Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Rahm Emanuel gets emotional at his White House departure ceremony before he returns to Chicago to run for mayor.
Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Update at 11:35 am — Emanuel becomes emotional as he talks about his respect for Obama and the president's toughness during a very difficult time.
He then turns his speech to his parents who he says believed in the spirit of service to others. He chokes up. Afterwards, he lightens the mood by telling those in the audience, "I'm sure you heard some words you hadn't heard before and combinations of words," an allusion to his frequent use of profanity. Laughter. He thanks his family and ends by saying "I look forward to seeing you in Chicago." He leaves off the "as mayor" part.
Peter Rouse leaves without saying anything. It was Emanuel's day, after all. The men walk out of the East Room.
Update at 11:31 am — Obama takes the opportunity to thank the staff, hugs Emanuel and shakes his hand and turns the mic over to Emanuel. To the applause, Emanuel jokes that he is getting a better ovation than he did at his bar mitzvah. Then he starts out what is the first speech of his campaign for Chicago mayor, saying he is returning to the "greatest city in the greatest country of the world." Plus the Bears are 3-0 he says.
Update at 11:28 am — Obama says: "There's a saying around the White House, let's let Pete fix it... And there are plenty of problems to solve."
Update at 11:27 am — Obama basically says Emanuel was a tough man for the tough times they faced during the first two years, especially in helping stave off a "second Great Depression." After a bit more of this, Obama segues to Rouse. "He's been one of my closest and most essential advisors."
Update at 11:23 am — The difference between Emanuel and Rouse can be seen in body language. Emanuel stands with arms akimbo (hands on hip) like a gunslinger, suit jacket open. Rouse had hands folded in front of him.
Update at 11:22 am — The main characters are at the podium. Long ovation. "It's not for me," Obama says. Obama also says "Welcome to the least suspenseful announcement of all time."
update at 11:13 am — The best piece of color of the morning, being reported on the web and the cables, is that at his last White House staff meeting, Friday morning Emanuel was presented with a dead fish as a gift.
It was a reference to a famous Emanuel stunt in which he sent a dead fish to an opponent back during Chicago days. Was it on ice, I wonder? Certainly hope so.
update at 11:09 am — Still waiting....
update at 11:02 am — The White House East Room is filling with White House and administration officials as they wait for the president, Emanuel and Rouse to enter.
We'll be live-blogging President Barack Obama's expected announcement Friday morning that his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is exiting to be replaced by Peter Rouse, another long-time Washington insider.
Emanuel is leaving to better position himself for a potential campaign for Chicago mayor. Rouse is expected to be named interim chief of staff while a permanent successor, perhaps Rouse himself, is decided on.
The president's announcement is scheduled for 11:05 am ET.