The AP: “Obama's campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials said Thursday as the marathon presidential race entered its final, frenzied stretch with a Democratic tilt… The Democrats who described the Obama campaign's approach to Emanuel spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to be quoted by name. An aide to the congressman, Sarah Feinberg, said in an e-mail that he ‘has not been contacted to take a job in an administration that does not yet exist. Everyone is focused on Election Day, as they should be.’”
RNC spokesman Alex Conant said in response, “Rahm Emanuel is working with Barack Obama to create the most unbalanced and partisan government in a generation. Emanuel is among the most vitriolic and partisan people in American politics. Reports that Obama wants him to be White House chief of staff undercut any claims to unity and bipartisanship, and should alarm every voter.”
"Expect a turbocharged transition if Barack Obama wins, with a Treasury secretary and White House chief of staff named days after his election, Democratic sources told the Daily News Thursday."
"Barack Obama's campaign confirmed yesterday that [Zeituni] Onyango, who lives in a brick public housing complex on a side street not far from the headquarters of the Iron Workers, Local 7, is the senator's aunt," the Boston Globe reports. Onyango is Obama's paternal aunt, one of several children of the senator's grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama. In his memoir, 'Dreams From My Father,' Obama refers to Onyango affectionately as Aunt Zeituni and recalls that she was the first person to greet him when he stepped off a plane for the first time in Kenya." She has also contributed in small donations to Obama's campaign.
The RNC has highlighted Obama telling NBC’s Brian Williams that “I believe that the 2nd Amendment is actually an individual right.” That’s consistent with what Obama said after June’s Supreme Court ruling overturning the DC gun ban. “I have always believed that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms,” he said in a statement, “but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures.” Yet, as the RNC pointed out, it’s at odds a bit with a questionnaire Obama signed in 1996, when he said he agreed with Illinois legislation banning the sale, manufacture, and distribution of handguns.
Rahm Emanuel (born November 29, 1959) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 2003, representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, which covers much of the north side of Chicago and parts of suburban Cook County. He will serve as Barack Obama's Chief of Staff.
Emanuel was chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2006 elections. After the Democratic Party regained control of the House, he was elected as the next chairman of the Democratic Caucus. He is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Leader Steny Hoyer and Whip Jim Clyburn.
Emanuel is noted for his strong partisan style and his fundraising prowess. He is the co-author, with current Democratic Leadership Council President Bruce Reed, of the 2006 book, The Plan: Big Ideas for America. He is a member of the New Democrat Coalition.