Rahm Israel Emanuel was born on November 29, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois. Emanuel’s father, Benjamin Emanuel, was an Israeli pediatrician, and his mother, Martha Smulevitz, was a Jewish American x-ray technician. Emanuel has two brothers, Ezekiel and Ariel, and one adopted sister, Shoshana. Amy Rule is Emanuel’s wife. Their children are son, Zachariah, and daughters, IIana and Leah.
While growing up, Emanuel and his brothers took ballet lessons. While Rahm was going to New Trier West High School, he received a scholarship to Joffrey Ballet, but turned it down to go to Sarah Lawrence College in New York in 1981. Emanuel went on to Northwestern University in 1985 and earned a Master’s Degree in Speech and Communications. Emanuel’s first job after college was with Illinois Public Action, a consumer rights organization. He also worked at the Chicago investment bank, Wasserstein Perella.
Emanuel worked in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1998. During the this time he worked as one of the President’s top advisers. He helped guide domestic health care, trade and welfare. In 1992, he was national finance director, and eventually became Senior Adviser and Chief Fundraiser to the President for Policy and Strategy.
When Emanuel left the White House in 1998, he worked as Managing Director for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, an investment banking firm in Chicago.
In 2000, President Clinton named Emanuel to the Board of Directors for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Freddie Mac.
House of Representatives
Rahm Emanuel resigned from Freddie Mac in 2001 to take his elected seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and was re-elected in 2005.
At the beginning of his second term, Emanuel was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee, a group that oversees taxes, trade, Social Security, and Medicare issues. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also asked Emanuel to serve as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after former chairman, Robert Matsui, passed. Under Emanuel’s leadership, Democrats gained 30 seats in the House, giving them a majority in the House of Representatives.
In 2007, he was elected as Democratic Caucus Chair and when President Barack Obama was elected, he made Emanuel his White House Chief of Staff on November 6, 2008. Emanuel is a close friend of President Obama’s and they’re both from Chicago.
Through Emanuel’s career, he’s developed a reputation of brashness.
In February of 2010, Emanuel was called out for calling a Democrat ad campaign “fu**ing retarded”. One of the Republican party’s leading members, Sarah Palin, called for his resignation. One of Palin’s children, Trig, has Down Syndrome.
He left the Obama administration on September 30th in order to run for Mayor of Chicago.
2016 Election Potential
Emanuel is another Democratic candidate that won’t be voted out of his job. His participation in the Mayoral race in Chicago will give him good campaign experience, and (assuming he wins) enough time in an executive role to give him the credibility to run for President in 2016. Emanuel’s competition will be well known Republicans, such as Sarah Palin. However, Emanuel will have a difficult time getting his own party’s nomination for the presidency because of his no holds barred attitude.
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