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Rahm Emanuel will boost Obama at Iowa Democratic Party dinner

September 20, 2011|By Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune
  • President Obama walks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he arrives at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Chicago last month.
President Obama walks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he arrives at Chicago… (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images )

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is extending his surrogate role on behalf of his old boss, President Obama, by keynoting the Iowa Democratic Party's largest pre-caucus fundraiser of the year.

Sue Dvorsky, the Iowa Democratic chairwoman, today announced Emanuel's appearance at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. In a statement, she called Emanuel "one of the great advocates for Democratic values and middle class opportunity throughout his service in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, as a leader in Congress, and now at the helm of the great city of Chicago."
 
Emanuel previously served as a fundraiser and top adviser for President Bill Clinton and later served as Obama's chief of staff, before leaving the administration to mount his successful bid to succeed Richard M. Daley as Chicago mayor.
 
It marks the second time that Emanuel has served as a high-profile surrogate to Obama's re-election campaign. In July, the mayor was a featured speaker for the president at a New York fundraiser.

This year's Jefferson Jackson Dinner is scheduled for Nov. 19 in Des Moines. It traditionally features Democrats with national stature. In years with a competitive Democratic fight for the presidential nomination, the event provides a platform for the caucus contenders.
 
"Announcements like this will continue to bring Democrats together and build the organization we need to win in 2012," Dvorsky said in her statement.
 
Democrats in Iowa are looking to 2012 to rebound after last year's mid-term elections returned the state's governorship to a Republican, Terry Branstad, who had formerly served as governor.

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