Today we learned what we knew all week: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is leaving the White House to pursue a bid to be the next Mayor of Chicago. Emanuel leaves behind him one of the most powerful positions in national politics, one which his presence made even more important.
The contacts that he made while in the White House won’t be leaving him behind. In fact, they’re saved on the Internet thanks to the White House’s policy of disclosing their visitor logs. Who visited Emanuel and what could that mean for his future–and the White House’s?
Emanuel is going to need friends in Chicago as he explores a mayoral bid. What better place to start than those who you got into the White House? Some of Emanuel’s visitors are big Chicago businessmen, lobbyists and politicians.
These Chicago players include business leaders Sam Zell, The Tribune Company, John Rowe, Exelon, Leo Melamed, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Thomas Lanctot, William Blair & Company, Howard Gottlieb and Patrick Cermak, Wight & Company.
Those in the political realm include Bill Daley, former Commerce Secretary and brother to current Mayor Richard Daley, John Cullerton, President of the Illinois State Senate, Sheila Gutman, major Democratic donor and Emanuel’s own former staffer John Borovicka, now with William & Blair.
Prior to joining the White House Emanuel, as a congressman, helped the Democrats win the House of Representatives in 2006 and pad their numbers in 2008. On this wave, Emanuel brought a number of new congressmen with whom he maintained close contact as chief of staff.
Some of the staffers to congressmen that came to visit Emanuel at the White House include Melanie Morris (Rep. Alan Boyd), Jon Selib (Sen. Max Baucus), Mark Powden (Sen. Sherrod Brown), Mariel Schwartz (Rep. Jason Altmire), Cody Lundquist (Rep. Altmire), Katie Hoard (Sen. Blanche Lincoln), Jonathan Beeton (Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz), Coby Dolan (Rep. Wasserman-Schultz), Jeremy Tollefson (Sen. Russ Feingold), Jason Meinenger (Sen. John Kerry), Erika Krennerich (Rep. Marion Berry), Ben Marter (Rep. Betsy Markey) and April Metwalli (Rep. Chris Carney).
Something the White House might not miss was Emanuel’s penchant to dish to journalists and play the Washington access game. While most of the behind the scenes access dealing probably went on over the phone some journalists visited Emanuel at the White House.
These journalists include Jonathan Alter, Karen Tumulty, Noam Schieber, Fred Hiatt, Ryan Lizza, Ron Fournier, Candy Crowley, Tom Friedman, Susan Page, David Ignatius, David Wessel, Mark Halperin, Katty Kay and David Leonhardt.
One meeting that appears in the White House visitor logs that may seem unexpected is a June 9, 2010 meeting with one Keith R. Murdoch. Does the “R” stand for Rupert? In his book The Promise Jonathan Alter revealed that Emanuel kept a back channel open to NewsCorp owner Rupert Murdoch, who’s real name is Keith Rupert Murdoch. I have not yet confirmed whether this is actually Rupert Murdoch, but I will let you know when I do.
View all of Rahm Emanuel’s visitors here: