Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to seek re-election in 2015 and says he's not interested in higher office, telling a newspaper he intends to fulfill his obligations should voters give him a second four-year term.
The former White House chief of staff who was elected Chicago's mayor in 2011 told the Chicago Sun-Times he'd support Vice President Joe Biden or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a presidential run in 2016, but he's intending to stay put.
Emanuel waved off as a hypothetical what he would do if Clinton asked him to be his running mate, calling that "a moot and mute point."
"I'm home. I'm done traveling," Emanuel said. "I don't want to go back there" to Washington, where Emanuel once served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff.
As mayor of the nation's third-largest city, Emanuel said one of his frustrations has been changing Chicago's culture to one of accountability. And he acknowledged the political risk of his plan to close 54 city schools, adding that the reputation of Chicago's school system is at stake if things don't improve.
"The question is, do I take the political risk or do the children take the risk of having an education that's inferior to what they need for the rest of their lives?" Emanuel said. "I will take the political risk so our children have a better education."
Emanuel said he plans to keep both leaders of the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Public Schools. The mayor noted that while the city has logged 70 fewer homicides than a year ago largely because of saturated patrols in trouble areas, he's confident the city will find the resources to cover police overtime -- even as the department already has spent two-thirds of its budget for that.
"Anybody will tell you I'm extremely loyal," Emanuel said. "I push people hard. But they always know, no matter what, I have their back. Go ask anybody who's ever worked for me in any White House or Congress who are still all friends -- and I protect them."
Emanuel declined to say who he'd endorse in the governor's race, saying only that "I'll support the Democratic nominee."