President Barack Obama had no shortage of praise to lavish on his outgoing Chief of Staff when Rahm Emanuel decided to leave that post and run for Chicago mayor. Obama described him as "an incomparable leader of our staff and one who we are going to miss very much," among other generous phrases.
But despite what a recent Emanuel ad might lead you to believe, the President hasn't endorsed any candidates in the Chicago mayoral race.
In fact, as one opponent of Emanuel's is pointing out today, Rahm's not the only guy who Obama seems to like.
"Miguel del Valle has been an exemplary public servant," Obama said of the current City Clerk in a 2007 radio endorsement. "He is someone I immediately latched onto when I arrived in Springfield to learn the ropes, because he had a reputation of effective advocacy on behalf of his constituents and a record of integrity in all that he did. He remained a dear, dear friend even after I left Springfield."
"Rahm Emanuel would have you believe that he has President Obama's endorsement," del Valle said. "I have received praise from the President as well."
Del Valle has refused to use the Obama spot in his campaign, he said, because he found it disingenuous to suggest an endorsement in the mayor's race when Obama hasn't made one. He has repeatedly taken issue with the Emanuel campaign's use of the President's voice, calling it "a manipulation of voters."
With two weeks remaining until the February elections, Rahm Emanuel is hovering near the 50 percent mark needed to win outright and avoid an April runoff. Del Valle has consistently polled in the high single digits, with Gery Chico currently in second place in the mid-teens.
Listen to President Obama's 2007 spot for del Valle:ObamaDelValle by user6530020