'Rahm Emanuel to resign from White House on this week'

Sources say White House chief of staff will run for mayor in Chicago; White House press sec. says Obama plans announcement before weekend.

bibi with rahm emanuel 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
bibi with rahm emanuel 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
CHICAGO — Rahm Emanuel will resign as White House chief of staff on Friday and will begin his campaign for Chicago mayor by meeting with voters in the city on Monday, two sources familiar with Emanuel's plans said on Thursday.
The two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt Emanuel's announcement, said that he will return to Chicago over the weekend and begin touring neighborhoods on Monday.
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"He intends to run for mayor," one of the people told The Associated Press.
Both people said they did not know when Emanuel would make an official announcement about his mayoral bid but that he would launch a website with a message to Chicago voters in the near future.
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that US President Barack Obama will make a personnel announcement on Friday which will likely include two announcements. Speaking of Emanuel, Gibbs said warmly that "there is not an important thing in this administration that we've been able to accomplish that doesn't have his signature on it."
Emanuel's plans have been the source of widespread speculation both in Chicago and Washington, D.C. ever since Mayor Richard Daley announced this month he would not seek re-election. In an April television interview, Emanuel had called it "no secret" he'd like to run for mayor.
When he ultimately announces his candidacy, Emanuel instantly becomes the most recognizable name in what is already a crowded field of candidates and possible candidates. Already with well over $1 million in his war chest and his well documented ability to raise huge amounts of money for political candidates around the country, Emanuel"s campaign would be extremely well funded.
In Washington, Emanuel's departure, though expected by the political world for days now, is still an unquestioned loss for Obama. The president has counted on Emanuel's intensity, discipline and congressional relationships to keep the White House focused and aggressive. The job comes with nearly unrivaled pressure and power.