Rahm Emanuel: He can run for mayor, but he can't go home again
Everything ready for Rahm Emanuel to run for mayor of Chicago? Not quite. He hasn't made a final final decision yet, his pals insist. Oh, and he can't move back into his own house until next year.
The tenant renting the White House chief of staff's North Side home refuses to leave until next summer -- despite polite pleas from Rahmbo, we're told. Real estate developer Robert Halpin moved in a year ago and extended his lease on Sept. 1 -- just six days before Richard Daley's surprise announcement that he was not seeking another term, the Chicago Sun-Times first reported.
Whoops. Well, that should put to rest rumors that Emanuel has been secretly planning to leave Washington for months. He offered his tenant cash to leave early, but no dice. Halpin could not be reached for comment but told the Sun-Times he was not allowed to speak to the press and had "no plans to move."
In January 2009, Emanuel left his family in Chicago to work 18-hour days in the White House, commuting back home on weekends whenever he could. His wife, Amy Rule, and three young children (son Zach, daughters Ilana and Leah) reluctantly moved to the District later that year; the two older kids enrolled in the elite Maret School, with the youngest in a private Jewish school. There were occasional sightings (ice cream runs, concerts), but mostly the family avoided the spotlight.
Now they're facing a reverse move. Assuming he runs, Emanuel will probably head back to Chicago solo for nonstop campaigning: Signatures to get on the ballot are due Nov. 22, followed by the general election Feb. 22 and a possible runoff April 6. His family is expected to stay in Washington for the time being -- the kids just started the new school year, and more important, they can't move back into their own house.
Our crystal ball: Emanuel runs for mayor, and the family joins him permanently next summer after the end of the school year. Until then, those close to him say he's been offered plenty of places to crash in Chicago. Fold-out couch, anyone?
The Reliable Source
| September 29, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
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