Mayor Rahm Emanuel will headline fundraisers for the Ready for Hillary super PAC on June 5 in Chicago. He’s one of the highest-profile officials so far to help collect megabucks for the group encouraging Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016.
“I’m for Hillary,” Emanuel told me on Thursday.
He was in town for a forum on immigration reform with Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., at the Urban Institute. Later, Emanuel and Gutierrez met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to discuss his ongoing review of deportation policies and their proposals to decrease citizenship application fees for immigrants here legally.
Last month, I reported the Ready for Hillary group would have its first Chicago event on May 29, with the target on the save-the-date invite for low-dollar donors — as little as $20.16. “Join over 2 million supporters to send Hillary a message that we are ready for her to run for president in 2016,” the low-dollar invite said.
The date was switched to June 5 — and the high-dollar event added — in order to accommodate Emanuel, who has a track record of raising millions in political money from big-money donors, most recently for his 2015 re-election campaign and in 2012, for the Obama super PAC.
The voluntary donation limit for the event will be $25,000, I’m told, though the super PAC does not have any federally mandated contribution caps.
Emanuel owes his high profile to Bill Clinton. He rose to prominence while serving in Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and in the Clinton White House.
Everything that flowed afterward was because of the boost Emanuel got from his Clinton years — making millions in private business, election to Congress, chief of staff for President Barack Obama and Chicago mayor.
Bill Clinton headlines a funder for Emanuel’s mayoral war chest on June 20 in Chicago.
During the heated 2008 Democratic primary between then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Emanuel — with connections to the rivals — famously said he was hiding under a desk when asked whose side he was on.
Hillary Clinton, born in Chicago at Edgewater Hospital and raised in Park Ridge, has always been popular in Chicago, even when she ran against Obama in the primary.