This is a title that Rahm Emanuel dreams about: mayor of Chicago.
It’s hardly a secret, at least to those who have followed his political career, that one day Mr. Emanuel aspires to succeed Mayor Richard M. Daley inside Chicago’s City Hall. The question, of course, is when.
“One day I would like to run for mayor of the city of Chicago,” Mr. Emanuel said in a television interview that was shown on Monday night. “That’s always been an aspiration of mine even when I was in the House of Representatives.”
In January, Mr. Emanuel spent considerable time trying to extinguish the chatter that he was thinking about leaving his post as White House chief of staff with intentions of running for mayor of Chicago. He successfully quieted the rumors. But when he sat down for an interview on “The Charlie Rose Show,” he seemed to open the door once again.
“First of all, let me say it this way: I hope Mayor Daley seeks re-election. I will work and support him if he seeks re-election,” Mr. Emanuel said. “But if Mayor Daley doesn’t, one day I would like to run for mayor of the city of Chicago.”
As he spoke in the wide-ranging interview, Mr. Emanuel seemed intent on making clear that he is not unhappy serving in the White House. But his voice appeared to come alive with excitement when Mr. Rose asked this question: “Is there any other job in government you’d like to have?”
“In government?” Mr. Emanuel replied.
“In government,” Mr. Rose said.
“Well, I mean it’s no secret,” Mr. Emanuel said.
“That you want to be speaker of the House,” Mr. Rose said, trying to finish his guest’s sentence.
“Well, that’s over,” Mr. Emanuel said, before going on at length about his real dream.
“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,” he said. “Again I want to repeat because the mayor’s a dear friend of mine, and I support him, I hope he seeks re-election.”
But after the praise for Mayor Daley ended, he added, “But if he doesn’t, at some point that will be something I’ll do.”
The question, of course, remains when.