An Israeli connection in an Obama West Wing?

Rahm Emanuel could serve as the White House chief of staff, officials say.

rahm emanuel 88 (photo credit: )
rahm emanuel 88
(photo credit: )
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials have told the Associated Press. Emanuel, 48, whose father is Israeli and who reportedly speaks some Hebrew, graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 and received a Master's Degree in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985. He is a resident of Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood, where he and his wife are raising three children. He began his career with the consumer rights organization Illinois Public Action. He worked on Paul Simon's 1984 election to the Senate and in 1989 served as a senior adviser and chief fundraiser for Richard M. Daley. Emanuel was appointed a top adviser to former president Bill Clinton. After leaving the White House, he returned to Chicago to serve as a managing director at a leading global investment bank. Emanuel endorsed Obama early in his campaign for presidency, and has been seen often in his company. Obama himself declined to comment on the report that if he were elected, Emanuel would serve as his chief of staff. "I'm trying to win an election," Obama said. "Plouffe is my chief of staff," he added, referring to campaign manager David Plouffe.