On behalf of the president, Emanuel hits Iowa

November 18, 2011

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Then-Chicago Mayor-elect Emanuel and President Obama at a presidential fundraiser on Navy Pier in April.

Iowa Democrats will pay between $100 and $5,000 to attend an event Saturday night along with Rahm Emanuel. The Chicago mayor says he's making the trip at the request of his former boss.

When Rahm Emanuel left his job last year as White House Chief of Staff, as a going away present, President Obama gave him this quasi-endorsement for Chicago mayor.

"We are all very excited for Rahm as he takes on a new challenge for which he is extraordinarily well qualified," the president said at the time.

Emanuel is returning the political favor, heading to Des Moines to speak at a fundraiser for that state's Democratic Party.

"The president and his team asked me to do this a long time ago and I said, 'yes,'" Emanuel told reporters earlier this week.

His speech, Emanuel said, will focus on Mr. Obama's work at a time of economic peril.

"I will address that from the unique role of having been both the chief of staff and now the chief executive," he said.

The mayor said he will campaign more for President Obama if asked, but only if it doesn't interfere with his day job.