Emanuel Homeless in Chicago as Tenant Won’t Budge for Mayor Bid

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and wife Amy Rule. Photographer: Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty Images

Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, may not be able to live in his own home if he returns to Chicago to run for mayor.

Emanuel is a Chicago native and owns a house in the Lakeview neighborhood, where he lived while he was congressman for a district that includes parts of the city’s north side and adjacent suburbs.

When he and his wife, Amy Rule, moved their family to Washington, they rented out the 2,719-square-foot home. The Chicago Sun-Times reported today that Emanuel is having a hard time persuading his tenant to move out before the lease expires in June.

The situation presents a possible political headache because opponents could challenge Emanuel’s residency. As Chicago friends learned about the situation, he received several offers of places to stay in the city, said a person close to him who asked not to be named.

Another person close to him said yesterday that Emanuel may announce a decision as soon as Oct. 1 on whether he will leave the White House. Richard M. Daley said Sept. 7 that he wouldn’t seek election to a seventh term as mayor of the third-largest U.S. city.

ABC News reported the timing of Emanuel’s possible announcement yesterday.

The chief of staff is still considering the impact of a candidacy on his wife and three children, and hasn’t made a final decision, said the person, who asked not to be named.

Cluster of Departures

Emanuel, 50, was the first major appointment Obama announced after winning the presidency. He would be the fourth top-level adviser to leave the administration since July. Others who have left or announced plans to leave are National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, Peter Orszag, who served as budget director, and Christina Romer, head of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Speculation about Emanuel’s plans increased after he said in an April 19 interview on PBS television’s “Charlie Rose Show” that running for mayor has long been an aspiration, though he wouldn’t run against Daley.

Nov. 22 is the last day to file nomination papers for the Feb. 22 Chicago mayoral election. An April 5 runoff for the top two vote-getters will follow if no candidate receives more than 50 percent.

A growing list of candidates is exploring bids for the office following Daley’s announcement. Possible candidates include Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart; State Senator James Meeks, minister of one of Chicago’s largest churches; Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez; and former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun.

The Chicago mayor’s office has been held by Daley or his father, Richard J. Daley, for almost 43 of the past 55 years.