Current Mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is set to stump for his old boss this Saturday night. In what will be his first national speech since being elected to Mayor this past February, excerpts of Emanuel's speech for the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner have been released in advance, showing the Mayor's headstrong defense of the President whose first term policies Emanuel was largely behind implementing. Several excerpts from Emanuel's speech:
"The President did not make choices based on politics. He made them because of his principles. He did not make choices for the next election, he made them for the next generation."
"President Obama never tailored what he believed to the moment."
"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. Whose character, whose judgment, do you want in that office?"
"Over the next four years, there will be a series of choices. It won’t be clear what the outcome will be. We will need leadership; we will need values as guideposts."
"To create true middle class security, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. We must out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the world."
"President Obama believes in an America where hard work pays off, where responsibility is rewarded. He believes in an America where everyone, from Main Street to Wall Street, does their fair share. He believes in an America where we don’t have two rule books, one for those at the top, and another set for everyone else. President Obama believes in the idea that our country prospers when we're all in it together."
The Jefferson-Jackson Dinner is the premier pre-caucus fundraiser for the Iowa Democratic Party. Rahm will be just be across town in Des Moines from six Republican challengers to Obama, speaking to social conservatives at the Family Leader Forum.
Speaking on "an America where hard work pays off," and Wall Street contributing their "fair share," Emanuel appears to be harping on a populist message pushed by Obama in recent weeks to rally activist Democrats. The Chicago Tribune notes that Emanuel's comments come after the Mayor has recently expressed frustration with Washington inaction and has repeatedly faced off in Chicago with unions that form the backbone of Democratic political activism.
"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," Emanuel told the Tribune before the speech. "And I think that's a testament to character and I will address that from the unique role of having been both the chief of staff and now a chief executive."
Obama's win in the 2008 Iowa Democratic Caucus legitimized his primary campaign and set him on course for the White House, as the Illinois Senator went on to carry the swing state in the general election.
There has been a recent staff shake-up in the White House touching Emanuel's new job, and old job. Bill Daley, son and brother to past Chicago Mayors, was demoted earlier this month from Emanuel's former position as White House chief of staff.
(H/T: Burns & Halberman POLITICO)