White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has officially resigned from his post, and President Barack Obama has appointed White House senior advisor Pete Rouse to take over as interim chief of staff.
The news of Emanuel's departure was well-publicized before Friday's official announcement. As The Associated Press reports, there's widespread speculation that Emanuel will launch a campaign for mayor of Chicago, especially since Mayor Richard Daly announced that he would not seek another term in office.
On Friday, Obama praised Emanuel as an "incomparable leader" who faced challenges with hard work and commitment. "It wasn't just Rahm's broad array of experiences in Congress, and in the White House, in politics, and in business," Obama said. "It was also the fact that he just brings an unmatched level of energy and enthusiasm and commitment to every single thing he does."
During his speech, Emanuel thanked the president for his friendship, and the opportunity to serve as White House chief of staff. "I want to thank you for being the toughest leader any country could ask for in the toughest times any president has ever faced," he said. He also thanked the public, and concluded by saying, "I look forward to seeing you in Chicago."
Rouse did not speak publicly on Friday, but the president commended his experience in the political domain as an adviser and key counsel to Obama during his tenure in the Senate and during his presidential campaign. He said Rouse is well-known around the White House as a "skillful problem solver," with experience handling management and legislative challenges.