Obama Praises Rahm Emanuel: ‘Chicago Is Better and Stronger for His Leadership’

President Barack Obama right, talks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel left, after walking off Air Force One while arriving at O'Hare International Airport Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Former President Barack Obama reacted Tuesday to the news that Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided not to run for re-election for a third term.

“Chicago is better and stronger for his leadership,” Obama wrote in a statement emailed to reporters, praising Rahm Emanuel’s service as his first White House Chief of Staff, as a congressman, and as the Mayor of Chicago.

“I’ve decided not to seek re-election,” Emanuel said on Tuesday. “This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime.”

The former president recalled Emanuel’s “wise counsel” at a “particularly perilous time” for the United States.

Obama praised Emanuel for improving job growth and employment numbers as well as his efforts to improve the schools in Chicago by implementing universal pre-Kindergarten and debt-free community college.

“I’ve been blessed to call Rahm my friend. Whatever he chooses to do next, I know he’ll continue to make a positive difference, just as he has throughout his career in public service,” Obama said. “And Michelle and I wish Rahm and Amy all the best as they consider this next phase in their lives.”

The president did not address Emanuel’s questionable record on preventing violent shootings in the City of Chicago.

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