White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel steps down to run for Mayor of Chicago

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pete Rouse Rahm Emanuel
Pete Rouse
Rahm Emanuel

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stepped down today after holding the position for twenty months, leaving to run for Mayor of Chicago. Political advisor Peter 'Pete' Rouse is named interim Chief of Staff by US President Barack Obama.

In a White House ceremony held earlier today, Obama called the departure "the least suspenseful announcement of all time," jokingly referencing the lack of secrecy surrounding the departure. "We are all very excited for Rahm as he takes on a new challenge for which he is extraordinarily well qualified," said the president. Obama appointed political consultant and senior advisor Pete Rouse as interim chief, calling Rouse "a skillful problem-solver" and a "wise, skillful and long-time counselor."

Emanuel, aged 50, was once a congressman from Chicago, Illinois, while Rouse, 64, was known as the "101st senator" during his time as an aide to former US Senator and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota). Obama said the two "have slightly different styles," Emanuel being known as a tough negotiator while Rouse is noted as a lower-profile problem solver. At today's event, Emanuel praised Rouse, saying he "commands the respect of everyone in this building."

In April, Emanuel said he had wanted to become mayor of his birthplace for a long time, but wouldn’t run until current mayor Richard M. Daley chose not to seek re-election, which the mayor announced on September 7. During the ceremony, which was held in the White House's East Room, Emanuel did not expressly mention his intent to run for mayor, but said he is "energized by the prospect of new challenges."