Rahm Emanuel began his political career with the Illinois Public Action organization and went on to work for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Follow his road to the steps of Chicago’s city hall. Emanuel will be Chicago’s first Jewish mayor.
First Jobs: Rahm Emanuel started his political career with the public interest and consumer rights organization Illinois Public Action. From there he went onto work for Democrat Paul Simon’s 1984 U.S. Senate election. He also worked on Mayor Richard Daley’s 1989 campaign as a senior advisor and chief fundraiser.
Clinton Administration: For President Clinton, Emanuel worked on the President’s finance committee when he first ran for office and was then the Arkansas Governor. Once elected, President Clinton appointed Emanuel to be a senior advisor to him at the White House from 1993 – 1998. During his time with the Clinton administration, Emanuel was nicknamed “Rahmbo” for his aggressive style.
Finance: After working for President Clinton, Emanuel took a leave from politics in 1998 and worked in finance and was hired by the investment-banking firm Wasserstine Perella. He worked there until 2002. He was the firm’s managing director of their Chicago office. (Mind you, Emanuel did not have an MBA or banking experience.) In 2000, President Clinton appointed Emanuel to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s (Freddie Mac) board of directors.
Congressional Career: In 2002, Emanuel ran for the U.S. House seat in the 5th District of Illinois (held by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich). In 2003, Emanuel served on the House Financial Services Committee, as well as the subcommittee that oversaw Freddie Mac. Emanuel also held the position of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman. In 2008, Emanuel won the re-election to the House.
Obama Administration: Emanuel was named the White House Chief of Staff to President Obama in 2008. He resigned his congressional seat on January 9, 2009.
Chicago Mayoral Race: In late September 2010, Emanuel announced he would leave the White House and run for the Mayor of Chicago. His eligibility was challenged by the Board of Elections on the basis of lack of residency. Emanuel won the challenge and the mayoral election on February 22, 2011.