Emanuel says he's preparing run for Chicago mayor
Sunday, October 3, 2010; 7:59 PM
CHICAGO -- Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that he's preparing to run for mayor of Chicago, a position he has said he long desired.
Emanuel made the announcement in a video posted Sunday on his website, ChicagoforRahm.com. He had been careful not to launch his candidacy from Washington and headed to Chicago immediately after his resignation was announced by President Barack Obama on Friday.
In the video, Emanuel said he's embarking on a "Tell It Like It Is" listening tour of Chicago.
"As I prepare to run for mayor, I'm going to spend the next few weeks visiting our neighborhoods - at grocery stores, L stops, bowling alleys, and hot dog stands," Emanuel said.
The two-minute video shows a relaxed Emanuel sitting behind a desk wearing a white shirt that's open at the collar and a dark jacket. Behind him is a photo of his family and several books.
In making the announcement in a YouTube video, Emanuel appears to be following in the online footsteps of Obama, who was successful in galvanizing support among younger voters with a strong Internet presence and near constant contact through text messages, e-mails and Facebook notes.
Emanuel's website offers several options for receiving updates, including e-mail and text, and nearly 12,000 Facebook users had "liked" his page by Sunday afternoon.
Lori Goldberg, an Emanuel spokeswoman, said the online video was an attempt to reach as many people as possible. Emanuel plans to make "a more formal announcement" after the November election.
"By having the website up, it also allows people to communicate with him," Goldberg said.
Bruce Newman, professor of marketing at DePaul University, called the online announcement "a clever move."
"(Emanuel's) ability to communicate via the social media will be critical to his success," Newman said. "The voter in today's world is tuning in to a whole different level of communication."
But other political analysts said the online approach won't work for all voters.