White House Chief of Staff Emanuel came home to Chicago to take part in a forum on Global Cities. Most of the questions he fielded Tuesday were about his political aspirations. Last week he said he might want to be the mayor of Chicago... someday. And, he took some gentle ribbing about those aspirations.
"Mr. Emanuel has recently expressed an interest in being mayor of Chicago after Mayor Daley steps down, but the consensus is before that happens he's going to have to get some real experience," said Judy Woodruff, panel moderator.
"In smiling," said Emanuel, laughing.
The conference was not about Emanuel, but it's the first time since revealing his mayoral ambition that Emanuel's been back with the mayor, who is his mentor, friend, and long-time political ally. And so it was predictable that in the midst of a media scrum that Emanuel would not want to talk much about thoughts of someday occupying the fifth floor at City Hall.
"It's great to be back in Chicago and I don't want to be disruptive to what the mayor is doing here. OK? There'll be plenty of time to talk. It's great to be home," said Emanuel. "As you know we have our home here and can't wait at some point in the future- don't over-interpret anything, don't everybody get excited- at some point when we come back."
"You guys are way too excited. You guys gotta start drinking decaf," Emanuel told reporters.
What does Daley think about Emanuel's ambition?
"There's nothing wrong with ambition. All of you want to move up in your profession. And there's nothing wrong… one of the best jobs is being mayor of a city," said Mayor Richard Daley.
And about whether Emanuel would make a good mayor?
"I think there are many people great people who will be a great mayoral candidate."
As Chicago contemplates Emanuel as mayor, the current mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Amman, Philadelphia and beyond discussed international gun trafficking.
"This is coming from international mayors, saying, 'we're tired of your guns, America,'" said Mayor Daley.
Their joint resolution demands more oversight from federal governments and the world court in reducing gun trafficking.
"People are being killed everyday in the United States of America with illegal weapons. I love the Second Amendment but I think I have a First Amendment right not to be shot," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
They mayors have come up with a resolution. It has no legal teeth, but it does have the political weight of some influential big city mayors who believe that international gun trafficking is a global issue and belongs on the world agenda. They mayors said national governments are not doing enough to address the violence.