09/30/2010 04:40 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Pelosi Endorses Rahm For Mayor

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a spirited endorsement of Rahm Emanuel on Thursday afternoon, answering "yes" when asked at a Capitol Hill press conference if she would endorse the outgoing White House chief of staff's bid for mayor of Chicago.

The Speaker lavished him with praise, referencing his "great reputation" and the "affection" he enjoys from his former colleagues in the House of Represenatives.

"He can do anything he sets his mind to," said Pelosi of the Chicago mayoral hopeful, "and we all wish him much success. I extended those greetings to him myself this morning at the White House."

On Friday morning in the East Room, President Obama is expected to announce the departure of Emanuel, who is reportedly already laying the groundwork for his mayoral bid and getting ready to embark on a 'listening tour' of Chicago.

Longtime aide Pete Rouse is expected to be tapped to serve as interim chief of staff.

"As far as Pete Rouse is concerned, the only issue that matters there is does the chief of staff have the confidence of the President of the United States? Pete Rouse certainly has the respect of those in Congress. We know his service to our country well. And if that's the presidents choice then we salute him."

Reporters in the audience were unsurprised by Pelosi's decision to endorse Rahm when pressed.

"Well of course," said the reporter sitting behind HuffPost. "She doesn't want to cross him..."