Rahm Emanuel Stumps For Obama In Iowa

Chicago Mayoral Candidate Rahm Emanuel speaks to supporters at an election-night rally in Chicago on February 22, 2011.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will speak at an Iowa pre-caucus dinner Saturday in Des Moines, in his first big leap into former boss President Barack Obama's reelection campaign.

"I had the good fortune of being the president's chief of staff, watching him up close, watching him exert the leadership that was necessary to stabilize a country that was spinning toward far-worse economic conditions than the ones he inherited if that wasn’t stopped and abated," The Chicago Tribune reported as a preview of Emanuel's speech. 

He will appear at the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner, the preeminent pre-caucus fundraiser for Iowa Democrats. According to the newspaper, since being elected mayor, he has expressed dismay at inaction on the economy in Washington and tussled with staunchly Democratic union leaders. This week, his city budget was unanimously approved.

In 2008, Obama's caucus victory in Iowa sent him soaring past now-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, then considered the frontrunner. But last year in Iowa, Republicans took back the governor's office and the state House of Representatives and recalled three state Supreme Court justices who had ruled in favor of gay marriage.

"In the next four years there will be more challenges and more crises that will determine the economic vitality of the middle class and the economic future of this country," Emanuel said. "Whose character, whose judgment, do you want in that office?" 

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