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Politician Rahm Emanuel was White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama, and was elected as mayor of Chicago in 2011.
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In 1988, Emanuel served as the national campaign director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and in 1989 he became the senior advisor and chief fundraiser for Richard Daley's campaign for the Chicago mayorship. During this time, he raised an unprecedented $7 million for Daley.
Emanuel reportedly served briefly as a civilian volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces in 1991, during the first Gulf War. He was reportedly stationed in one of Israel's northern bases, where he rust-proofed brakes.
Emanuel's fundraising abilities helped win him a job as director of finance for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992. Following the campaign, Emanuel became a senior advisor in the Clinton White House, where he was responsible for organizing the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1993. He was also a leading strategist in the unsuccessful push for universal healthcare in 1994.
Emanuel left the White House in 1998 to become the managing director of an investment banking firm, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, in Chicago. In 2000, President Clinton named Emanuel to the board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, best known today as Freddie Mac. During this time, it is estimated that Emanuel made more than $18 million. Emanuel resigned from the board in 2001, during his successful run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In January 2007, the new Democratic majority elected Emanuel to serve as chair of the Democratic Caucus—the fourth-highest ranking member of House Democratic leadership.
On November 6, 2008, Emanuel accepted the position of White House chief of staff for newly elected President Barack Obama. While he was characterized by The New York Times as being "perhaps the most influential chief of staff of a generation," Emanuel quickly gained a reputation for his abusive, disparaging tirades—especially toward the Democratic Party. In one particular incident, Emanuel made an inflammatory remark about conservative Democrats who didn't support President Obama's new health-care initiative, and his comments were leaked to the press. He later publicly apologized for his insensitive language.
On September 30, 2010, Emanuel left his post as chief of staff to run for the Chicago mayorship. He was replaced in the interim by political consultant Peter Rouse. On February 22, 2011, Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago.
Emanuel was the topic of several Chicago new reports in 2012, following claims by the Chicago Teachers Union that the mayor had been withholding resources from Chicago Public Schools. Emanuel also received flak for his decision to leave Chicago amidst plans of a Chicago-wide teachers' strike in order to speak at the Democratic National Convention.
Emanuel is married to Amy Rule, whom he met on a blind date. The couple has three children, a son, Zachariah, and daughters Ilana and Leah.
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