Obama approaches lawmaker about White House Chief of Staff post

Talk about measuring the White House drapes before the election….word comes that Barack Obama has already “approached” someone to be his White House Chief of Staff…

By DAVID ESPO and BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – Barack 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.

In this  June 6, 2008,, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., ... 
In this June 6, 2008,, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., left, talks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., at a Chicago 2016 Olympic rally at Daley Center Plaza in Chicago. Obama’s campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials said Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The disclosure came as Republican John McCain, in need of a comeback, focused on pocketbook issues amid fresh signs of a recession. “Ohio is hurting now, people in Ohio are having trouble staying in their homes, keeping their jobs,” he said as he set out on a two-day bus tour of the state.

“We have got to get this economy out of the ditch.”

Obama, bidding to become the first black president, also pointed to the government’s report that the economy had declined in the third quarter. He told a large crowd in Florida that McCain has been perched “right next to George Bush” for eight years, and consumers are paying a steep price for their partnership.

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.”

Asked about Emanuel after touching down in Colombia, Mo., on Thursday night, Obama said only: “I’m trying to win an election.” Then, referring to campaign manager David Plouffe, he said: “Plouffe is my chief of staff.”

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton earlier had said: “There’s no news because there’s no job to offer.”

Emanuel is a veteran of President Clinton’s White House, and has made a rapid ascent of the House leadership ladder since his election to Congress. He was chairman of the Democratic campaign committee two years ago when the party won a majority for the first time in more than a decade, and he cemented his reputation as a prodigious fundraiser and strong-willed political strategist.

Both Obama and McCain have authorized their staffs to begin transition operations in recent weeks — although only one of them will be able to make use of the results. As far as is known, no job offers have been made by either man.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081031/ap_on_el_pr
/campaign_rdp;_ylt=AqAbVesZNtrcP3cfsqQFECas0NUE

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