Presidential election 6.2
  • White House Chief of Staff 7
  • Mayor of Chicago 8
    • Election 8.1
    • Tenure 8.2
    • Chicago Public Schools 8.3
  • Electoral history 9
    • 2015 mayoral election 9.1
  • Personal life 10
  • Works 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • Further reading 14
  • External links 15

Early life and family

Emanuel's grandfather was a Romanian Jew from Moldova.[2] The surname Emanuel (Hebrew: עמנואל), which means "God with us", was adopted by their family in honor of his father's brother Emanuel Auerbach, who was killed in 1933 in an altercation with Arabs in Jerusalem.[3][4]

Emanuel's father, Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a civil rights movement, and briefly owned a local rock and roll club[3][8] and later became an adherent of Benjamin Spock's writings. Emanuel's parents met during the 1950s in Chicago.[8]

Emanuel was born on November 29, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois. His first name, Rahm (רם) means high or lofty in Hebrew.[4] He has been described by his older brother Ezekiel, an oncologist and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, as "quiet and observant" as a child.[6] Ari, the youngest, is the CEO of William Morris Endeavor, a talent agency with headquarters in Beverly Hills, California;[9] he also has a younger adopted sister, Shoshana.[3]

Education and upbringing

While they lived in Chicago, Emanuel attended the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. After his family moved to Wilmette, north of the city, Emanuel attended public schools: Romona School, Locust Junior High School, and New Trier West High School.[8][10] He and his brothers attended summer camp in Israel, including the summer following the June 1967 Six-Day War.[3][11] Ezekiel has written that their father "did not believe in falsely building his sons' self-esteem by purposefully letting us win, or tolerating sloppy play." About Rahm, he also wrote,

Though fiercely intelligent ... he was not naturally inclined to sit at a desk and put in extra effort to turn a B into an A. As my father often said, without noting that the phrase applied to himself at that same age, "Rahm always tries to get the maximum for the minimum."[6]

Rahm was encouraged by his mother to take ballet lessons and is a graduate of the Evanston School of Ballet,[12] as well as a student of The Joel Hall Dance Center, where his children later took lessons.[13] He won a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet,[14] but turned it down to attend Sarah Lawrence College, a liberal arts school with a strong dance program.[15] While an undergraduate, Emanuel was elected to the Sarah Lawrence Student Senate. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, and went on to receive an Master of Arts in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985.[16]

Emanuel took part in a two-week civilian volunteer holiday, known as the Sar-El, where, as a civilian volunteer, he assisted the Israel Defense Forces during the 1991 Gulf War, helping to repair truck brakes in one of Israel's northern bases.[17][18]

While a high school student working part-time at an Arby's restaurant, Emanuel severely cut his right middle finger on a meat slicer, which was later infected from swimming in Lake Michigan. His finger was partially amputated due to the severity of the infection.[6][19]

Political staffer career

Emanuel began his political career with the

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rod Blagojevich
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Mike Quigley
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bob Matsui
Chairman of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Succeeded by
Chris Van Hollen
Preceded by
Jim Clyburn
Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
Succeeded by
John B. Larson
Political offices
Preceded by
Joshua Bolten
White House Chief of Staff
Succeeded by
Pete Rouse
Preceded by
Richard M. Daley
Mayor of Chicago

External links

  • Bendavid, Naftali (May 8, 2007). The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution. New York: Doubleday.  
  • Bendavid, Naftali (November 12, 2006). "The House that Rahm Built".  
  • "Profile: Rahm Emanuel".  
  • Frankel, Rebecca (November 6, 2008). "The five most infamous Rahm Emanuel moments".  
  • Emanuel, Rahm (January 11, 2007). Fresh Air. Interview with Terry Gross. Twenty minute interview.  
  • Hendrix, Steve (October 22, 2006). "Fighting for The Spoils".  
  • Kampeas, Ron (November 9, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel: attack dog, policy wonk, committed Jew".  
  • In April 2011, the VOA Special English service of the Voice of America broadcast a 15-minute program on Rahm Emanuel. A transcript and MP3 of the program, intended for English learners, can be found at Rahm Emanuel Gets Ready for New Job as Mayor of Chicago.

Further reading

  1. ^ "Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), 2010 Open Secrets". Open Secrets. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ Negovan, Tom. "Rahm Emanuel: Mayor of the People". Michigan Avenue. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e  
  4. ^ a b Pfeffer, Anshel; Shamir, Shlomo (November 6, 2006). "Obama's first pick: Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff". Haaretz. Retrieved November 6, 2008. 
  5. ^ Hoffman, Gil (18 May 2010). "W. Wall bar mitzva for Emanuel's son?".  
  6. ^ a b c d e Emanuel, Ezekel (March 2013). "Growing Up Emanuel". Vanity Fair. pp. 358–89. 
  7. ^ "Emanuel, Rahm".  
  8. ^ a b c Hendrix, Steve (October 22, 2006). "Fighting for The Spoils".  
  9. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (February 27, 2009). "WMA, Endeavor approve merger".  
  10. ^ a b c Easton, Nina (October 2, 2006). "Rahm Emanuel: Rejuvenating the hopes of House Democrats".  
  11. ^ Kampeas, Ron (November 9, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel: attack dog, policy wonk, committed Jew". JTA. 
  12. ^ Stone, Kurt F. (2010). The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members.  
  13. ^ Weiss, Hedy (August 17, 2011). "Chicago Dancing Festival celebrates a milestone". 
  14. ^ Kapos, Shia (June 25, 2012). "Mayor's past plays a role in Chicago's future in dance". 
  15. ^ "Notable Alumni Government and Public Service".  
  16. ^ Official Congressional Directory, 2007-2008.  
  17. ^ Sweet, Lynn (November 7, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel, enforcer".  
  18. ^ Zogby, James (November 14, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel and Arab Perceptions". Huffington Post. 
  19. ^ Stephey, M.J.; Pickert, Kate (November 6, 2008). "2-min. Bio; Rahm Emanuel".  
  20. ^ a b "About Rahm". Congressman Rahm Emanuel.  
  21. ^ a b "Rahm Emanuel".  
  22. ^ "Profile: Rahm Emanuel". BBC News. November 7, 2008. 
  23. ^ "10 Craziest Rahm Emanuel Moments/Facts". February 24, 2011. 
  24. ^ Toner, Robin (March 20, 1992). "The 1992 Campaign: Primaries; Tsongas Abandons Campaign, Leaving Clinton a Clear Path toward Showdown with Bush". The New York Times. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g Kintisch, Eli. "Newest Jewish U.S. Representative Makes Instant Impact". JTA. Retrieved June 2, 2007. 
  26. ^ Carney, Timothy P. (March 16, 2012). "Goldman Sachs Will Be Sitting Pretty With Emanuel in the Obama White House".  
  27. ^ "Biographical information on Rahm Emanuel".  
  28. ^ "Clinton White House Appointments". The Baltimore Sun. January 15, 1993. 
  29. ^ Rowley, Storer H. (November 19, 2013). "Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Speak on Campus".  
  30. ^ "The A Team That Saved Nafta's Bacon". Business Week. December 5, 1993. 
  31. ^ Bury, Chris (June 2000). "Rahm Emanuel".  
  32. ^ "Profile:Rahm Emanuel—Former ballet dancer turned political fixer". The Guardian (London). November 10, 2006. p. 18. Retrieved November 11, 2006. 
  33. ^ "The 2008 Forward 50 Picks 'Rahmbo', Obama's New Chief, Edgy". Bloomberg News. November 13, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2009. 
  34. ^ a b Smalley, Suzanne; Thomas, Evan (April 14, 2008). "Come, O Come, Emanuel".  
  35. ^ Widdicombe, Lizzi (November 17, 2008). "Wind on Capitol Hill Emanuel in Full".  
  36. ^ Coughlin, Con (2006). American Ally: Tony Blair and the War on Terror. HarperCollins. 
  37. ^ Cilizza, Chris (November 6, 2008). "Ten Facts You Need to Know About Rahm Emanuel". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  38. ^ "Rahm Emanuel Facts". Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  39. ^ "Rahmblr". Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  40. ^ Schroeder, Anne (2008-11-12). "Because really there's never too much Rahm anything". Politico. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  41. ^ MacAskill, Ewen (November 7, 2008). "Economic rescue plan main priority as new chief of staff named".  
  42. ^ a b c Sanati, Cyrus; Sorkin, Andrew Ross (November 7, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel, Former Investment Banker".  
  43. ^ Easton, Nina (September 25, 2006). "Rahm Emanuel, Pitbull politician".  
  44. ^ Poor, Jeff (November 6, 2008). "Obama's Chief of Staff Pick a Freddie Mac Alum". Business & Media Institute. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  45. ^ a b c Secter, Bob; Zajac, Andrew (2009-03-26). "Rahm Emanuel's profitable stint at mortgage giant". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  46. ^ Sweet, Lynn (January 3, 2002). "Too much money a bad thing? 5th District House candidate Rahm Emanuel tested voter reaction to $6 million salary". The Chicago Sun-Times. 
  47. ^ Ross, Brian; Schwartz, Rhonda (November 7, 2008). "Emanuel Was Director Of Freddie Mac During Scandal". ABC News. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  48. ^ Wilgoren, Jodi (March 6, 2002). "Ethnic Comments Rattle Race for Congress".  
  49. ^ "Congressional Serbian Caucus - At Last" (PDF). Serbian Unity Congress. September 2004. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  50. ^ Secter, Bob; Zajac, Andrew (March 26, 2009). "Rahm Emanuel's profitable stint at mortgage giant".  
  51. ^ Babington, Charles; Weisman, Jonathan (November 10, 2006). "Reid, Pelosi Expected to Keep Tight Rein in Both Chambers". Washington Post. p. A12. 
  52. ^ Allen, Mike (June 27, 2007). "Dems force Cheney to flip-flop on secret doc".  
  53. ^ Rahm Emanuel on the Issues, On the Issues, November 14, 2008
  54. ^ "Online Focus: Taking Aim".  
  55. ^ Emanuel, Rahm; Reed, Bruce (2006). The Plan: Big Ideas for Change in America. PublicAffairs Books. 
  56. ^ Renner, Matt (September 6, 2007). "Democratic House Officials Recruited Wealthy Conservatives".  
  57. ^ a b Ninan, Reena; Berger, Judson. "With Emanuel, Obama Could Be Sending Signal to Israel". (World News Network). Fox News. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  58. ^ Baker, Peter (2009-10-21). "Emanuel at the Epicenter: Then and Now". The New York Times. 
  59. ^ Allen, Mike; Bacon, Perry Jr. (June 4, 2006). "Whose Party Is It Anyway?". Time. 
  60. ^ Haygood, Wil (November 9, 2006). "Democratic 'Golden Boy' Rahm Emanuel, Basking In the Glow of Victory". Washington Post. p. C05. Retrieved January 3, 2007. 
  61. ^ "Justin Coussoule Confirms Obama/Kaine Threw Out Dean's 50 State Strategy And Have Given Him NO Support". Crooks and Liars. August 14, 2010. 
  62. ^ Nichols, John (November 5, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel: Face of Change?". The Nation. Retrieved February 2, 2009. 
  63. ^ Dorning, Mike (January 19, 2007). "Rahm Emanuel's Great Loyalty Test". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 21, 2007. 
  64. ^ Murray, Shailagh (2008-06-04). "Emanuel Endorses Obama". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  65. ^ Baker, Peter; Zeleny, Jeff (2008-11-06). "For Obama, No Time to Bask in Victory As He Starts to Build a Transition Team". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  66. ^ a b O'Connor, Patrick; Allen, Mike (2008-11-06). "Exclusive: Emanuel accepts White House job". Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  67. ^ Merrion, Paul (December 29, 2008). "Emanuel resigns seat effective Friday".  
  68. ^ Mihalopoulos, Dan (2009-01-20). "26 file for congressional seat vacated by Rahm Emanuel". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  69. ^ McCormick, John; Mihalopoulos, Dan (1 February 2009). "Candidate says Emanuel might want to reclaim House seat someday". 
  70. ^ Wolffe, Richard (November 5, 2008). "Inside Obama's chief-of-staff selection".  
  71. ^ Goldberg, Jeffrey (November 6, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel and Israel".  
  72. ^ Kenner, David (November 7, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel and Israel".  
  73. ^ Kalman, Matthew (November 6, 2008). "Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is no pal of ours, Israel's foes say".  
  74. ^  
  75. ^ Seib, Gerald F. (November 21, 2008). "In Crisis, Opportunity for Obama".  
  76. ^ "Bum Rap for Rahm".  
  77. ^ Ravve, Ruth (January 11, 2011). """VIDEO: Rahm Emanuel Clarifies 2008 Comment "You Never Want A Serious Crisis To Go To Waste.  
  78. ^ Baker, Peter; Zeleny, Jeff (August 16, 2009). "Emanuel Wields Power Freely, and Faces the Risks". The New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  79. ^ Zeleny, Jeff and Stolberg, Sheryl, "Emanuel Apologizes, in Wake of Palin Slam", The New York Times, February 2, 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  80. ^ Tapper, Jake, "'"Rahm Apologizes for Privately Calling Liberal Activists 'Retarded, ABC News, February 2, 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  81. ^ Nicholas, Peter (October 1, 2010). "Rahm Emanuel's old-school style was key to new presidency".  
  82. ^ Black, Curtis (2012-05-13). "NATO summit: drone warfare challenged". Community Media Workshop. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  83. ^ Spillius, Alex (September 30, 2010). "Pete Rouse to replace Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff".  
  84. ^ "ABC News: Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Likely to Announce White House Departure This Week". 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  85. ^ Maksym & McMahon v. The Board of Election Commissioners of Chicago (Illinois Appellate 24 January 2011). Text
  86. ^ Tareen, Sophia; Webber, Tammy (2011-01-27). "Ill. high court: Emanuel can run for Chicago mayor". MSNBC. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  87. ^   (Note the original has better formatting.)
  88. ^ "Twitter / Rahm Emanuel: The offer still stands to". Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  89. ^ Sabella, Jen (March 2, 2011). "Rahm Emanuel, Dan Sinker Meet: Young Chicago Authors Get $12,000 Donation". Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  90. ^ Bohn, Kevin (February 22, 2011). "Rahm Emanuel wins Chicago mayoral vote". CNN. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  91. ^ "'"Emanuel sworn in as mayor: 'Let us share the necessary sacrifices. Chicago Tribune. May 16, 2011. 
  92. ^ "Emanuel begins new chapter". CNN. May 16, 2011. 
  93. ^ "Rahm Emanuel elected Chicago mayor". USA Today. Associated Press. February 23, 2011. 
  94. ^ Davey, Monica (February 23, 2011). "Chicago, City in Transition, Picks a Big Personality".  
  95. ^ Sabella, Jen (February 24, 2011). "Rahm Emanuel Transition Team: Picks Two Daley Aides, South Side Minister".  
  96. ^ American Public Health Association Public Health Newswire, accessed 3 October 2013
  97. ^ "Mayor-Elect Emanuel Announces City Council Reorganization". HighBeam Research. May 11, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  98. ^ Sabella, Jen (November 16, 2011). "Chicago 2012 Budget Passes Unanimously: Rahm Emanuel's First Budget Breezes Through City Council".  
  99. ^ "City Council Approves Mayor Emanuel’s First Budget".  
  100. ^ Kidwell, David (November 30, 2008). "Emanuel denies records requests on fee hikes, speed cameras".  
  101. ^ Dumke, Mick (December 1, 2011). "The most transparent government Chicago has ever seen, part 1".  
  102. ^ Spielman, Fran (August 16, 2011). "Emanuel wants independent look at Lollapalooza tax break".  
  103. ^ Balde, Lisa (February 2, 2012). "County Changes Lollapalooza Tax Exemption Rules".  
  104. ^ Sudo, Chuck (March 15, 2012). "Chicago Extends Lollapalooza Deal Through 2021, Tax Breaks For Promoters Pulled".  
  105. ^ "Cops file suit over demotion from Mayor Emanuel's security detail". Chicago Sun-Times. August 16, 2012. 
  106. ^ Grossman, Ron (October 31, 2012). "Bell tolls for old Prentice".  
  107. ^ Grossman, Ron (November 15, 2012). "Prentice Women's Hospital gets a temporary reprieve". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  108. ^ Spielman, Fran (November 13, 2012). "Gay marriage Emanuel's No. 3 priority for Legislature". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  109. ^ "Mayor, Governor "Very Close" To Deal For Chicago Casino".  
  110. ^ "'"Rahm Emanuel Has 'Ticked Off A Lot Of People. Huffington Post. September 30, 2014. 
  111. ^ Pearson, Rick (14 August 2014). "Chicago Tribune poll: Support for Mayor Rahm Emanuel falling fast in Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  112. ^ Paulson, Amanda (September 11, 2012). "In Chicago strike, teachers draw a line on education reform".  
  113. ^ Moran, Theresa (28 August 2012). "Chicago Teachers Say They'll Strike for the Kids". Labor Notes. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  114. ^ "Chicago teachers union rally". Time Out Chicago Kids. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  115. ^ "No Deal: Chicago Teachers To Strike After Contract Talks Fail". NPR. September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  116. ^ Layton, Lyndsey (September 15, 2012). "Chicago teachers reach tentative agreement to end strike". The Washington Post. 
  117. ^ Kelleher, James B.; Kirby, Adam (September 17, 2012). "'"Emanuel's court bid to end strike stalls, teachers call it 'vindictive.  
  118. ^ "Judge declines to expedite hearing in Chicago teacher strike". NBC News. September 17, 2012. 
  119. ^ "Chicago teachers vote to suspend strike". CNN. September 18, 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  120. ^ "Chicago teachers suspend seven-day strike".  
  121. ^ Davey, Monica; Greenhouse, Steven (September 19, 2012). "School Days Resume in Chicago as the Lessons From a Strike Are Assessed".  
  122. ^ Ahmed-Ullah, Noreen S.; Chase, John; Secter, Bob (May 23, 2013). "CPS approves largest school closure in Chicago's history".  
  123. ^ "Rahm Emanuel wins Chicago mayoral vote". CNN. February 23, 2011. 
  124. ^ Japsen, Bruce (April 7, 2015). "Chicago's Rahm Emanuel Re-Elected, Says 'Hard Choices' Ahead". Forbes. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  125. ^ Bellware, Kim; Erbentraut, Joseph (7 April 2015). "Rahm Emanuel Survives Runoff Election And Wins Second Term As Chicago Mayor". The Huffington Post. 
  126. ^ Coen, Jeff; Huppke, Rex W. (2011-02-23). "Emanuel's wife prefers life outside spotlight".  
  127. ^ Azoulay, Orly (November 2, 2008). "Obama's Israeli adviser: Next White House chief of staff?".  
  128. ^ Strauss, Valerie (2011-07-21). "Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel chooses private school for kids".  
  129. ^ Dudek, Mitch (August 26, 2012). "Rahm sets pace for some tri-athletes".  


See also

  • Emanuel, Rahm; Reed, Bruce (August 2006). The Plan: Big Ideas for America. New York:  
  • Emanuel, Rahm (May 10, 2011). "CHICAGO 2011 TRANSITION PLAN" (PDF). Chicago 2011. 


Emanuel trains for and participates in triathlons.[10] In 2011, he scored 9th out of 80 competitors in his age group. A passionate cyclist, he rides a custom-built, state-of-the-art Parlee road bike.[129]

Emanuel and his wife, Amy Merritt Rule, have a son and two daughters and the family lives in the Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago's north side.[126] Rule converted to Judaism shortly before their wedding.[127] Emanuel is a close friend of fellow Chicagoan David Axelrod, chief strategist for Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaign, and Axelrod signed the ketuba, the Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel's wedding.[34] The Emanuels are members of the Chicago synagogue Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel.[25] Rabbi Asher Lopatin of the congregation described Emanuel's family as "a very involved Jewish family," adding that "Amy was one of the teachers for a class for children during the High Holidays two years ago."[25] Emanuel has said of his Judaism: "I am proud of my heritage and treasure the values it has taught me."[25] Emanuel's children attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago's south side.[128]

Personal life

Emanuel won 56 percent of the vote in the run-off election against Jesús "Chuy" García held on April 7, 2015.[124] He had been hurt by sharp neighborhood criticism of his decision to shut down 50 public schools in black and Latino neighborhoods and his installation of red light cameras, together with anger at the high level of gun violence on the streets. On the other hand, he was supported by the business community and most elements of the Democratic party.[125]

2015 mayoral election

Electoral history

On September 17, 2013, Emanuel's appointed Chicago Board of Education announced the closing of 50 Chicago public schools, 49 elementary schools and a high school — the largest school closure in Chicago history.[122]

During the contract negotiations between the city the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), compromise could not be reached over issues like health insurance increases, teacher evaluations, and seniority pay increases.[112] On August 8, 2012, the CTU voted 90% to authorize a strike.[113] On September 10, the CTU began a strike[114] after CTU President Lewis declared that negotiations with the city were not succeeding.[115] On September 14, the CTU reached a tentative agreement with the city which included preferences for teachers who have been laid off due to a school closing to be hired in another school and student test scores having less of a role in teacher evaluations than the city had originally planned.[116] This tentative agreement did not hold, and the strike continued, after which Emanuel announced his intention to seek a legal injunction, forcing teachers back to work.[117] On September 17, Emanuel's efforts to end the strike stalled as the walkout went into the second week.[118] Delegates from the CTU voted to end the strike on September 18, 2012,[119][120] and students began their return to the schools the following day.[121]

Chicago Public Schools

In August 2014, the Chicago Tribune conducted a polling and reported that 35% of voters felt that Mayor Emanuel was doing a fine job as mayor of Chicago.[110][111]

Rahm Emmanuel speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bloomingdale Trail in August 2013

At a news conference in November 2012, Emanuel listed his top three priorities for the state legislature as security and pension reform, adding a casino to Chicago, and equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.[108] At a press conference with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who previously vetoed legislation to put a casino in Chicago, the two were "very close" to reaching a deal.[109]

On October 30, Emanuel voiced his support for the demolition of the abandoned Prentice Women's Hospital Building, in order for Northwestern University, which owns the property, to build a new facility. Preservationists supported historical landmark status.[106] Days later, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted that the building met landmark status criteria then reversed their decision later in the same meeting. On November 15, a judge granted a temporary stay of the decision in order for a lawsuit filed by preservation coalitions against the landmark commission to be heard.[107]

In August 2012, a federal lawsuit was filed by eleven Chicago police officers alleging they were removed from the mayoral security detail and replaced with officers who worked on Emanuel's mayoral campaign, in violation of the 1983 Shakman Decree, which bars city officials from making political considerations in the hiring process.[105]

Controversy arose in 2011 over the tax-exempt status of Lollapalooza, an annual summer music festival in Grant Park. With Emanuel's brother Ari being the CEO of William Morris Endeavor, which co-owns the event, the Mayor asked the City Council to appoint an independent third party negotiator, to avoid having the negotiation seen as biased. Although the deal was reached before Emanuel took office, tax breaks must be negotiated every year.[102] It was later revealed that the festival received its tax exemption for 2011 in the final days of the Daley administration.[103] In 2012, Lollapalooza paid taxes for the first time in seven years and extended its contract to host in Grant Park through 2021.[104]

In November, Emanuel rejected Freedom of Information Act requests by The Chicago Tribune for various communication and information logs for himself and his staff, labelling it "unduly burdensome." After a second request by the Tribune, they were informed that 90 percent of the emails had been deleted by Emanuel and his top aides.[100] As a result, Emanuel came under fire for going against his campaign promise to create "the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Chicago has ever seen."[101]

Emanuel (left) at the 2014 Chicago Public High School League quadruple overtime championship basketball game between Jahlil Okafor's Whitney Young and Cliff Alexander's Curie.

Emanuel assembled a transition team from varied backgrounds.[94][95] On August 16, 2011, Emanuel unveiled "Healthy Chicago," the city’s first-ever public health blueprint with the Chicago Department of Public Health's Commissioner Bechara Choucair.[96] Emanuel initiated the consolidation of City Council committees from 19 to 16 in a cost control effort.[97] On November 16, the city council voted unanimously to adopt the mayor's first budget, which decreased the budget by $34 million and increased spending by $46.2 million, supported by increasing fees and fines. Despite most Aldermen opposing cuts to library workers and the closure of mental health clinics, they ultimately supported it, calling it "honest".[98][99]


Emanuel was elected on February 22, 2011 with 55% of the vote[90] and was sworn in as the 55th Mayor of Chicago on May 16, 2011 at the Pritzker Pavilion. At his inauguration were outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley, Vice President Joe Biden, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and William M. Daley, brother of the outgoing mayor and who would later serve as White House Chief of Staff.[91][92] Emanuel is Chicago's first Jewish mayor.[93]

Emanuel (left) at the 2012 Hyde Park Obama campaign office

[89] Emanuel's mayoral campaign was the inspiration for a satirical

Emanuel's eligibility for office was challenged on the basis of his lack of residency in Chicago for one year prior to the election. The Board of Elections and the Cook County Circuit Court affirmed his eligibility. A divided Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court, holding on January 24, 2011, that residency for purposes of a candidate is different from residency for purposes of being a voter.[85] A further appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court resulted in a unanimous decision reversing the Court of Appeals and affirming Emanuel's eligibility.[86][87]

On September 30, 2010, it was announced that Emanuel would leave his post as White House Chief of Staff to run for Mayor of Chicago.[84] He was replaced by Pete Rouse on October 2, 2010.


Mayor of Chicago

In 2010, Emanuel was reported to have conflicts with other senior members of the president's team and ideological clashes over policy. He was also the focal point of criticism from left-leaning Democrats for the administration's perceived move to the center. By September 2010, with the Democrats anticipating heavy losses in midterm elections, this was said to precipitate Emanuel's departure as Chief of Staff.[83]

As Chief of Staff, Emanuel was known for his good sense of humor. During a staff meeting, when Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra gave uniformly upbeat reports, Emanuel is said to have looked at him and said: "Whatever you're taking, I want some."[81] Emanuel had a hand in war strategy, political maneuvering, communications and economic policy. Bob Woodward wrote in Obama's Wars that Emanuel made a habit of telephoning CIA Director Leon Panetta and asking about the lethal drone strikes aimed at Al Qaeda, asking "Who did we get today?"[82]

He has a reputation for his no-holds-barred negotiation style that involves "his share of shouting and cursing". Ezekiel Emanuel has written, "The impatient, pushy Emanuel style is so well known that during a recent job interview I was asked, point-blank, whether I had the level-headed temperament the position required..... [A]s obvious to our flaws are to others, it's difficult to recognize them in ourselves."[6] At a closed-door meeting in the White House with liberal activists, Emanuel called them "fucking retarded" for planning to run TV ads attacking conservative Democrats who didn't support Obama's health-care overhaul. In February 2010, Emanuel apologized to organizations for the mentally handicapped for using the word "retarded." He expressed his regret to Tim Shriver, the chief executive of the Special Olympics after the remark was reported in an article by The Wall Street Journal about growing liberal angst at Emanuel. The apology came as former Alaska Governor and conservative activist Sarah Palin, on her Facebook page, called on President Obama to fire Emanuel.[79][80]

In a 2009 article in The New York Times, Emanuel was characterized as being "perhaps the most influential chief of staff of a generation".[78]

Weeks after accepting the appointment, Emanuel participated on a panel of corporate chief executive officers sponsored by the Wall Street Journal and said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."[75] The quote was taken out of context by some commentators as evidence "...that the left supposedly wants to exploit circumstances to ram its agenda through."[76] Emanuel explained later, "...what I said was, never allow a good crisis to go to waste when it's an opportunity to do things that you had never considered, or that you didn't think were possible."[77]

Some Republican leaders criticized Emanuel's appointment because they believed it went against Obama's campaign promises of less divisive politics, given Emanuel's reputation as a partisan Democrat.[66] Republican Senator Lindsey Graham disagreed, saying: "This is a wise choice by President-elect Obama. He's tough but fair, honest, direct and candid."[70] Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said that the choice indicated that Obama would not listen to the "wrong people" regarding the U.S.–Israel relationship.[57] Some commentators opined that Emanuel would be good for the Israeli–Palestinian peace process because if Israeli leaders made excuses for not dismantling settlements, Emanuel would be tough and pressure the Israelis to comply.[71][72] Some Palestinians expressed dismay at Emanuel's appointment.[73][74]

On November 6, 2008, Emanuel accepted the position of White House Chief of Staff for US President Barack Obama.[65][66] He resigned his congressional seat effective January 2, 2009.[67] A special primary to fill his vacated congressional seat was held on March 3, 2009, and the special general election on April 7.[68] John Fritchey, a candidate for that seat, said at a forum that Emanuel had told him he may be interested in running for the seat again in the future.[69]

Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office
White House Chief of Staff Emanuel reads a newspaper in the Oval Office, as President Barack Obama talks on the phone on April 4, 2009.

White House Chief of Staff

Emanuel declared in April 2006 that he would support Hillary Rodham Clinton should she pursue the presidency in 2008. Emanuel remained close to Clinton since leaving the White House, talking strategy with her at least once a month as chairman of the DCCC.[10] However, Emanuel's loyalties came into conflict when his home-state Senator, Barack Obama, expressed interest in the race. Asked in January 2007, about his stance on the Democratic presidential nomination, he said: "I'm hiding under the desk. I'm very far under the desk, and I'm bringing my paper and my phone."[63] Emanuel remained neutral in the race until June 4, 2008, the day after the final primary contests, when he endorsed Obama.[64]

2008 Presidential election

Emanuel aligned himself with the Democratic Leadership Council.[62]

The Democratic Party gained 30 seats in the House in the 2006 elections and Emanuel received considerable praise for his stewardship of the DCCC, even from Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood who said "He legitimately can be called the golden boy of the Democratic Party today. He recruited the right candidates, found the money and funded them, and provided issues for them. Rahm did what no one else could do in seven cycles."[60] However, he also faced some criticism for his failure to support some progressive candidates, as Howard Dean advocated.[61]

Emanuel speaks during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Emanuel assumed the position of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman (DCCC) after the death of the previous chair, Bob Matsui. Emanuel led the Democratic Party's effort to capture the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections. The documentary HouseQuake, featuring Emanuel, chronicles those elections.[58] After Emanuel's election as chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Chris Van Hollen became committee chair for the 110th Congress. Emanuel had disagreements over Democratic election strategy with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Dean favored a "fifty-state strategy", building support for the Democratic Party over the long term, while Emanuel advocated a more tactical approach focusing attention on key districts.[59]

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman

Democratic Party leadership

In June 2007, Emanuel condemned an outbreak of Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip and criticized Arab countries for not applying the same kind of pressure on the Palestinians as they have on Israel. At a 2003 pro-Israel rally in Chicago, Emanuel told the marchers that Israel was "ready for peace" but would not get there until Palestinians "turn away from the path of terror".[57]

Middle east

In the 2006 congressional primaries, Emanuel, then head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, helped organize a run by Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran with no political experience, against grassroots candidate Christine Cegelis in Illinois' 6th District. Expedited withdrawal from Iraq was a central point of Cegelis' campaign and Duckworth opposed a withdrawal timetable.[56]

During his original 2002 campaign, Emanuel "indicated his support of President Bush's position on Iraq, but said he believed the President needed to better articulate his position to the American people".[25]

Iraq war

In his 2006 book, co-authored with Bruce Reed, The Plan: Big Ideas for America,[55] Emanuel advocated a three-month compulsory universal service program for Americans between the ages of 18 and 25. An expanded version was later proposed by Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign.

During his original 2002 campaign, Emanuel spoke in support of the goal of "to help make health care affordable and available for all Americans".[25]

Emanuel is generally liberal on social issues. He has maintained a 100-percent pro-choice voting record, supports LGBT rights including same-sex marriage, and is a strong supporter of gun control, rated "F" by the NRA in December 2003.[53] He has also strongly supported the banning of numerous rifles based upon "sporting purposes" criteria.[54]

Social issues
Emanuel joins Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to advocate changes to Medicare legislation, September 24, 2003.

Positions on political issues

After Vice President Dick Cheney asserted that he did not fall within the bounds of orders set for the executive branch, Emanuel called for cutting off the $4.8 million the Executive Branch provides for the Vice President's office.[52]

After his role in helping the Democrats win the 2006 elections, Emanuel was believed to be a leading candidate for the position of Majority Whip. Nancy Pelosi, who became the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, persuaded him not to challenge Jim Clyburn, but instead to succeed Clyburn in the role of Democratic Caucus Chairman. In return, Pelosi agreed to assign the caucus chair more responsibilities, including "aspects of strategy and messaging, incumbent retention, policy development and rapid-response communications." Caucus vice-chair John Larson remained in his role instead of running for the chairman position.[51]

House leadership

In January 2003, Emanuel was named to the House Financial Services Committee and sat on the subcommittee that oversaw Freddie Mac. A few months later, Freddie Mac Chief Executive Officer Leland Brendsel was forced out and the committee and subcommittee commenced more than a year of hearings into Freddie Mac. Emanuel skipped every hearing allegedly for reasons of avoiding any appearance of favoritism, impropriety, or conflict of interest.[50]

Emanuel was elected after the October 2002 joint Congressional resolution authorizing the Iraq War, and so did not vote on it. However, in the lead up to the resolution, Emanuel spoke out strongly in support of the war, urging a United States' "muscular projection of force" in Iraq. Emanuel has been the focus of anti-war protests for his support of funding bills for the war in Iraq, and his support, during Democratic party primaries, of Democratic candidates that were more hawkish. In his first term, Rahm Emanuel was a founding member and the Co-Chair of the Congressional Serbian Caucus.[49]

Rep. Emanuel speaking at St. Hyacinth Basilica in Chicago's Polish Village


In 2002 Emanuel pursued the U.S. House seat in the 5th District of Illinois previously held by Rod Blagojevich, who successfully ran for Governor of Illinois. His strongest opponent in the crowded primary of eight was former Illinois State Representative Nancy Kaszak. During the primary, Edward Moskal, president of the Polish American Congress, a political action committee endorsing Kaszak, called Emanuel a "millionaire carpetbagger."[48] Emanuel won the primary and defeated Republican candidate Mark Augusti in the general election. Emanuel's inaugural election to the House was the closest he ever had, as he won over 70% of the vote in all of his re-election bids.


Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Emanuel celebrate Paczki Day, February 28, 2006.

Congressional career

Emanuel was named to the Board of Directors of Freddie Mac by President Clinton in 2000. He earned at least $320,000 during his time there, including later stock sales.[44][45] During Emanuel's time on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandals involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities.[45][46] The Obama Administration rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuel's time as a director.[45] The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight later accused the board of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention." Emanuel resigned from the board in 2001 before his first bid for Congress.[47]

After serving as an advisor to Bill Clinton, in 1998 Emanuel resigned from his position in the Clinton administration and joined the investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella, where he worked for 2 1/2 years.[42] Although he did not have an MBA degree or prior banking experience, he became a managing director at the firm’s Chicago office in 1999, and according to Congressional disclosures, made $16.2 million in his two-and-a-half-years as a banker.[42][43] At Wasserstein Perella, he worked on eight deals, including the acquisition by Commonwealth Edison of Peco Energy and the purchase by GTCR Golder Rauner of the SecurityLink home security unit from SBC Communications.[42]

Career in finance

Emanuel is known for his "take-no-prisoners style" that has earned him the nickname "Rahmbo."[33] Emanuel sent a dead fish in a box to a pollster who was late delivering polling results.[34] On the night after the 1992 election, angry at Democrats and Republicans who "betrayed" them in the 1992 election, Emanuel stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign and began plunging a stake into the table and began rattling off names while shouting "Dead! Dead! Dead!".[3] Before Tony Blair gave a pro-Clinton speech during the impeachment crisis, Emanuel reportedly screamed at Blair "Don't fuck this up!" while Clinton was present.[35] Blair and Clinton both burst into laughter.[36] However, by 2007 friends of Emanuel were saying that he has "mellowed out".[25] Stories of his personal style have entered the popular culture, inspiring articles and websites that chronicle these and other quotes and incidents.[37][38][39][40] The character Josh Lyman in The West Wing was said to be based on Emanuel, though executive producer Lawrence O'Donnell denied this.[41]

Following the campaign, Emanuel became a senior advisor to Clinton at the White House from 1993 to 1998.[27] In the White House, Emanuel was initially Assistant to the President for Political Affairs[28] and then Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy.[29] He was a leading strategist in White House efforts to institute NAFTA[30][31] and universal health care, among other Clinton initiatives.[32]

At the start of then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton's presidential primary campaign, Emanuel was appointed to direct the campaign's finance committee.[21] Emanuel insisted that Clinton schedule much time for fundraising and greatly delay campaigning in New Hampshire.[23] Clinton embarked on an aggressive national fundraising campaign that allowed the campaign to keep buying television time as attacks on Clinton's character threatened to swamp the campaign during the New Hampshire primary. Clinton's primary rival, Paul Tsongas (the New Hampshire Democratic primary winner), later withdrew, citing a lack of campaign funds.[24] Richard Mintz, a Washington public relations consultant who worked with Emanuel on the campaign, spoke about the soundness of the idea: "It was that [extra] million dollars that really allowed the campaign to withstand the storm we had to ride out in New Hampshire [over Clinton's relationship with Gennifer Flowers and the controversy over his draft status during the Vietnam War]." Emanuel's knowledge of the top donors in the country, and his rapport with "heavily Jewish" donors helped Clinton amass a then-unheard-of sum of $72 million.[25] While working on the Clinton campaign Emanuel was a paid retainer of the investment bank Goldman Sachs.[26]

Emanuel worked for Democrat Paul Simon's 1984 election to the U.S. Senate.[22] He also worked as the national campaign director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 1988, and was senior advisor and chief fundraiser for Richard M. Daley's successful initial campaign for Mayor of Chicago in 1989.[20]

[21] He went on to serve in a number of capacities in local and national politics, initially specializing in fundraising for Illinois campaigns, and then nationally.[20]

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